Exponential Pathways - Administrative Portal

Flexible Management for a Youth Career Pathways Advising Platform

The administrative portal for Exponential Pathways (XP) helps admins create career readiness assignments, support advising, and track analytics by class/cohort, school/site, district/organization in addition to allowing site admins create and manage all organizations through a hierarchal system.
Context: 8 months
Role: UX Product Designer
Tools: Figma, Adobe Creative Suite, Jira, Miro
Check it out: https://www.vantagepoint-inc.com/products/exponential-pathways
Problem: Different organizations have different needs, processes, and systems.
Opportunity: How might we build a management system accommodating organizations’ pre-existing approaches while making integration seamless?
Solution: A management platform that can create custom hierarchies with cascading access to reflect organizations’ preexisting practices without straining educators.

Enhancing Existing Systems with Flexible Integration

Organizations use various systems for career pathway guidance, from guidance counselors to specific teachers or individuals. Our system emphasizes flexibility, seamlessly integrating with existing structures to meet each organization's unique needs. It provides customizable administrative levels, enabling organizations to adjust with as much or as little administrative oversight as needed while promoting access across multiple levels.

Engagement First: Empowering Student Connection with Educators

The administrator portal prioritizes strengthening the educator-student connection, aiming beyond mere task tracking. The student dashboard emphasizes information beneficial for meaningful discussions between educators and students, such as their goals, strengths, and skill suitability.

Supporting Staff Through Reducing Administrative Burden

The objective was to lighten the workload of educators, who often have countless tasks, by delegating administrative duties to specific admins or site administrators. This redirection enables teachers to concentrate on enhancing student involvement. Duties such as creating, organizing, and managing classes can now be effectively performed by other administrators.

Simplified Administration with Intuitive Organization & User-Centric Creation

Simplified interfaces allow users to access necessary information quickly. The organization, assignment, and student interfaces display varying data based on admin searches. The assignments interface collects valuable information from students to promote deeper discussions. To prevent confusion and clutter, only essential information is displayed.

Exponential Pathways' Background Information

Exponential Pathways (XP) is a digital career readiness advisement platform, co-developed with the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL), for teachers or advisors at high school districts and workforce boards to support career readiness lesson plans for 8th-12th grade students, young adults, and opportunity youth including interest and skill assessments, matching to local career paths and exposure to short-term and long-term skill-building activities they can pursue.

Check it out: https://www.vantagepoint-inc.com/products/exponential-pathways

My Initial Task Was to Develop 4 Distinct Levels

Initially, I was assigned to create four levels of administration: 1. site admin, 2. super admin, 3. principal admin, and 4. teacher admin. Each level controlled the level beneath it. The site admin at the top had complete control over the application, while the teacher admin at the bottom could only manage their assigned cohort and its functions.

We Quickly Found a Problem

However, we encountered an issue as we interacted with more school workers. Different systems have different needs. One organization's hierarchical structure might differ from another's. For example, an after-school organization using the application might not need as many levels of administration as a school district.

I Translated My Insights Into Wireframes.

Unfortunately, the initial wireframes weren't properly documented and were misplaced during the transition from conception to writing this case study.

After showcasing the initial product version to the leaders of the pilot programs, I noticed educators weren't fully satisfied. This led me to collect valuable feedback and reassess the distribution of access levels and corresponding responsibilities. During testing, we staged the product for internal trials. This step helped us spot and fix any issues before the full launch with our pilot partners at the start of 2023.

The main change was the separation of the organization creation process, with site administrators taking responsibility and the management levels adjusting for flexibility accordingly.

Project Reflections

Documentation is Key
In my first official product role, I didn't prioritize documenting my processes, past iterations, and work. I lost some of my work when I lost access to my company email and had to fill in the gaps for this case study. This experience taught me the importance of thorough documentation, which I can consistently access to present my designs properly.

Working with Engineers
Creating a product requires collaboration between designers, engineers, and PMs. This role taught me effective communication and how to present ideas to our engineering team rather than assuming they would automatically understand. Sometimes, it also meant reassessing the problem and finding a compromise that satisfied everyone's needs.

Reach out to me for more information.

© 2024 Francis Phan