ParentVUE Redesign Case Study
Lead Designer: David Wilder
- Introduction -
About a month ago I went to my first parent / teacher conference in Arlington Public Schools for my girlfriend's 11 year old daughter. Besides the obvious culture shock at how technology and school has changed since I attended, one of the ways Arlington, VA's school system communicates with parents is through an app made by Edupoint called ParentVUE. ParentVUE is the parent version of the app but they also make the StudentVUE app which is exactly what it sounds like - the student's portal to their information (grades, assignments, etc.). I thought it'd be fun to work on a small redesign of the ParentVUE app for my own enjoyment.
Current iOS app design (October 2016)
When using the current design of the app I immediately noticed an overload of information as well as some hierarchical, priority, and focus issues. Not knowing anything about Edupoint, it's backend systems, or what challenges they face with their current users was half the fun in this project. I was completely unshackeled by all those constraints which allowed me to think differently about a lot of the information. I was able to easily reconfigure parts of the app into other areas, display different pieces of information, or other things that just aren't possible in the real world when you have real systesm and real users to please. This was simply an exercise in design and fun for me.
- The Assignment -
I decided to take the first 5 screens a user might come in contact with and redesign them. I wasn't going to work on restructuring the user experience of the app. Instead, I focused on the presentation of information through redesign and branding. Knowing that the primary user of this app would be parents and all the challenges they face on a day to day basis, also played a big part in how I approached the design.
1. Login Screen
2. Student List
4. Grade Book
- Color -
For my design I chose to own the color purple. It's sprinkled throughout ParentVUE's current design but I felt like it could be used a lot more effectly to focus attention where it was needed. I chose to use it to highlight areas within the app that a user needed to focus on, such as messages, grades for each subject, or the disclosure icons so many people overlook.
- Font -
I opted for a more playful font because so many parents are daunted by technology and I wanted this app to have a bit of fun so as to encourage more use. I think this font (Filson Soft) strikes the right balance of seriousness and readability without being too formal.
- Spacing -
ParentVUE has a lot of information for parents. With all this information though, it can be very hard to find what a parent needs, so I opted to give the information much more room to breath. By giving each line ample room, it allows the user to digest the information much easier without being overwhelmed.
In the end I took several liberties with ParenVUE's design and functionality. Replacing functions such as Logout in the top menu with Settings, pruning down the amount of information on each screen, and changing the UX of the Gradebook to a swipeable card motif were just some of the strategic descisions I made during this redesign.
I had a blast working on this one. This was simply a labor of love done over the course of about a week because I don't get to work on apps and it's something I feel passionate about on a daily basis. I hope ParentVUE can overlook any criticism of their app and simply take this for what it is - just a fun project.
Thanks to Bruno and Gaby for letting me use their photos and information 🙂