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"I will always bring order to your chaos."

Scholastic Classroom Essentials: Experience Redesigns

Case Description:

Selected features which were released by myself and the agile scrum team which I partnered with during the first year of the COVID pandemic. This case study seeks to showcase any thinking, research, analysis, and designs that I have done (up until now) for this project or dare-I-say proposed product. The following is a sample of deliverables to showcase the results of my efforts:

What was the problem?

For years, Canadian educators have been relying on either physical order forms or a basic html form to enter the unique item numbers for any classroom-specific related resources which they desire and submit those orders to the order-fulfillment system. Scholastic was looking to implement aneCommerce experience to allow Educators (teachers, librarians, daycare employees/owners, volunteers, principals), and Non-Educators (parents and/or other family members) to browse and buy products from a digital product catalog.

During the COVD pandemic, stakeholders introduced the concept of the Educator ‘Class Code.’ This unique automatically generated code - once applied to an order - would allow Teachers as well as the Parents (whose children they teach) to get:

  • Free Shipping on orders greater than a configured threshold, and
  • Earn 20% of the order total in rewards (Bonus Coupons)

The main challenge with this quick & aggressive implementation of this Class Code was the refusal of allotting time to the agile team to brainstorm on the full experience for Teachers or Parents. Due to my ‘User Research: Feedback Dashboard’ until time became available to revisit this initiative, for weeks, negative feedback included:

  • Teachers not being able to find their code.
  • Teachers and Parents missing the area where they can apply the code.
  • Teachers wish their own code was automatically applied to each order.
  • Teachers wished they could see a transaction history of their rewards usage.
  • Teachers wished they could see specific order and name of the Parent who used their code.
  • Parents wished they could apply the code upon signing-in.
  • Parents wished they could save any code applied.
  • Parents wished they could look-up their Teacher’s code.

Aside from the above, there was also constant user feedback related to:

  • Being frustrated, confused or even intimidated with the amount of content thrust on to them as soon as they came to the site.
  • Not being able to easily see the different level of search refinements (filters & sort).
  • Not having enough search refinements to find their specific products.

Figure 1

Navigation Redesign

Robin Gittens' digital space '' | Portfolio Case Study 3 | Scholastic Classroom Essentials: Experience Redesigns | Figure 1: Navigation

What was my purpose?

  • To facilitate brainstorming sessions with various business stakeholders to capture business, content and data requirements needed to create the experience.
  • To collaborate with designers and agile scrum teams to communicate the requirements (stories) and direct/ support during their development process.
  • To support marketing with employing various eCommerce strategies albeit best-practices that seek to continually deliver further user value across the web experience.
  • To provide further analysis on cross-channel user feedback (web, phone, email, social) - As the sole advocate for Experience design - as well as adobe analytics to further understand ongoing post-launch user challenges, and continually enhance the experience to meet those needs of a varied audience.

Figure 2

Apply Class Code

Robin Gittens' digital space '' | Portfolio Case Study 3 | Scholastic Classroom Essentials: Experience Redesigns | Figure 2: Apply A Teacher’s Class Code

What was my role?

As a Scrum Product Owner (CSPO), and advocate for Experience Thinking, I was responsible for;

  • Acting as the ‘voice of the user’ where I try to connect directly/ indirectly with users to understand any challenges which prevent them from achieving their online goals.
  • Creating, owning and communicating the product roadmap to pivotal business stakeholders and providing the necessary education on how to: breakdown feature MVPs into EPICs/ themes; employ a prioritization scorecard to each feature; employ MoSCoW analysis to desired features; indicate the impact to different user types/ roles; showcase the level of complexity, and quarterly release schedule for said features.
  • Eliciting business and/or system requirements as needed from various stakeholders from: marketing, operations, order-fulfillment, analytics, security, performance, customer service and of course, users.
  • Writing and communicating the necessary user stories and acceptance criteria to development teams.
  • Creating supplementary artifacts/ functional matrices which relate to: configuring promotions, organization navigational content, managing and sourcing content, search engine optimization (SEO) audits.
  • Creating and sharing the necessary user interactions (designs) or workflows for various features with stakeholders and business to encourage further brainstorming/ ideation with any given user challenges.
  • Analyzing current-state business process and brainstorming on solutions which seek to improve albeit streamline those processes e.g. Issue Escalation, Content Management.
  • Establishing and executing user acceptance (UAT) test plans.
  • Coaching developers on agile principles and manifesto as it relates to scrum.
  • Scheduling and facilitating scrum ceremonies: backlog refinement, sprint planning, sprint retrospectives, sprint reviews, sprint demos and of course, daily stand-ups.
  • Compiling sprint metrics from JIRA and combining them with my own metrics to present to the team and facilitate discussions.
  • Review Gherkin test cases with quality engineers throughout each sprint as they become available.
  • Supporting the team in the removal of any impediments (blockers) preventing them from achieving their sprint goals.

Figure 3

Find A Class Code

Robin Gittens' digital space '' | Portfolio Case Study 3 | Scholastic Classroom Essentials: Experience Redesigns | Figure 3: Find A Teacher’s Class Code

What were the test results?

  • Navigation is described as confusing, overwhelming, intimidating.
  • Challenging navigating from product details to specific point in search results.
  • Business context of content does not relate/ match to user context.
  • Lack of meaningful filters to refine search results or collections.
  • Parents expressed great frustration in not having a more immediate method of connecting with and rewarding their Teachers’ classrooms.
  • Users want to review their rewards history on the site.
  • Communication of inventory availability, order status, rewards history, saved cart changes is severely lacking.
  • Experience is missing several baseline eCommerce features expected by users..

Figure 4

Display Bonus Bank History

Robin Gittens' digital space '' | Portfolio Case Study 3 | Scholastic Classroom Essentials: Experience Redesigns | Figure 4: My Bonus Bank History

What was the impact?

  • Constant increase in user (Educator) satisfaction.
  • Constant decrease with incoming phone calls to customer service.
  • Constant decrease with incoming emails to customer service.
  • Constant decrease with negative feedback on social media.
  • Increase in findability of content related to user intent and key utility features/pages.
  • Increase in usage/application of Teachers' unique Class Codes
  • Steady increase to conversion and of course, revenue.

Techniques Used:

Thematic Analysis, Sketching, Thematic Analysis, FlowCharts, Customer Journeys, Wireframes, Product Roadmap, MosCow, Prioritization Matrix, (Innovation Sweet Spot)

Applications Used:

SalesForce Commerce Cloud: DemandWare, Microsoft Office, Visio, Outlook, Google Drive (Sheets, PowerPoint), JIRA, Confluence, Axure RP, Google Analytics, Adobe Analytics

Figure 5

Search Refinement Redesign

Robin Gittens' digital space '' | Portfolio Case Study 3 | Scholastic Classroom Essentials: Experience Redesigns | Figure 5: Search Refinements

Looking to partner with your team to learn more about your users, and identify areas of opportunity to deliver empathy-driven experiences.

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