iOS App Design
AppTutor is a groundbreaking mobile platform application that allows parents and students to find the most suited tutor within their city and postal code with the help of advanced, user-friendly technology.
AppTutor have developed an iOS mobile app where everybody can get valuable help from qualified private tutors; teachers and education consultants to help both parents and students make the right decision for their children’s future.
AppTutor commissioned me to design the concept for the new AppTutor iOS mobile application.
This included designing and developing a promotional website which showcases the mobile app, highlights the benefits of why you should use the app, and how you can register if you are a tutor.
Working closely with Thamur, a tutor himself and the owner of AppTutor, we identified the business goals and requirements in a requirements gathering and project kickoff workshop. We discussed the aims of the app, how the different types of users will utilise the app’s capabilities, and how two experiences would need to be designed – one for parents/students, and one for the tutors.
We worked with a lean canvas to define the key problems we would be solving, the different customer segments, their unique offering, details of their solution, and any key metrics we were working to.
With requirements defined, I began researching similar apps to help make strategic design and user-experience decisions related to competitor products, functions and features, to give AppTutor the competitive edge within the private tutoring sector.
I found a few different types of tutoring apps, both for iOS and Android. They all offered a similar service whereby users would register and be connected with different tutors. A lot of the other app’s were more “Skype” based virtual classroom apps, and it seemed there weren’t many in the market that offered a solution to simply locate a tutor in your area who would come to your home and provide one on one tutoring.
We decided that AppTutor should play on this gap in the market and offer something completely different, so we decided that we would work with the concept of “Uber for Tutors” where users can see where different tutors are located in relation to themselves on a map, view the tutors profiles and make a booking.
We also noticed that many of the app’s had a dated UI so decided that we would work to create a really slick and modern UI so it would really stand out amongst the crowd.
To get an understanding of the potential audience that AppTutor could reach, I researched into private tutoring statistics and a few of the key facts I discovered were:
“More than 40% of pupils in London have a private tutor at some point in their school career”
– The Guardian
“A survey of more than 1,600 teachers found that four out of 10 state school teachers have earned money as private tutors outside school”
– The Guardian
“52% of those pupils asked said the main reason was to prepare for a specific test or exam. A slightly smaller number (50%) cited help with school work in general”
– SuperProf Magazine
The market for private tutoring in the UK represents approximately £2bn a year making the UK one of the biggest spenders on tutoring worldwide.
With budgets being tight, my research into the potential types of users was used to create a set of proto design personas were created to identify user goals, current behaviour, and pain points.
Three proto-personas were created:
An 18 year old 6th form student currently studying for her A-Levels in Art and Design, English Literature and Information Technology. She is finding Information Technology more difficult than she thought and is falling behind on her coursework. She wants to find some extra help from someone who is experienced in Information Technology and would like a mobile app to locate a private tutor close to her home.
A 35 year old male with a young son who is finding mathmatics difficult at school. He wants to help his son by providing private tuition in the evenings to give his son more confidence in school. He wants an way of being able to search for and communicate with potential tutors in his local area, and books on behalf of his son.
A 45 year old Geography teacher who enjoys helping students outside of school to achieve the best grades possible. He would like a place where he can offer his services as a private Tutor. As he works full-time, he wants to be able to set his hours to only a few evenings a week so needs a tool where he can control bookings, set his hours and price, and show potential clients his availability.
These proto-personas were then explored further to map out their potential journeys highlighting of all the potential touch points they may come into contact with AppTutor. This helped to understand what screens would be needed within both areas of the app, and how to make the user experience of finding, contacting and booking a tutor as seamless as possible.
IA and Site Map
Once the user journeys were defined, I then planned the information structure and navigation of both sections of the app. I then organised the and prioritised the screen hierarchy within a sitemap using Axure to ensure that no parts of the users journey would be missed.
Sketches and Lo-Fi Wireframing
To start with, I began sketching some ideas on paper of how the app could look, taking into account the different flows and making the user journeys as simple as possible.
Once I had a rough idea of the layout, I used Axure to create some more refined low-fidelity wireframes which I used to present the initial app concepts to Thamur to help him visualise the end result.
With the approval of the low-fidelity wireframes, I then worked up the high-fidelity app screens translating all the ideas, research and concepts into a workable prototype optimised for a range of iOS devices.
To give a better sense of the user flow and how each persona would interact with the app, I created a fully interactive prototype used to test the UI design and iterate further to create the best user experience possible.
Feel free to have a play:
User feedback and iterations
Using the high-fidelity prototype, I gathered user feedback through remote usability testing to correlate both positive and negative feedback based on the designed user experience. I then used the findings from the testing to continuously iterate and re-test the designs before moving onto the website build.
App development and go-live
Once the UI was all signed off and agreed, I handed off the design files and assets to the developer commissioned by AppTutor. At present, the app is still under development but is hoped to be released in the short future.