examCORE

e-learning platform for practitioners in safety profession 

 
 
 

Role

UX Designer,

UX Researcher

Timeline

Aug 2019 - Oct 2019

Tools 

Adobe XD, Balsamiq, Pen & Paper

The Problem

Meet Richard, a safety coordinator wanting to achieve the CSP (Certified Safety Professional) credentials. He has to take an examination administered by BCSP.

With a busy schedule and avoiding expensive options like in-class sessions, he looks for online resources, but to his dismay, there's not a lot of credible sources available fitting his schedule. With low-quality material and not enough practice makes it difficult to achieve his credentials.

Richard's Dilemma.

How might we increase the efficiency and quality of preparing for certification exams considering the busy schedule and without increasing the financial burden?

Track your progress with Pre and Post tests and an easy dashboard

Module-wise separated material and videos. 

Track your progress with Pre and Post tests and an easy dashboard

The Solution

 examCORE 

examCORE is an asynchronous learning management system, which helps with preparation for the certification exams. It was build by keeping in mind adult learning and is based on four phases of exam preparations.

The test taker, needs help with Planning for his test, understanding and learning the concepts, retaining information, and last but not the least, practicing for the actual exam. 

examCORE tries to be a complete solution when considering preparing for BCSP certification exams in occupational safety.

 Planning

Plan your prep with ease and view your progress at a glance

Take a pre-test to get a baseline of your preparedness, and examCORE helps you with planning. Focus on your weaker modules and skim through the stronger modules.

Learning

Learn by watching videos on your own pace and convinience

All the concepts explained by Subject Matter Experts help with learning at your own pace. Easy module wise separated content.

Retention

Retain information with quick challenge quizzes and fun exercises

Check if the new things you learned are retained with challenge questions, have fun with exercises, and test at the end of every module.

Practice

Practice with ample Simulated Exams & Practice Tests to be prepared for

D-Day

The Process

Research

Competitive Analysis

Focus Group

Guerilla Interviews

User Journeys

Design

Brainstorming

Information Architecture

Wireframes

High Fidelity Mock-ups

Evaluate

Usability Testing

Customer Feedback

Research

1. Competitive Analysis

I conducted a competitive analysis, to understand what kind of courses and online training is available online. There are different competitors, providing online training, but mostly it was live training consisting of lectures for a few days and did not have a full package of exam prep, including enough practice tests.
The credibility of the material available was also questionable as BCSP does not provide them with the actual content. 

2. Focus Group

 I conducted two remote focus groups. One was with people working in the Safety Industry in the United States who are credential holders and the other was with credential holders out the States.

3. Guerilla Interviews

Coincidently, I was attending a Safety Conference in Chicago and major attendees were students completing their undergraduate in Occupational Safety fields taking the credential exams in the near future .
I conducted Guerilla Interviews with a few students to understand their goals and needs. They are the once, just starting their career in Occupational Safety and need the most guidance in exam prep.

  1. What are your goals in the future?

  2. How are you planning to study for your credential exams?

  3. What are your online references?.

  4. Would you use a BCSP approved LMS?

  5. What do you prefer to study the most?

  6. How much practice do you need?

  7. Do you like books or prefer watching videos?

Research Synthesis 

Who are the users?

Based on the research, I realized that there were three types of users with different viewpoints and goals while prepping for the credential examination. I created 3 user personas.

worldwide SH&E professionals 

 Students graduating with

SH&E degree 

Affinity Mapping

WIth the help of all the data collected by the research, my team-mates and I, conducted an affinity mapping session, to narrow down goals and problems and focus on the important key requirements of the product.

With the help of Affinity Mapping, I found that users were facing problems for preparations in four different phases as showed at the very beginning.

How does the user currently solve the problem?

After narrowing down the problems in four different phases of exam prep, I created a user journey based on the four phases to find opportunities to solve their problem.

 Emotions

Pain point #1

planning to study according to the blueprint. Overwhelmed by so much to do, hence can't keep track.

Design Opportunity #1

help prepare a study plan and keep track of how much to do, avoiding the overwhelming experience 

 Emotions

Pain point #2

Search many different platforms available online for different things, some of which are not up-to-date with the exam blue print. 

Design Opportunity 2

A way to make credible sources available in one platform and up-to-date according to the exam blueprint.

Pain point #3

Take out time for virtual in-class training which is expensive and only available on specific dates.

Design Opportunity #3

Eliminate the need for virtual in-class training, by making content available throughout, so that user can study on his own time and availability.

 Emotions

Pain point #4

No way to keep track if learned information is retained. Have to keep revising from all the different resources

Design Opportunity #4

A way to quickly revise information that is learned and help better retain and revise it.

 Emotions

Pain point #5

Has to buy expensive tests to prepare oneself to go through the exam and be prepared for D-Day.

Design Opportunity #5

Create a way to be fully prepared for the exam.

Design

Ideation and Brainstorming

Design Opportunity #1:

How might we help users with their study plan avoiding an overwhelming experience? 

Every person has a different strategy to study as well as different strong and weak points. How can we help create a personal study plan?

Brainstorming for this problem, I remembered, I was prepping for my GRE test a while ago and Manhattan prep used to give a free test for you to understand your strong and weak points.

Based on that, I brainstormed a solution to this problem which could help the user and the system understand the weak and strong points.

A pre-test to get a baseline score. To avoid guesswork, select confidence for every answer. This will give a better idea of test-takers knowledge. 

Based on the pre-test, a segregated weak and strong modules list. This would help the user with overwhelming feelings and help concentrate on a few things first.

A status bar showing the score and things completed, to keep the user motivated.

Design Opportunity #2 & #3:

How might we make all credible resources easy to access and help the user to study on his own terms?

Online classes are not a new thing. I checked other MOOC platforms like Coursera, Udemy, Lynda, and got inspiration from these platforms. 

Design Opportunity #4 & #5:

How might we help users with the retention of information and keep them motivated to practice more? 

Retention is only possible with repetition. Apps like Duolingo teach new languages with the help of repetition. To help retention of information, I found out 4 ways.

Challenge Questions

At the end of every video,  to see how much is understood

Simulated Exams

To practice for the actual test as many times as necessary

Module end tests

To challenge yourself to change weak modules to strong modules

Exercises

Have fun and learn in a quick way.

Information Architecture

After Ideating and coming up with features for the product, I created Information Architecture so that I have a better understanding of the flow of the product.

Low-Fidelity Prototypes

Challenge Question after every video.

Take a pre-test and select confidence. 

See Pre-test Results

See the weak and strong modules list.

All videos separated module-wise and can viewed in any manner. A status bar on top to show your progress at all times.

Based on the Information Architecture, I created the low-fidelity prototypes to discuss with stakeholders and conducted a few user tests.

Select exercises based on  each module

Easy link to resources related to the modules

Take notes to revise at any time of the video

Challenge Questions at the end of every video for quick revision

Learn and revise definitions with the help of short and easy exercises

I conducted user testing with a few people. Based on the user-testings, I found out a few things that had to be changed. 

1. The navigation was not easy. Due to all the videos and the status bar, if people wanted to access simulated exams or practice tests, that was 2-3 clicks away. So they had trouble finding exactly what they wanted.

2. The status bar always being on top, took a lot of space and did not have all the elements they wanted to see.   

High-Fidelity Prototypes

Based on the findings from my in-house user testing and I made changes to the low-fidelities and came up with the final prototypes.