CK-12 Foundation is a learning platform that enables users to learn in their own unique way. I was one of the four founding employee of this company. Along with the team, we built a learning platform from ground with the vision of free education materials for the K-12 common core.
The original use case of CK-12 Foundation targeted from a K-12 teacher's perspective. So the main feature set evolved around letting teachers upload the content that they need to make it a successful day-to-day curriculum in the classroom.
At the time of the initial ideation of the web application, I jumped straight into Adobe Photoshop to create wireframes as I was fairly efficient with it, at the same time, there were also a limited number of online wireframe tools available at the time. Here are some of the initial wireframes.
As with any startup and/or small teams, there were very little defined processes. We wanted to move and release as fast as we could. So time to market was crucial, we moved quickly and went live quickly. Features were added as we went, templates were created. So more often than not, I found myself coding the screens and features on the fly without doing any mocks or wireframes.
Browsing the Immense Content
Content is king, one might hear that often in the EdTech industry, and CK-12 had lots of it. So one of the main challenges through out the years at CK-12 was to figure out how to present all that content to the users in a sensible manner. At the beginning it was actually easier, we only dealt with books of the broad subjects that fell under Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math.
Through user research and focus groups, we realized that the textbook paradigm is still the same as to what is offered in the classroom, we have not made any particular impact on how students learn. This is when we decided that we need to have two main user stories - teachers AND students.