Macmillan Mapworks

Student Retention System

We were brought in to work with EBI MapWorks, one of Macmillan New Ventures start up companies, to revamp their student retention software. The company was expanding from four-year universities to include the two-year higher education market and wanted to do a complete overhaul from the ground up of their unique retention improving tool.

Defining the Product

Working closely with the product management, data analyst and internal design team, Tangible helped flesh out the needed features and requirement differences between the different audiences and use cases.

Workshopping with the client team.
Workshopping with the client team.

Starting with a full two-day in-person session, we led the team in brainstorming exercises to understand and document the different main use cases and customer types and needs.

Diagramming the Interactions

Interaction diagram for internal booking system in the software and annotations of high level functionality.
Interaction diagram for internal booking system in the software and annotations of high level functionality.

We worked closely with the team to work through user flows for each feature, starting with whiteboard sessions and finalizing with detailed user flow diagrams.
Early concept wireframes for search results and student profile.
Early concept wireframes for search results and student profile.

We then began fleshing out individual pages and the complex interactions of individual modules.
Wireframes exploring different functionality in the system.
Wireframes exploring different functionality in the system.

All the different states and options for an interaction were defined.
Campus settings wireframe with detailed specifications for behavior.
Campus settings wireframe with detailed specifications for behavior.

The application included multiple user types with different viewing privileges and a complex set up for the campus coordinator, who is primarily responsible for setting up the system, defining user types, creating questions for the surveys, scheduling and generally getting things up and running. We worked closely with the team and their client services team to make sure the needs of this very important primary user were addressed and that the tool was as easy to use as possible given it’s complexity.

Visualizing the Data

Dashboard mock showing all possible modules and prospective data.
Dashboard mock showing all possible modules and prospective data.

Visual design began as soon as we had agreement on the types of data visualization we wanted to expose on the dashboard. Different modules, depending on user type, defined the data visualizations for dashboards as well as printed and online reports.
An example of an executive summary report.
An example of an executive summary report.

Analysis of reading direction for past reports and proposed redesign.
Analysis of reading direction for past reports and proposed redesign.

Designed pages from the printed summary report for students.
Designed pages from the printed summary report for students.

Final documentation for the MVP functionality and visual design specifications was delivered through the client tools of Jira /Atlassian / Confluence and Envision and included written documentation, layered photoshop files and assets.

Responsive expansion for key features

Student dashboard mocks for web and mobile.
Student dashboard mocks for web and mobile.

In our round 2 engagement, working with the client to carefully estimate time against a detailed list of features, we worked through high-priority features, collaborating extensively with internal UX design and product management. We created a special responsive design version of specific features and reports for students. Final files again were delivered into user stories in Confluence and as layered photoshop – redlined – files.

Target User

  • Higher education staff and faculty
  • Students
  • Internal staff

Services Provided

  • Product strategy
  • Interaction design
  • Visual design
  • Documentation