ROLE

I guided interview and research efforts, designed the brand identity and user flows, and prototyped the app.

CONTEXT

Built in public over the course of a one-week designathon, Interhackt: Making & Understanding Together, winning 1st Runner Up by peer voting. (December 2020)

CODESIGNED WITH

Bianca Aguilar

Conceptualizing a mobile app for networked, project-based learning.

Scenius is a personal growth app that helps users design their own learning plans, complete with a project to cement their understanding and share their knowledge with the world.

VIEW THE PROTOTYPE →

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In a world full of unfinished courses and tiring Zoom classes, is there a way to encourage learning and sharing online?

In 2020, students worldwide witnessed the shift from face-to-face classes to distance learning. As video calls replaced physical classrooms and enrollments in massive open online courses (MOOCs) on Coursera and Udemy skyrocketed, Bianca and I pondered the barriers to making and understanding together in an online setting.

Alongside 30+ teams, we set out to explore interface design with a focus on learning in public—that is, building a base of knowledge that any fellow learner can access for a documentation of what one built or learned and the problems they solved.

We walked into the first night of the hackathon armed with inspiration from two blog posts:

These two sources raised the question: Could we build a "Strava for learning" app that would incentivize learning in public using proof-of-work mechanisms?

Understanding the Problem

First, we needed to see where existing learning platforms fell short. We jumped right into market and user research, exploring features from social networking sites and the educational tech (EdTech) scene alike. The tools we examined ranged from resource libraries like Khan Academy, to gamified learning platforms like Duolingo, to networked task logs like Makerlog and WIP.

A handful of products we drew ideas from and built upon.

A handful of products we drew ideas from and built upon.

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We sent out a short user survey to our close networks, targeting self-learners who used these or similar EdTech products to pick up new skills.

Our aim was to understand their motivations for developing skills outside traditional school curricula, ****how their current tactics support (or add friction towards) their goals, and how they measure their growth.

From the responses we obtained, we spotted three salient factors that influenced the effectiveness of online, self-directed learning.

LEARNING FOR WHAT?

  1. Professional growth
  2. Pure passion or interest
  3. Prerequisites for school