How might we create an immersive reading experience that engages and stimulates students?

We all came from different countries and experienced a different education backgrounds, but here in the U.S., the education system is sub par.We wanted to create an app that helps high school students to have a better learning experience. Enter Kiwi. This app allows the students to have an immersive reading experience and allows teachers to keep track of students and create customized quizzes.

 

This project was funded by Verizon Connected Futures by NYC media lab and received a honorable mention in Fast Company’s 2016 Innovation by Design Awards.

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Team

Collaborated with Paola Rangel, Uijun Park and Kuo Zhang.
Duration: 4 weeks
My role entailed:
1. UI: Created overall UI for Kiwi
2. UX: Provided wireframes for chapter quizzes
3. Prototyping: Used Principle to demo the app and Vuforia for the AR feature.

 Team Kiwi (sans Kuo) presenting at Verizon Connected Futures II demo day.

Team Kiwi (sans Kuo) presenting at Verizon Connected Futures II demo day.

Challenges

We had a short amount of time to complete project and create a demo video. As a group, we had many ideas and had to eliminate some of them due to the time frame. 

After we received funding the pressure was on for us to release a beta version. Kiwi had so many great features that we did not know where to start building the app. The highlight feature was a minimal viable feature that was able to work with any book.


Research Findings

Our math skills are falling. Our reading skills are weakening. Our children have become less literate than children in many developed countries.
— Wired

When students are using technology as a tool, they are in an active role rather than a passive role of recipient of information transmitted by a teacher or textbooks. We want students and teachers to use Kiwi to generate, obtain, manipulate or display information from physical textbooks. Kiwi will creatively tailor reading experiences for each student based on what that student needs.

We all know that high school students have a very short attention span. They would rather play with their phones, gossip about boys/girls and sneak alcohol whenever possible. So telling a high school student to read a chapter of the fall of the Roman empire or the strategic ending of Romeo and Juliet can be hopeless.
During our research we found out that:

  • 75% of students say that technology helps them achieve their academic outcomes
  • 55% of students say they wish their instructors used more simulations or educational games (Source: securedgenetworks.com)
  • Schools and their wireless networks must be ready to support the latest technology

Information Architecture

There are 2 parts of Kiwi, the highlight feature and icon based content. The highlight feature which is the core value proposition can be used in any book. The icon based content which is known as the extended content is only used by speciality text book of kiwi.

 
 Kiwi IA map

Kiwi IA map

 

Core value proposition: Kiwi can be used with any book and highlight content. In addition they can save, share, search and add notes to their highlights. With this feature, students no longer worry about to take notes in rented textbooks. Also this feature helps students manage highlighted contents in the menu.

 
  Step 1  Kiwi will automatically scan the page on your physical book

Step 1
Kiwi will automatically scan the page on your physical book

  Step 2  After Kiwi scans, you can use the marker to highlight your text in the app.

Step 2
After Kiwi scans, you can use the marker to highlight your text in the app.

  Step 3  Then, you can like it, share it, add notes or search on wiki to improve your learning.

Step 3
Then, you can like it, share it, add notes or search on wiki to improve your learning.

 

Extended content: This feature is available on icon based textbooks, which will provide video, augmented reality and quizzes. Students do not have enough time to digest dense information quickly. This features helps them get important information that are directly relevant to a page in a textbook very quickly.

  Step 1  See an icon and scan it to enhance your learning with these playful icons.

Step 1
See an icon and scan it to enhance your learning with these playful icons.

  Step 2  Get augmented reality contents, videos, and fun quizzes.

Step 2
Get augmented reality contents, videos,
and fun quizzes.

 

 

User Flow

The flow shows how the user interacts with Kiwi. The first segment is how the user will walkthrough how to make a highlight with Kiwi. 

 
 Highlight user flow

Highlight user flow

 Extended features

Extended features


 

Wireframes

 

 

Look and Feel

After finalizing functionality and interaction in the wireframes we moved to create a colorful and simple UI that works best with our audience. All the features of Kiwi are called out seperately to have a better understanding.

 

On-boarding

First time users will see an on-boarding demo on how to use Kiwi.

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Highlight

After the user scans the textbook, they can use the marker to highlight text in the app. Then, they can like, share, add notes or search in Wiki to improve their learning.

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Quiz

Kiwi provides simplified quizzes, to test their knowledge in each chapter. The app will keep track of the users scores and provide feedback on what to improve.

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Augmented Reality

Allows students to unlock digital information on top of the physical book that can be viewed through Kiwi.

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What is Next? 

Kiwi was funded through Verizon and from January - April 2017, we build the MVP version of Kiwi which included the highlight feature of Kiwi.

Highlight feature of Kiwi, using text recognition open source.