Often times the best way to learn something new is to find someone who's an expert on the topic interested in teaching you. Our task was to create a mobile application that allows users to find other individuals with the goal of teaching each other various skills.
- College senior, Violin major
- Debating career path between teaching and joining the Pittsburgh orchestra
- Enjoyed helping her peers in school but unsure if she can teach someone with little or no experience
- Worried that she won't know how to structure music lessons but wants to have a positive impact on people's lives
How can I combine my
passion for music
with teaching? Would I
even be a good teacher?
- Junior art major, minor in CS
- Busy course load, member of the soccer team, works a few hours a week as an art instructor
- Has an interest in music from guitar lessons in high school, wants to try his hand at learning the piano
- Would prefer to be able to meet other people to play music with in the process
I have so many passions
that I want to explore, the
possibilities are endless!
- 23 year old recent graduate
- Just moved to Pittsburgh for her new job,looking to make new friends
- Wants to dabble in the arts but is open to learning any new skill
- Has a graphic design background, would be willing to teach if people are interested
I'm interest in meeting
new people in unique
and interesting ways
Through the analysis of existing skill teaching applications Simbi, Skillharbour, Tibbs, and Swapaskill, we were able to identify important components to pay special attention to while designing our app. Those components were ease of searching, facilitating communication between users, and straightforward profiles. We also discovered in the process that many other skill sharing sites functioned like e-commerce sites. Instead, we wanted to make a platform similar to social media sites where the focus is on one-on-one interactions that allow interpersonal connections to form.
Through brainstorming, we also identified additional components that we wanted our application to have that would improve the overall experience, mainly an introductory survey to tailor recommendations specific to each user as well as teaching resources to help guide users as they adapt to teaching, sometimes even for the first time.
Since our target demographic is young adults, our group also conducted user interviews from college-aged individuals with a variety of backgrounds. Our main findings were that people were less interested in learning technical skills from other people online and that some found the idea of meeting up with strangers in real life uncomfortable. From this realization, we decided to focus our app specifically on skills related to the arts and to design the application so users don't need to meet in person if they don't want to. In doing so, we also realized designing for online experiences also allowed us to include supplementary features that would allow Swap to double as a hub for useful tools while teaching.
From our research, we identified seven key features to incorporate into our application:
1. Connecting one user
2. In app messenger
3. Search bar
4. Suggested curriculum
5. Suggestions regarding
who your match is
7. Internal teaching tools
EARLY WIREFRAME PROTOTYPES
After going through rounds of task-based user testing, we refined aspects of the experience such as improving the transition between stages and altered the wording of text or appearance of buttons to avoid confusion. We also adjusted the interface to be more intuitive when completing common tasks, aligned our visual styles, and tried to give Swap a simple but artistic aesthetic.
By getting the user invested early and filling out questions so the site is customized to their needs, we are able to create a pleasant experience where the user is easily able to accomplish their task: finding someone to teach them through Swap.
ONE-ON-ONE HUMAN CONNECTIONS
Through Swap, users are able to browse other users whose skills/interests align with their's. Unlike other competitors that have interfaces which function more akin to marketplaces, we make finding other people easy and efficient. With our review system, users are also able to identify who the good teacher are as well having the ability to offer constructive criticism.
Swap features a simple, easy to use messenger where users can get to know each other and negotiate what services are being exchanged without risking their privacy. Scheduling is as easy as a click of a button from there.
Swap easily syncs with
any calendar application of your choosing so you'll able to send event requests, share your availability, and schedule meetings without even leaving the app. Once both parties come to an agreement, their calendars automatically update so no one has to worry about forgetting.
UNLOCK YOUR TEACHING POTENTIAL
Along with suggesting curriculums that help the user teaching to guide their students linearly as they improve over time, helpful related applications will appear on the teaching resources page so the teacher has all the tools they need without downloading additional apps. Users are also able to consult professional teachers for advise as well as a variety of other resources