Institution: University of Washington
Instructor: Axel Roesler
Team: Christine You, Jordan Kiga, Camila De Vincenzo,
Kim Le, Sarah O'Connor
Role: Brand design, User research, Prototype, Film, and Motion.

How can Conversational User Interfaces (CUI) change how education is taught and delivered? Apollo is a Microsoft sponsored class that explores the possibilities and potential future of a better education. Apollo provides a personalized learning experience by tailoring education the students' learning styles, preferences, and life experiences.

What's wrong with education?

After concluding our primary and secondary research, we found that there are systemic limitations in the current educational system. This lack of organization leads to students not receiving an individualized educational experience.

Target Audience

We decided to cater Apollo towards high school students. High school is a time where not only are you concious about your own study habits and learning styles, but it's a critical moment in transitioning into adulthood. This is when Apollo benefits students most. Apollo is able to grow with each student individually and is able to assist students during their educational and personal journey.

Identity Exploration

We decided to name our CUI, Apollo, based on the the Greek god Apollo for he is the god of the sun representing light and opportunity. We also wanted to take inspiration from NASA's Apollo Space Program and the endless discovery and exploration it brings.

The logo embodies the building blocks of education and creativity and also the endless possibilities of what proper education can bring

Field Research & Prototyping

We went to three different schools to conduct interviews with students, faculty, and counselors. School 1 lacked resources and was located in a suburban neighborhood. Schools 2 and 3 were bigger and had more resources on hand. All schools provided valuable information, we found that high school students would utilize Apollo to integrate themselves more into their education, which confirmed our theories.

School 1

School 2

School 3

We conducted a "Wizard of Oz" prototype with the students. One group member would hide behind an animation as we video called students on another laptop. The person playing "Apollo" would not only answer questions, but also ask questions about their future college, educational, and personal goals. The reactions we recieved were quite genuine and refreshing to see witness.

Observation and Insights

Based on our research we saw that Apollo could not only benefit students at smaller high schools, but could be used across all high school students. From our research, we concluded five overall insights about high school students' needs, wants, and education.

  • Act as a personalized tutor to help motivate and work through the material with the student.
  • Share student performance with teachers to assess trends and identify problematic areas.
  • Share information about education and career options with the student while providing a comfortable space to discuss future wants and goals.
  • Provide guidance when navigating the process of preparing, applying and paying for college.
  • Engage with the student on a variety of platforms that best suits the student's needs and current situation.

UI Elements

As Apollo grows with the student, it's interactions also changes. Apollo's form will vary depending on use and situation. Apollo can easily adapt to any device and also has a widget form.

Teachers are able to access student's Apollo's to track student performance and questions. Teachers can then organize lesson plans and teaching styles to better cater to failing students.