Branding, User Experience, Experience Design
Xpand is a tablet-based application with the intention to not replace, but supplement the written textbook. The prompt for this project was to simply reinvent the textbook for high school, but this project developed into exploring how different students would have the opportunity to learn real applicable skills and use hands-on tactics to help those who would otherwise be disadvantaged in a strict learning environment.
The Xpand project will lead you through the research, process, lo-fi and hi-fi screens, show the branding behind Xpand, and show the fully animated video promotion for this prototype.
Research and Process
Starting on this deep dive into understanding the modern student, I researched what skills teachers felt were needed for a successful student and by extension adult. With that I also researched and interviewed current high school students to see what advantages and disadvantages they felt they had at school, in the classroom, and physically with their textbooks.
From these findings, I developed two types of students: Cara Williams as the academically gifted student, and Ezra Peters as the more unconventional learning student. These aren't to say the "good and bad" students, but rather two individuals who learn in two different ways and excel and fail in different ways.
The task flows developed into three objectives I wanted to show: Starting Class, Exploring the Lesson, and Group Discussion. This particular example was based off of an Astronomy lesson on stars. These taskflows were applied to each persona and used to show a journey map outlining high points and low points for each.
The teacher's role was used to show how easily it would be to track and measure each person's progress while also keeping easy tabs on their activities, goals, and weaknesses that could be addressed separately.
Lo-fi to Hi-fi
Once I understood exactly all I wanted our personas to do within this app, I laid out each of the visual screens with a focus on the need for exploration. Some kids can read a chapter of a textbook and understand everything, but some kids need to find the answers and apply them to best get the concept.
Being able to reference parts of the text and use them to discover specific facts from using Augmented Reality Star Charts would help the application from fact to problem solving. Marking off small tasks help students understand why they did what they did as well.
The branding behind the Xpand textbook suite is based off the abstraction of children moving beyond what they know and what they think they can do. The mark denotes upward trajectory and movement with dashed motifs.
The colors and typography needed to be bold and eye-catching without being too naive. These textbooks are aimed at the curious, so it was needed to capture that attention without overwhelming them.
Xpand plays off the need for children and teenagers to not just memorize facts, but apply concepts. These types of apps could help revolutionize how our classrooms are conducted with extensions beyond just in the classroom.
I would also love if this type of hands-on learning was applied to help those kids who may not be traditionally "academically smart" from failing to maximize their learning experience during such an important phase in their cognitive development.