Discovery, Design, and Development
UX/UI, Strategy, and Development
A Challenging Request Asks for a Charming Solution
In 2020, the global pandemic affected children’s ability to access education, particularly in underserved communities. As part of their mission to break the cycle of poverty through ongoing educational support, Start2Finish knew they could rise to the challenge and provide not only an accessible but also a fun solution for kids across Canada. However, they needed a partner who could empathize with the problem and take their idea into a digital reality.
It is no surprise that drawing kids’ attention can be hard, so when moving all their after-school programming from in-person to online, Start2Finish realized that they would need to get creative. In this direction, TTT Studios was inspired and committed to creating a solution that went beyond class integration and offered kids consistency in their lives by means of a charming and easy-to-use digital experience.
As a result, Brainworx! was born – a free after-school online platform led by volunteer Coaches and Mentors that cultivates positive screen time, social-emotional learning and community building.
Growth in Junior Coach Program enrollment (Grades 7 to 8)
Students enrolled in Online Programs by December 2022
Growth in student engagement from fall 2021 to fall 2022
Digital Solutions that Spark Change
Our recommended process aimed to deliver a digital experience that stimulated children’s communication and positive development while being mindful of Start2Finish’s non-profit model. The answer was in building a fun custom web portal with robust admin capabilities and all required MVP features, harnessing design templates that allowed the team to work more efficiently.
How Did We Get There?
Purpose Through Great Design
Initially, the task was to create a digital solution that helped Start2Finish run a seamless experience for their after-school workshops online for children from first to eighth grade. During this first phase, it was important to run Discovery sessions that helped understand the problem in detail, and map their users’ journeys to discover their underlying needs and platform requirements before discarding any ideas.
Based on the findings, a technical analysis at the Define stage helped to identify the solution that provided the highest value for the client’s investment. Here is where creative problem-solving played an important role, and a custom solution was preferred.
The direction was clear; we needed to develop a platform that is not only useful, but also easy to use, and fun for children. More specifically, the team designed a portal where admins could manage users, upload course outlines, and create workshop groups we diced to call “Pods” to promote a sense of community. From there, volunteer Coaches and students could access the platform to retrieve or upload files and videos, award points for attendance and activities, and manage upcoming sessions.
Our planning revolved around never losing sight of the client’s main considerations and working under a streamlined approach to ensure efficiency. The team harnessed Ant design and Emilus templates to reduce development time and resources. Because templates are premade and customizable, they allow designers to pull elements like puzzle pieces, increasing velocity by saving coding time and leaving more space to add as many features as possible to build the core functionality.
With a strong base and positive feedback regarding efficiency and cost-effective planning, Start2Finish came back to build even more custom solutions that optimized user engagement. So, to kick things up a notch, the team designed an engaging leaderboard, a message board for students and coaches to interact, as well as animations and fun avatars.
Additionally, we incorporated a self-sign-up feature to reduce strain on the admin and an attendance management system to help with grant writing and reporting.