Cognitive Advisors

Responsive web app desktop view

The Idea

Do you think you could be a mechanic just by reading about it? 90% of all training materials are books and academic training – which accounts for only 10% of how people actually learn to do a job. Trek aims to capture the remaining 90% of how people learn by focusing on mentorship and on-the-job training. The app is a responsive, mobile-first web-app.
With a great idea and a handful of developers, the team didn’t know where to start.

Project Details

Skills UX Design, User Research, UI Design, HTML, CSS, JQuery

We all got together in a room and discussed who the app was for, what they were doing, and why they were doing it. After about 9 hours of intense questioning and discussion, I identified the main user groups using the app, outlined the basic structure of the app, task flows and scenarios, and focused our team on the areas specifically catering to Learners.
I took user research that had been gathered by the founders (the CEO is a PhD in Cognitive Science), and created rough flows of the app. Being mobile-first, we needed to accommodate technicians who would be performing tasks in the field. I wireframed out everything in both mobile and desktop, in parallel.
After launching the app, we learned some amazing things – the mentors were even more addicted to the app than the learners! The mentors loved the visibility they got into their employees’ progress, and also really enjoyed helping them improve. Phase 2 was spent making the administrative and mentor areas more usable, and brought more data and transparency right to the dashboard.
I provided the user experience, and UI design, and I worked with the development team and the client to create a spec that was both intuitive for our users, fit the budget, and allowed the engineers the timeline needed to build the project.I hand-coded HTML, CSS, and JQuery to be the final deliverable for the engineers. The final design was received very well by the client, and his customers!
wireframes of mobile app design
“I love the ability to communicate back and forth with my employees,” says a manager who coached new hires during the pilot. “I love being proactively prompted that something is ready for me to review. This system gives me a reason to talk with my people about customers and issues so I can tell if they understand what they’re learning. I liked it so much I want to coach more people.”
The client was amazed how much both Learners and Mentors loved using the app. Employees want to do a good job, and when they’re provided the right tools to really help them learn what to do, they feel confident and capable. Mentors felt helpful and a sense of pride, when they were able to coach their mentees along. It changed their relationship from one of Boss telling Employee what to do, and just reviewing performance, to a teacher who is invested in the outcome.