Chuk Moran

Research & Design

Foundry Assignments

This case study covers the assignment UX for the Foundry project, an edtech platform used to assign harassment training at companies (among other uses).

The new Foundry platform replaced a number of legacy platforms where assignments were handled in a very granular way. Every single learner assigned a course was tracked separately, but there was no way to manage these at an aggregate level even if the user assigned 100 people the same course on the same day with all the same parameters.

When I first arrived at the company, I spent much of my time using SQL and Python to analyze usage patterns. It was clear to me that assignments were mostly made in a few very large batches. This resonated with my teaching experience, and I pushed for the idea that the project should make these batch assignments central for the admin. Ultimtaely, we wanted admins to assign more content to more people, so this was a key opportunity for UX to help the business!

I was involved for over two years, from early brainstorming to migration and onboarding for hundreds of customers.

  • Role: Research & Design
  • Client: EVERFI
  • Tools: Sketch, Invision, Axure, Interviews, user testing
  • Duration: 2 and a half years
  • Year: 2017-2019

Sketch of batch assignment concept
This sketch introduces the idea of a list of all assignments, binned by year and filtered by a couple of terms. Within the list, I suggested we use cards because there was too much information for table columns and because I wanted the user to relate to these batch assignments as substantial objects and not just tiny records. The batch assignments should be the basic reality, not just one more possible view.
Actual assignment form
While early designs had merged assignment creation, editing, and viewing into one editable card or card with modals, engineering constraints forced us to accept a hard division between assignment creation/editing and viewing. The cards would just summarize these forms. This form shows the complexity of an assignment and some of the solutions we found with our visual designer for presenting such a complex and high-stakes form.
Assignment automation on the whiteboard
To establish value for the new platform, we absolutely had to establish a new and powerful feature. Our PM chose automated assignments and we considered many ways to implement this to best serve our main use cases. Here is an early whiteboard concept trying to join a "check for eligible learners each day" pattern with a "check for eligible learners each year" pattern.
Setting criteria for a query-driven assignment
The other "automated" part of an automated assignment is dynamic learner selection: rather than select a fixed list of learners, the user can establish criteria for inclusion in the assignment. Although we had designed a condition builder interface for this, the LoEs from engineering forced product management to convert the existing filter pattern for this job. Here, we finally got the filters styled appropriately with reasonable copy and a panel indicating the user's selection and its implications.
Assignments screen
We ended up with this assignment management screen, which looks pretty good. However, whenever a new issue came up forcing us to add another feature or warning in the product, it would take a few sprints before the design could be cleaned up. Bloat hit us hard and fast on this page.
Quick vs Auto
As the design shifted from editable cards to form-and-summary, our original pattern of "add automation to an assignment" was no longer helpful. In this PM-lead design change, we came up with an interstitial modal explaining the difference to users. I was responsible for writing and UX on this and we agreed my strategy was to flaunt that the product has the feature, but make it easier for users to proceed with a manul assignment (closer to what they were used to in our legacy platforms)
The system's report on learner progress
Assignments get training out, but the results of those assignments have to be counted up across all assignments. The final question for admins, like for teachers, is "did everyone get the education we promised?" Here, an embedded Tableau report allows admin users to focus in segments of their training population and get quick answers to key questions about training. I lead design across several deployed iterations, working closely with the data platform team.