Age of Learning | ABCmouse

I was the second UX designer at Age of Learning / ABCmouse.com. As one of the first on the scene, it was important for us to prove the need and practice of ux design principles, as well as how it would benefit the workflow for its designers and other teams at Age of Learning. It was my job to establish standards for design practices and documentation methods—enhancing existing products, as well as for developing for new ones.

I focused on enterprise tools—both consumer-facing and internal:

  1. Enterprise Management System for China
  2. ABCmouse for Schools
  3. Education Management System 
  4. Curriculum Management Tool
  5. Art Activities Framework
  6. Art Activity Tools
  7. Child Skills Assessments
  8. Assessment Builder Admin

In order to win a relationship with school districts, there is a demand for enterprise experiences to support its curriculum-based content with many user types:

  • Curriculum builder and management tool using KSA standards—used by curriculum teams
  • Assessments and assessment builders—used by parents and teachers
  • Activity builders and content placement tools using audio, video and graphics—used by AofL staff
  • ABCmouse License distribution for schools and tracking—used by AofL staff and school district managers
  • Reporting on ABCmouse activity usage—for AofL staff and school district managers 
  • Account creation and management tools—for different localizations (China)

During my time at Age of Learning, they grew into a productive design team with standards and practices immersed in ux practices. I played a leadership role in enterprise software and am glad to have made significant contributions to the genesis of ux and its design culture. They're a great company to work for—I'm glad I had an opportunity to be a part of this hard-working, talented team of very bright people doing good things in the world.

Case Study

Summary

One of the challenges I solved in this particular tool was coordinating technical specs for the content design team and how this tool would consume a layered photoshop file with meta-data.

ABCmouse Art Activities required an updated Admin Tool to manage Art Activities. The Admin Tool needed the ability to create and publish Puzzles, Dot-to-Dots, Paint By's, Paintings and Find It's activities. I created a document to address the framework which would house these admin tools.

Basic elements from a very high level were described, with an emphasis on the basic structure and how it can expand to accommodate somewhat ambiguous future enhancements for a variety of different activity tool types.

Purpose

To provide an introduction to the framework that will house all future activity admins; to be useful for tools—tucking and hiding palettes when needed. To keep the design as simple and extensible as possible...


Art Activity Framework 

Example of a high-level waterfall document:

Implementation of the Activities Framework for Cutout Puzzles:

Age of Learning implemented several activity tools based on Art Activity Framework. While my job required me to provide UX/UI, there were often areas in this job where I needed to be a product designer as well as technical artist. I wore many hats while at Age of Learning.

Many projects involved scrum teams and so a more light-weight approach to documentation became standard. I am able to skillfully blend waterfall and scrum methodologies and atomic design to deliver what is needed to ensure the success of each project.