Apple Valley High School is located in beautiful, historic Apple Valley, Minnesota. Their student body is nearly 2000. The school Multimedia Center offers access to 3 large computer labs, 8 Chromebook carts, 1 iPad cart, 1 MacBook cart, and 2 specialty rooms. The Multimedia Center is run by two media center administrators (admin) who are responsible for the reservation of these locations and computers. Previously a custom reservation platform had been created for them, but the teachers found it difficult to use and rejected it.
The current method of reserving computer labs and laptops is tedious for the teachers and a major time suck for the multimedia center employees (admin). They desire a system which:
Before visiting Apple Valley High School I looked over the rejected reservation system. What I found was a website that was able to perform the fundamental task of making a reservation and cancelling a reservation, but only one reservation at a time. Other weaknesses I found were the large number of steps it took to make a reservation and how you couldn't check availability until you had committed to several drop down menus. Having previous experience as a school teacher I knew that being able to look ahead week-by-week was important and their current week view system was lacking clarity.
I met with the Administrators of the Multimedia Center, witnessed their current system and interviewed them to learn about desired key features for the new scheduler:
- An easy to read week and month view.
- The ability to make one reservation for an entire week.
- A full screen read-only month view calendar that they can use as a calendar permanently on an iMac as a display in the room.
- Ability to edit reservations. Currently they can only delete them and make new ones.
Interactive Prototype - Drawings & First Iteration
The goals are to create a clickable calendar, shorten the user flow from login to reservation, create a more organized week view, to make it easier to the Admin to change reservations. Additionally the Admin requested a read-only month view calendar and email reminders. I began by drawing and then moved to Sketch.
Interactive Prototype - Second Iteration
The reservation system needed to be able to reserve rooms and equipment. There needed to be three different views for the teachers to use: day, week, and month. The month view was very tricky to fit all of the information in a readable format.
Interactive Prototype - Third Iteration (Final)
Hundreds of little tweaks later. I learned the advantages of linking pages in Sketch. When you're futzing over button location you don't have to remap every page like you do in Invision, even using their button templates. In all of this I can see how easily it is to lose track of the user. I spent over an hour fixing one button, after that I wasn't even sure if the button helped the user.
Deliverable - Interactive Invision Prototype
The next steps are for a developer to be contacted and the project be scoped out. I'd recommend conducting usability testing with Apple Valley High School Teachers.