I.ED is an editorial-based content for postgraduate students at the European Institute of Design IED in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

IED is an international design school known for its “learning-by-doing” educational approach with professionals from the design industry teaching their practices to the students.

The Challenge

How a digital product can improve the learning experience of postgraduate students at IED Rio de Janeiro?

We decided to start with a quality research with user interviews within the university. The aim was to better understand who were the students of IED Rio. In particular, how they behaved in the learning process and how they related to digital tools.

The outcome was that nearly all students had a great lack of time in deepening their studies and knowledge outside the classes. They preferred to study by online readings, appreciating the flexibility and the possibility to study whenever and wherever they wanted and could. Generally, there was a lack in theoretical knowledge and orientation.

To help us to create greater empathy with users, and come up with features for the app, we defined two personas based on student responses to our questionnaire. In order to understand the market trends that would be relevant to develop our product, we made a further research about the existing and upcoming educational digital products. Loads of sketches, wireframes and user testing were made, along with a session of card sorting to come up with a site map that corresponded to user expectations.

The result

In a hybrid learning context, which comprised a phase in an online environment, focused on content, and a face-to-face phase, our digital product fits exactly into the online phase. A key point of our MVP was to eliminate (or at least reduce) the dispersion, distraction and lack of time that users encountered when trying to accomplish the key task of studying by reading online content.

As a result, we presented an application with a minimal interface that follows IED’s brand guidelines with a progressive disclosure of few daily curated and personalized content relevant to the student’s course.