Project Overview
In January 2023, I was employed at "Digitalschmiede Bayern" for a three-month project initiated by Digital Product School by Technical University of Munich and the Bavarian Ministry of Digitalisation
The project was part of a broader program aimed at driving the digital transformation in the public administration sector of Bayern.​​​​​​​
Team 
One interaction designer, three software engineers and one product manager.

Problem
There is a lack of teachers in Bavaria. Therefore, the pressure on Bavarian teachers is increasing, because they are burdened with the task of providing high-quality lessons to their students while lacking sufficient time for preparation.

Target Group
Majority of teachers in Bavaria, who demonstrate limited digital literacy and infrequent usage of digital tools and platforms.
Project Timeline
Research
User Interviews
To understand thoroughly the problem space and users needs and pain points, I planned and run 15 user interviews. Key findings and insights of the interviews:​​​​​​​
What do users want to do?
 They want to prepare high quality lessons and reduce the time needed to prepare them, and share the materials with their class. 

What is their current process? 
 First, they review the curriculum and books, then search online.
 They assess content quality, legality, and suitability of materials across platforms, downloading or creating new materials if they cannot find proper materials.
 Finally, they upload and share resources with their class online.

What resources and tools do they use? 
 They use a government website, several other websites and a USB flash drive that some teachers are sharing as resources and their own iPads or laptops as tools.

What obstacles do they face? 
► Checking, downloading, uploading, sharing materials with class is quite a tedious process.
American server-based solutions like Google Classroom and MS Teams are prohibited for classroom use, and they cannot find enough official content. 90% of users tried the current platform once or twice, but abandoned it for finding it too difficult to use

What do they need?
 They need a user friendly central point where they can discover, get, manage and share class materials without worrying about quality, copyright violation and suitability of the materials. 
Usability Tests with the Current Platform
I conducted usability tests to learn why 90% of users did not use the current official website. 
Key findings:
 Only 10% of users could navigate through the website and use several tools that website offers. 
 There are many different relevant and irrelevant tools for the users on the current platform, teachers don't know what they can do and how to use them.
 Users reported to be lost when entering the website (poor usability and information structure)
Main User Problems
Agile Iterations
Ideation
We started ideating for our solution through sketching and creating a story map for our product with the team. After each user tests, PM and I updated the story map with the new learnings.
Initial Prototype
We sketched a prototype and made it clickable on Figma to start user testing without losing any time.
Weekly Iterations and Low Fidelity Prototype
I proceeded with designing low fidelity prototype of the product and continued user testing during sprints and kept updating the story map together with product manager. I informed the team about my design changes and shared the insights from the tests in dailies.
I started defining components and styling for the high-fidelity interface with clear instructions and the development team began implementing them from week 6.
Here are some wireframe iterations from sprints:
Review Meetings with Stakeholders: Fostering Collaboration and Alignment
At the conclusion of each sprint, I presented the research and design aspects of our product development at stakeholder meetings. It helped us to refresh the product vision and increase the collaboration with stakeholders.
Emphasising human-centred design was particularly vital, as the public sector traditionally does not always prioritise user-centric approaches. 
By grounding my decisions in robust user research, I ensured that my design choices were rooted in actual user needs and preferences.
A Review Meeting with Stakeholders
Our Solution

U-Teach 
A user-friendly website for Bavarian teachers that offers personalised content suggestions, verified government resources, and seamless content discovery, management, and sharing, enhancing lesson quality and reducing preparation time.
Information Structure of the Content
ByCs and other government sources did not provide proper information structure, making it difficult to find relevant content for users, causing them to get lost. I referred to the official books that teachers reported using during the user research when combining the resources and content.

 The information we used has 6 levels with “Schooltype” being the highest one.
► ​​​​​​​All we created follow this structure, the Library, the detail pages and the repository.
High Fidelity Prototype
Core Features
Discover: 
I prioritised personalisation during onboarding, because it saves time when exploring and discovering content, enables users to easily navigate and engage with the platform. 
The personal landing page includes a left sidebar with useful navigation options for quick access to their classes and other official sources, and a newsfeed of content from different sources to enable them enhance their classes with new materials and to keep them up to date. 
The library is the combination the resources from four main government sources along with materials shared by Bavarian teachers and provides a centralised repository to a diverse range of educational content that users can access anywhere. 
Personalization on Registeration
Personalization on Registeration
Personal Landing Page
Personal Landing Page
Mebis Library
Mebis Library
Manage 
An organised online repository empowers users to effortlessly manage their content. They can create classes, categorise resources by subject and grade, and integrate diverse file types for enhanced learning (e.g. presentations, worksheets, interactive content).
Detail Page for Files
Detail Page for Files
Adding a File into a Class in Repository
Adding a File into a Class in Repository
Notification to Easily View the File in Repository
Notification to Easily View the File in Repository
Repository
Repository
Share
Without downloading and switching platforms, U-Teach enables teachers to effortlessly share not just individual files, but entire courses with their students in a single click. 
Product Demo
Here you can test the product as you are Hans Müller, a teacher at a Bavarian school, and want to prepare a history course for your 6th grade class so they can learn something about the Mauerfall. You decided to use U-Teach, the new website your colleagues are using to discover, manage and share their materials.
AI Ideation
Exploring AI Potential of Our Product
During our project, there were increasing reports of ChatGPT in education. This made both us and our stakeholders curious. We received several workshops on AI from the AI leaders partnering with Technical University of Munich.
I prepared and conducted an AI Ideation session within our team to explore its potential for our product and presented our use cases and possible implementations at the handover to the stakeholders.

AI Ideation Session with Team on Miro

Handover to the Ministry
After three months of dedicated work, we successfully delivered all the product deliverables to our stakeholders from the ministry. They expressed high satisfaction with the outcome and even showed interest in a crash course on conducting user interviews and tests. I received feedback from the stakeholders stating that the user research I conducted has significantly influenced their mindset. They now express a strong willingness to embrace a user-centred approach, despite initially denying its value at the beginning of our project.
We had another meeting to discuss the next steps for how they can implement the product and integrate user centred approach into their practice as well as the AI potential of the product. 
Handover to the Ministry
Handover to the Ministry
Review Meeting with Stakeholders for the Next Steps
Review Meeting with Stakeholders for the Next Steps
AIdeation Presentation during Handover
AIdeation Presentation during Handover
Reflection 
Being involved in the creation of a new product from the ground up is a complex and demanding experience, but it is also incredibly rewarding.
Throughout the journey of product development, I adapted my role to suit each phase and provide support to my team as required. As a researcher, I delved deeply into the problem domain, seeking insights and understanding. Employing my creative abilities, I devised design solutions that effectively tackled the issues faced by our users, consistently advocating for their needs throughout the entire process. Moreover, I facilitated the comprehension of user requirements within our team, seamlessly integrating them into the product while offering clear guidelines for features and styling.
One of the major lessons learned is that aligning the objectives of stakeholders with the user needs is a pivotal aspect in establishing a human-centric product. Constantly delivering insights gathered from interviews and testing, ensuring effective communication, and establishing clear limitations and a shared vision from the outset are key factors in achieving this alignment.

Have a Look at My Other Projects

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