Expii – Zainab Aliyu
Expii: Immersive Experience: Topic Map v1: My Courses v1
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Embracing diverse learning styles through personalized learning.

Expii is an educational technology startup in Pittsburgh, PA that provides a deeply engaging, gamified learning experience by using user-generated content. It capitalizes on the idea of learning by teaching, and seeks to maximize the educational potential of the internet. Expii's mission is to connect the world with accessible, quality education resources by inviting contributors to explain standardized topics to students who are looking to learn about these topics outside the traditional classroom. During my time at Expii, I worked on many products varying in scope and scale, a few of them being:
Immersive Experience
How might we communicate the hierachy of the content on Expii?

I organized Expii’s content into levels, where the parent topics existing under Math and Science have subtopics. Visually, this manifested into an interaction paradigm that is characterized by the ability to zoom in and zoom out of topics. Learners can see how subtopics relate to parent topics by navigating through the map. By delving deeper and going back, the relationships between the topics can be seen spatially within the map.

Role Product thinking, user research, interaction design, visual design

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Topic Map v1
A common learning strategy is mastering a topic and moving on to a related topic that builds off of information acquired from the previously learned topic. Expii’s algorithm already does this on the backend by delivering the adaptive learning experience of a personal tutor: it learns how you learn, and gives you the precise lessons that you need at every step. It can dynamically give each learner personally-selected challenges that perfectly match their level, by meeting them where they are and building upon their prior knowledge. This was key to the overall experience of Expii, and it needed to be reflected in the way we structured our content for learners to navigate through. There are over 10,000 topics to learn on Expii, and although users are able to find topics by searching for them, it was difficult to see how each topic related to one another. As Expii continued to grow in contributed content, it became increasingly important for learners to be able to see the different types of content that Expii has and how they relate to one another, while also being able to assess how they are doing in each topic.

The Topic Map breaks down subjects into bite-sized concepts and shows how the concepts build on and relate to each other. The maps suggests, but does not enforce, paths that learners may take through each topic. Given the problem space, the primary goals of the Topic Map are to visually communicate the hierarchy of content on Expii, and to show learners how they are doing on each topic.
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Hierachy & Navigation How might we communicate the hierachy of the content on Expii?

I organized Expii’s content into levels, where the parent topics existing under Math and Science have subtopics. Visually, this manifested into an interaction paradigm that is characterized by the ability to zoom in and zoom out of topics. Learners can see how subtopics relate to parent topics by navigating through the map. By delving deeper and going back, the relationships between the topics can be seen spatially within the map.
The hierarchy of content is structured as a tree, where each topic is visually represented as a node. This helps to show the recommended paths that learners may take through each topic.
While on the map, breadcrumbs take priority over the search functionality. The breadcrumbs help to further show how the topics relate to one another. The user can access the search functionality at any time.
Rating System How might we communicate how the learner is doing in each topic?

Building upon decades of research and rigorous statistical models, Expii’s algorithm is the broadest scale implementation of an Elo-style rating system. Every problem has a difficulty rating, and every person has a score. With each problem the learner attempts to solve, both the problem’s difficulty rating and the learner’s score updates in real time. As the learner navigates the Topic Map, a color scale and number rating helps to communicate their progress within each topic.
Onboarding Under each topic there are different types of content: subtopics and explanations. The map needed to be able to distinguish between these different types of content. This indicator needed to be simple enough to
Additional Considerations Under each topic there are different types of content: subtopics and explanations. The map needed to be able to distinguish between these different types of content. This indicator needed to be simple enough to
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My Courses v1
Expii continues to see teacher-guided usage in classrooms, we’re striving to highlight the modern technology leveraged used to deliver trustworthy academic material. We’re reflecting this in the pairing of saturated color palettes in product branding, with clean, bright content pages.

Role Product thinking, user research, interaction design, visual design

Contributors Min Zhou, Arnold Syphommarath, Zainab Aliyu

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Takeaways Working at a startup

Involved in recruiting

Under each topic there are different types of content: subtopics and explanations. The map needed to be able to distinguish between these different types of content. This indicator needed to be simple enough to