GradeCraft is a gameful learning management system designed to give students more autonomy in the classroom.

screenshot of GradeCraft on desktop and mobile

The Problem

Self-determination theory (Ryan & Deci, 2000) says that in order to feel intrinsically motivated, people need to be able to make meaningful choices over what they are doing (autonomy), be challenged by a task but feel like they can succeed (competency), and feel connected to those around them (belongingness). This can be difficult to accomplish in the classroom setting. The GradeCraft research team drew inspiration from video games to build a system where students no longer begin with 100% and lose as they complete assessments, but rather one where they start with zero points and earn up as they complete experiences and show content mastery.

My Role

As a UX Designers on this project, I’ve helped conduct large usability tests with diverse groups of student users. Once our interviews were complete, I identified areas of the app that needed improvement, prioritized them in a comprehensive UX report, and created new designs for the development team. I created personas and behavior flows to help contextualize the feedback, which helped the team put themselves in their users’ shoes. I've enjoyed working closely with Marie Hooper, the lead front end developer and UX Designer for GradeCraft.

personas for the GradeCraft application

Prioritizing the work

I also led prioritization activities where the UX team members organized the feature requests by user impact, while the development team shifted the tasks along the grid of technical feasibility. I really enjoy this type of activity because it allows team members in every role to contribute. When you’re done, it’s clear which tasks the team should tackle first (quadrant 1) and which ones you probably shouldn’t pursue (quadrant 3).

a feature prioritization activity on the whiteboard