OZing | M18 intelligent tablet computer for students

A design for students starts with understanding them.






OZing

OZing is an important brand of Acorn International, a NYSE listed company that specializes in the development of various education electronic products. It has brought change to learning methods and promoted the revitalization and development of the entire e-learning product (ELP) industry. Today, it has grown into a modern & powerful enterprise that integrates R&D, production, sales, marketing and services, with offices in Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen.


Background

With the constant development of mobile Internet, the e-learning product industry begins to face challenges from newmarket trends and opportunities. To seize the opportunities and maintain its leadership in the industry, OZing has to solve the following two issues.



How to integrate existing stand-alone e-learning products with the Internet?



In the era of Internet, the students’ learning environment has undergone significant changes. How to embrace these changes and help students learn in aquicker, better and cheaper way, using the features of mobile Internet will inevitably become a new trend in future of e-learning products.




How can we find innovative experience designs targeting the student user group?



There are significant differences interms of curriculum, pressure and characteristics of the primary and middleschool stages, which has an impact on the students’ needs for supplementary learning tools. Balancing the differences in needs of students from different grades with different learning characteristics is a key factor influencing the productin novation.





Approaching students

Living the student life

To design for students, we needed to live their lives. Our research and design team spent a week in schools, where they thoroughly participated in the student life and collected first-hand data about the students’ learning through a series of methods such as class observations, family visits and interviews. Through the collection and summarization of alarge amount of research data, the team learned about the primary and middle school students in China from the perspectives of macro and in-depth data.




All-around understanding of the student ecology


The life of students is not isolated. Parents, teachers and schoolmates play important roles and have a profound impact on the growth of students. Therefore, instead of only focusing on the students themselves, we expanded our research to comprehensively explore the roles that parents, teachers and schools play in the student’s learning ecology, and their influencing factors, views and problems, etc.





Understanding different types of students


We found that there was something wrong with our knowledge of students. We simply divided the student group by grade instead of their personality. We always assumed that a student’s sole responsibility was to study hard. We decided to understand them by abandoning past knowledge and rebuilding a student classification model based on the two most influencing dimensions; the students’ self-motivation (internal) and family pressure(external).



Conception of product designs based on the motives for learning


Instead of only considering a purely functional interface, we sought to develop a product that integrated learning pleasure, the students’ internal motives and incentives. Through in-depthanalys is of different types of students we could ensure the students would enjoy using the product, but still learnt whilst using it. 







Unprecedented tablet computer for primary and middle school students


Tutor and companion


In the end, we designed a tablet computer for primary and middle school students, which was totally different from all existing products on the market in terms of product experience.  It is no longer a simple teaching machine orlearning tool, but a tutor and companion that can interact and grow with students. We carefully studied the design of online classes, and combined the applications which were independent from each other, with courses at the core. We also developed an achievementsystem to motivate students to constantly grow, and a new interaction community, etc.




Interactive and visual experiences especially designed 

for primary and middle school students


We were exceptionally careful about the interaction and visual details of the product. From the very first day of the project, we came to realize the differences in designing a tablet computer for primary and middle school students. They may have limited experience in using large-screen touch products (in 2010), and immature cognition compared to adultusers. Some of the words might be a problem for primary school students. We collected some valuable data from international research reports, but we still decided to add interaction and cognition testing into the research process. Finally, we found the answer to the question 'how can we createa design that appeals to students and doesn’t place a burden on their interactive or visual cognition?'






Follow-up


In the OZing M18 design project, TANG’s design team completed the task with its extraordinary research, analysis and innovative design capabilities. Especially in the early user research and demand exploration stage, the team was able to accurately understand the user characteristics and thoroughly explore user needs, which provided an important basisfor design positioning of the product. During the interaction design stage, the UI design worked well together and had the courage to innovate. Their first-class design expertise was reflected in the creationof the functional architecture and UI systems.


The design director, Xia Fangyu, clearly and successfully communicated with the client. He was rich in profound, professional opinions, and coordinated the entire TANG project team to ensurethe on-time, high-quality completion of the project. TANG received unanimous praise from OZing staff and from that point established deep cooperation and professional trust with them. 

XuHaiyu, Deputy General Manager of ELP Business Division, OZing



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