Being a Reader: Handwriting Tablet App

This proof of concept for the Being a Reader program was designed to present exercises of letter strokes and sequences, and was deemed an optional tool for teacher’s to use in the classroom for extra practice during downtime. Additionally, the app would provide a fun tool for student letter practice, as well as teacher tracking of student progress.

The app was to include functionality for: student and teacher login, letter tracing exercises, and a teacher admin interface.

Illustrations are by Nancy Meyers.

handwriting app screen shown on iPad being held by a user

Assumptions and Considerations

  • The app will be used as optional practice.
  • Most schools have some sort of internet connectivity.
  • There are other writing apps out there, but none control the letter sequence in this way.
  • Potential users include:
    • Grades K and 1 students
    • Teachers
    • (Potentially) Reading Specialists
    • (Potentially) anyone interested in handwriting practice (i.e. general public, kids)

’Berta’s Role

When starting work on this project, ’Berta:

  • received information from research conducted by the Learning Technology and Program Development groups.
  • received rough wireframes from the UX designer via the Learning Technology group.
  • created final high-fidelity user interface wireframes incorporating existing Being a Reader program graphics and branding.
  • created all digital assets for prototypes and final product.
  • suggested adding “reward” and reinforcement messages via fun animations leveraging the illustrations used on alphabet wall cards already in the program.

’Berta’s Process: Defining the Variables

Identifying the program, goal, solution statements:

Problem: Teachers need a way to give students a chance to practice their letter strokes and sequences in a fun and engaging way.

Goal: To create an app that is easy for students to use, and for teachers to set the sequence and track results

Solution: A friendly, easy-to-use tablet app that guides students practice through a sequence of lessons

Defining UX Principles

Helpful: Provides extra practice for students and tracking for teachers

Simple: Easy to use

Instructive: Presents the letters in a sequence pre-determined by the teacher to teach the lessons

Fun: Light-hearted, engaging interface with fun animations

Supportive: Supports teachers in their teaching and tracking and students in their practice

’Berta’s Process: App Map and Wireframes

Some rough wireframes were done by the developers to work out the features and functionality. ’Berta stepped in to refine those wireframes, offer suggested changes to flow, and map the Being a Reader product look and feel onto the app.

handwriting app wireframe
handwriting app wireframe

’Berta’s Process: Prototypes

See a low-fidelity prototype here.

handwriting app wireframe

Final Screen Designs and High-fidelity Prototype

Including login, letter choice, activity trace sequence, and reward message screens.

Though this project was never formally completed, through a process of identifying the teaching sequence, conducting research into writing apps, reusing a writing engine used by another one of CCC’s apps, wireframing and prototyping, the team created this app concept showcasing the hero path students would take through the app. Had the project continued, there would have been more testing and flushing out of all the lettering sequences. See a functional prototype here.

 

handwriting app screen

Animated App Prototype