Results Driven College Prep

Admitted.ly helps college bound highschoolers find schools best suited for them, and provides a results driven test prep course for them to get there.
Admitted.ly provides test prep and advice to university-bound high school students. Early on, Admitted.ly had high engagement, but also frequently received feedback that the site and app were difficult to understand and navigate. Without internal product management and user experience resources, CEO Jess Davidoff came to SWARM for a full product redesign and reengineering.
Our goals:
  1. 1. Clarify Admitted.ly's main value proposition to students.
  2. 2. Design a new user experience, integrating the prioritized new features.
  3. 3. Create a new visual design concept. Redesign the full app and website.
  4. 4. Implement designs and engineer new features.
  5. 5. Do all of this quickly to meet launch date.
The deadline was pressing. A full redesign with implementation had to be completed in under two months so students had time to begin their ACT test prep.
In order to make sure we delivered the app in time so students could ace their ACTs, we created an ambitious project pan. It was successful because we prioritized the plan so that all the most valuable items were completed first. This allowed us to make sure those were knocked out of the park before we looked at the little things.
A global style guide was created and from there a staggered agile water flow model for design and development implemented. Modular designs were passed to engineering which implemented them in weekly intervals, any adjustments that then needed to be made were done so based on the initial priorities assigned.

Problems

When working with the code that we received from the clients we noticed discrepancies in the way that it was written, elements would follow vastly different patterns, and there were discrepancies between test and production servers. An unwelcome bump in the road that caused severe issues for us.

Results

In order to make sure we had a product ready to launch, we assigned various team members to decipher the code, and then centralize their findings, this helped identify areas where patterns were different and then document those patterns. This sped things up sufficiently that when the deadline to roll the core of the new features came, we had already gone beyond, having only a few small “nice to haves” that still needed implementation.

What We Learned

Always try to create as close to a concrete list of elements as possible. Creating styles without a clear list of elements can allow for things to go overlooked. This can cause headaches when you're so close to getting your styles just right and you have to start altering multiple input and button styles, just to fit that newly added module into the visual language that you’ve been crafting.
Joey
Engineering, Product
Darien
Design, Product

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