Homework Night App Concept — Narrative

I’ve been doing homework night with my kids for about three years now and using the school provided homework app is very frustrating. I decided it was time to redesign the app to better fit my workflow.

As a divorced father living away from my teenagers I don’t have the benefit of following along with their school progress every night. But during the school year I’ve arranged with their mom to take them out to Starbucks every Monday and Wednesday night to help them with their school work.

When I pick them up the clock is ticking and I have very little time to catch up on their progress since my last visit and even more challenging is the need to prioritize what they should be working on that night.

As we are driving I open the homework app

Home Screen — The home screen of the homework app shows me the currently selected child’s classes and class grades sorted by lowest grade first. From here I can navigate to another child or into a specific class.

When I open the app my priority is viewing the child I want to communicate with first. The app has photographs of my kids right on the bottom so I can always see whose grades I’m looking at and I can easily switch between them at any time.

Footer — The footer allows you to see which child you are currently on as well as quickly navigate to another

Above the pictures of my kids is the complete list of classes for this child and their current grades in those classes. The classes are sorted by lowest grade first so I can immediately tell which class needs the most attention without having to tap, scroll or navigate.

List of Classes — This is the list of current term classes for the selected child. The classes are sorted by the classes with the lowest grades first

I can see that my 15 year old is failing Math.

I tap into the class details for Math

Class View — The Class View includes all the assignments, tests and quizzes for this specific class

The class view of the homework app is designed to help me quickly identify what homework, quiz or test is causing the low grade so I can prioritize the most important homework they need to do tonight.

At a glance I can see she is missing two assignments and that those two assignments are the reason her grade is so low since they are being scored as failing grades.

I ask her about the missing assignments and she thinks about it for a minute then realizes she finished one of the assignments but forgot to turn it in. The other assignment she completely forgot about. Grabbing her backpack she fishes through her folders for a minute and eventually finds them both.

I hit the calendar icon on the bottom right of the app so I can see when she has this Math class again. I can see that her next Math class is tomorrow morning.

Schedule View — The Schedule View allows you to see what day and time your student will have this class again

She spends the rest of homework night finishing the second assignment. When she finishes I have her set a reminder on her phone to turn in both assignments tomorrow morning when she has Math class again.

A week later, after she has turned in the assignments and the teacher has had time to grade them, I pull open the app to view her classes. I can now see that those assignments are no longer missing and that her class grade has been brought from failing to a C.

Math Grade Has Changed — When I return a week later I can see that she turned in those missing assignments and her grade is no longer a failing grade

Afterword

As always, let me know what you think about the app, the concept and the design. I also made an animated version of the app on my dribbble portfolio here https://dribbble.com/shots/3720469-Homework-Night-Animated

Next in this series will be an article showing the many stages of this design so you can see how the design evolved to the finished version in this article.