Class is in session:

Welcome to the Washington Leadership Academy, DC's newest public charter school and home to over 100 of the most ambitious 9th graders in the city. Over the next 4 years, these students will create their own virtual reality environments, tackle the most pressing social justice issues and prepare themselves to become the leaders of tomorrow. Visiting the school is an amazing experience, but sometimes it's hard for students to share their diverse stories with newcomers.

 Let's help them tell their stories, shall we?


Objective: Redesign the visitor experience so that student stories really shine through

My Role: Project Manager/UX Designer

Duration: 2 weeks

All present? OK, let's get started!

lesson Plan:

Our first step in the project was to talk to our stakeholders and have them articulate the problem in their own words. It boiled down to the following:

  1. Our students are awesome and have incredible stories to share

  2. Our visitors are awesome and have incredible power to make dreams a reality

  3. Our visitor tour (physical space) is nice, but feels incomplete and doesn't have a 'wow' factor

  4. Our website (digital space)is nice, but feels incomplete and doesn't have a 'wow' factor

Basically, there are 4 separate entities that need to be connected.

Hmm, this looks like it could get complicated. Let's see if anyone else has tried to solve this problem!

Study Time:

The team conducted quite a bit of research to make sure we were bringing the correct solution to the table.

Experience Analysis

We went to the Washington Auto Show to see how car companies bridge the physical/digital divide. Short answer: they don't.


We conducted numerous interviews with students, teachers, administrators and visitors to better understand their needs. It turns out, everyone loves talking to each other and sharing their experiences, but no one has the time.

Personas & Pain Points

With information from our interviews, we crafted some personas and diagrammed their pain points.

Final Exam:

Design Studio

To make sure we weren't designing in a vacuum, we involved our stakeholders in a design studio exercise that focused on reformatting the tour experience. We were able to involve a student tour guide in the exercise as well, so it also functioned as our usability test.


The design studio resulted in a new tour layout:

Class Dismissed:


Next steps