Interaction Design Project: Amplify Education Tablet

In early 2012 I had the pleasure of working with interaction designer and author Josh Seiden of Neo. We teamed up on a project for Amplify, a division of News Corporation.

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Amplify has been developing a tablet-based education system for k – 12 students. Our task was to lead the Amplify team through an exercise in mapping how both students and faculty would use the tablet and system throughout the day and over the course of the academic year. The goal was to not only better design the system to respond to the ever-changing context and needs of students and teachers, but also to discover insights into user’s daily interaction with the tablet that might provide new opportunities  for Amplify’s system to be integrated into student’s lifestyle and daily routine.

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I created dozens of illustrations of students and faculty interacting with the Amplify tablet at various points throughout the school day and over the course of the year. It was fun to see the recent New York Times article about the Amplify education system use a similar kid/locker/electronic device combo as the above sketch in their header photo. We incorporated these illustrations with an immense story map of a day and of an academic year, noting at each point along the timeline, the specific tasks a student and a teacher would be using the tablet for.

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This exercise was very useful in giving the Amplify team a holistic understanding of the system’s daily use. From this exercise Amplify was able to then develop their educational system to address many more of the eventualities that the tablet user would encounter throughout the length of their use as well as discover and design new opportunities for personal interaction with the educational curriculum.

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