Educational Gaming — MobLab
My duties at this early stage educational gaming startup included leading the design of new games, improving the user experience of both the proctoring platform and students’ gaming (on web, Android and iOS), and all promotional efforts of the company.
I quickly realized the user experience of the platform had a number of challenges for both students and teachers.
Step One: Identifying the Problem
Essentially, the founders of the company were also the developers and designers of the software, and as brilliant scientists and economists, they were somewhat blind to the fact that their platform was not as intuitive to use as one would hope.
It was clear to me that a presentation about basic heuristics was not going to change their minds. (Though this only became clear after I gave a presentation about heuristics.)
Step Two: Prove the Problem Exists
With the support of both marketing and design, we convinced our CEO to come to CalTech, where we corralled an economics professor who was unfamiliar with our platform and had him go through our standard onboarding process. After repeatedly preventing the CEO from giving helpful advice during the experience, we were finally able to open his eyes to the usability issues that our platform presented.
At the end of the day, it WAS simple to understand how to proctor games… as long as someone was there to show you how to do it. If we hoped to become successful however, we needed to make this process scalable and easy to understand for both students and instructors without the presence of a brilliant economist.