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Designing a Student Dashboard Experience


Role: Product Designer

Tools: Figma, Qualtrics, Adobe Illustrator

Timeline: 6 weeks

Team: Austin Peete, Ruvinee Senadheera, Sav Phillips

I worked on a team of three designers during December 2020 - January 2021 to design a new student user experience for Rhymes with Reason.


Our requested deliverables included an interactive student dashboard, a creative expression board, and four depth of knowledge exercises.


Our main goal in designing each of these deliverables is to facilitate student engagement while highlighting metrics to improve motivation and reward in the classroom.

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1.  Interactive Student Dashboard

2. Playlist Progression Dashboard

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3. Four Depth of Knowledge Exercises

4. Creative Expression Board



Rhymes with Reason is a rapidly growing educational startup.


Our job was to design a new user experience infrastructure that could:


1. Support the sustainable growth and gamification of the product 

2. Fulfill the needs of students, our primary users, and teachers, our secondary users.

Tackling the Problem


Research Goals

We created a few research goals that would serve as the foundation of our design process:

  • Understand the scope of what we could design in a short period of time.​

  • Understand the immediate and long term impact of designing for infrastructure sustainability.

  • Find out what teachers and students really want out of their experience, which aspects of Rhymes with Reason are important, and what changes can be implemented 

  • Find out how to integrate new exercises and dashboard experience into Rhymes with Reason’s current design language.


Semi-Structured Interviews


Focus Groups

User Research



In this startup environment, we wanted to make sure we understood the scope of each team’s work. We conducted five brief 15-20 minute interviews with each internal team leader to orient ourselves around the scope of work we would be conducting. We conducted semi-structured interviews and presented our work to the following individuals:

  • Two Gamification Experts

  • Pre-Assessment Expert

  • CEO

  • Developer


We needed direct input from our users in order to understand what design features to create and prioritize. Our team used qualtrics to develop the survey, and the CEO provided us a list of 10-15 teachers to email the survey.

Survey Analysis

Our survey only received 5 responses. We used Qualtrics’ built in analytics tools to interpret our results. We met as a team to discuss our findings, and developed a consolidated list.

Key Findings

  • Students find it difficult to find a specific playlist and see their progress.

  • Teachers would like the ability to easily track where a student is in the lesson and know that a lesson is almost over.

  • On the student dashboard, students should primarily be able to view Progress, Profile Information, and Next/Current Activity.

  • It’s important to teachers that playlist descriptions are made visible.

  • To track student progress, teachers show them how much time was spent using the program and words learned.

Survey Pitfalls

  • We only surveyed teachers, who aren’t the primary user

  • Our sample size was too small.


Focus Groups

Our team was able to conduct a focus group with four middle-high school teachers during a 90 minute session. Knowing our limitation of not being able to reach out directly to the students-they were very helpful in helping us empathize with the thoughts and feelings of the students in their classroom.

Key Findings

  • Students need to see their progress.

  • Students need some sort of reward system.

  • Students enjoy competition and feedback.

Research Analysis

We cross referenced data from our semi-structured interviews, survey, and focus groups to consolidate our efforts into four top design priorities.

Key Findings

  1. Display User Progress

  2. Badges, Points, & Rewards

  3. Creative Expression, Sharing, & Feedback

  4. Leaderboards


With this information in mind, we began our design process.



Spotify, Khan Academy

Visual Design Language

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Homescreen Variations

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Throughout our entire research and design process we had regular progress meetings with the entire team, including stakeholders. During this time we would update everyone with our research and design progress. We would also use this time to brainstorm solutions to any speed bumps we had encountered in our work.

Once had finished our final prototypes we had three wrap up meetings. 

  • 1 Prototype walkthrough with entire Rhymes with Reason team

  • 1 Prototype walkthrough with stakeholders

  • 1 meeting with developer 



In the end, we designed a new student user experience that could allow students to see their progress, stay connected in the classroom, stay connected to the music that they love, and participate in a rewards system.


Our design solution also incorporated the space for a new gamification system that includes badges. We had worked closely with the gamification expert throughout our design process to ensure that we were building a design that would be sustainable in the longevity and growth of the product.


In addition to a fully functioning high fidelity prototype of a new student user experience, our team also built invaluable professional relationships with all the team members working on this project. Doors were opened for continued work with Rhymes with Reason, and for professional collaboration in other areas of our expertise.

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