SPARQ was a passion project for the team at Propeller Studios. As a team, we wanted to create a platform that would encourage and excite lifelong learners to try something new, improve their skills, and have adventures.
While initially it seemed obvious to focus on helping students find interesting subjects and activities to participate in, we also realized that enabling the would-be teachers to post their classes was essential. Unless we provided the right solution for the teachers that was free and easy to use, the teachers would not use our platform and there would be no classes for the students.
Our first task was to find out if there was market interest in this kind of platform. In the past, Propeller had gotten a similar product off the ground, so we started with its former users as our first research market. We sent out questionnaires and contacted previous vendors to gauge market interest.
After establishing that this would be a worthwhile pursuit, we decided to brand what we were at the time calling “Alphabet Soup”. I led the SPARQ product branding journey, from ideation to final logo design.
To ensure the Propeller team stayed laser-focused and made collective decisions that were beneficial to our product, we each completed a questionnaire and then met for a goal setting exercise. This document became our north star, and something to frequently check back on as we navigated the product design journey.
Because there were three primary user groups for this product, the personas had to cover a wide variety of users with varying degrees of technical expertise. For the managers — their goal is to ensure their teachers’ schedules are managed. For the teachers — they need to be able to quickly review their stats, sign-ups, and gauge interest. Lastly, for students — they want to quickly and easily find great courses that they are excited to take.
Home Page (student view)
The primary goal for the end-user (student), is to find and sign up for a class. We made this as easy as possible by allowing students to jump straight into a category filter from the home page.
Teacher Profile Page (student view)
When choosing a class to take, our research told us that it’s important to the student to know more about who the teacher is and their qualifications. That is why we built an in-depth teacher profile, so students can know exactly who they are learning from, their background, plus other courses they may offer.
Individual Class Listing (student view)
All the details the student needs to know in one place. Plus easy breadcrumbs allow students to easily orient themselves and the categories they have already sorted through.
Invite to SPARQ (teacher view)
Because our platform would be unknown in the space, we knew self-marketing was important. Using the easy invite form, teachers are encouraged to invite others to join the platform.
Teacher Dashboard (teacher view)
Teachers can learn at a glance how much attention their class is getting, how often their class is coming up in the search, and how many people have signed up for their class.
Add a Class (teacher view)
Adding a class shouldn’t be a daunting undertaking but teachers need to ensure they provide enough information to compel a student to sign up. In this early wireframe, we made the number of fields feel far less overwhelming with collapsable sections.
While this product never finished development due to a lack of resources, it was an extremely rewarding project that expanded my skillset. If the product were to be explored further, the next step would be prototyping and user testing to refine our product.