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Social emotional learning

5​ ​Ways​ ​to​ ​Implement​ ​Social-Emotional​ ​Learning​ ​for​ ​Student​ ​Success

By Tips and Resources

The​ ​bell​ ​rings​ ​signaling​ ​the​ ​start​ ​of​ ​the​ ​school​ ​day.​ ​Classrooms​ ​of​ ​students​ ​across​ ​the country​ ​wait​ ​for​ ​lessons​ ​to​ ​begin,​ ​but​ ​are​ ​these​ ​students​ ​really​ ​ready​ ​to​ ​learn?​ ​One student​ ​is​ ​anxious​ ​about​ ​his​ ​test​ ​next​ ​period,​ ​another​ ​hopes​ ​their​ ​college​ ​acceptance letter​ ​will​ ​arrive​ ​today.​ ​A​ ​fourth​ ​grader​ ​wonders​ ​if​ ​his​ ​mom​ ​will​ ​make​ ​it​ ​home​ ​in​ ​time​ ​for dinner.​ ​A​ ​kindergartner​ ​thinks​ ​about​ ​the​ ​older​ ​student​ ​who​ ​teased​ ​him​ ​on​ ​the​ ​bus.

How​ ​can​ ​we​ ​make​ ​sure​ ​these​ ​students​ ​are​ ​mentally​ ​present​ ​and​ ​ready​ ​to​ ​take​ ​on​ ​the day?​ ​Social-emotional​ ​learning​ ​(SEL)​ ​can​ ​help.

The​ ​Aspen​ ​Institute’s​ ​National​ ​Commission​ ​on​ ​Social,​ ​Emotional,​ ​and​ ​Academic Learning​ ​recently​ ​released​​ ​scientific​ ​statements​ ​of​ ​evidence​​ ​that​ ​demonstrate​ ​the lasting​ ​impact​ that ​social-emotional​ ​programming​ ​has​ ​on​ ​students,​ ​staff,​ ​school​ ​culture,​ ​and the​ ​surrounding​ ​community.​ ​They found that​ ​SEL helps students​ remain​ ​mentally​ ​present​ ​throughout​ ​the​ ​school​ ​day.​ ​There​ ​is​ ​considerable​ ​evidence demonstrating​ ​that​ ​students​ ​learn​ ​more​ ​when​ ​they​ ​are​ ​able​ ​to​ ​manage​ ​their​ ​emotions, form​ ​meaningful​ ​relationships,​ ​and​ ​demonstrate​ ​resilience.​ ​Research​ ​shows​ ​that​ ​SEL programming​ ​can​ ​increase​ ​executive​ ​functioning,​ ​self-efficacy,​ ​and​ ​persistence.

So​ ​how​ ​do​ ​we​ ​help​ ​children​ ​develop​ ​these​ ​social​ ​skills​ ​and​ ​improve​ ​emotional​ ​health?

Children​ ​and​ ​adolescents​ ​spend​ ​the​ ​majority​ ​of​ ​their​ ​time​ ​in​ ​a​ ​classroom,​ ​so​ ​schools need​ ​to​ ​devote​ ​time​ ​to​ ​social​ ​and​ ​emotional​ ​skill​ ​development.​ ​By​ ​prioritizing​ ​social and​ ​emotional​ ​learning,​ ​schools​ ​create​ ​safe,​ ​supportive,​ ​and​ ​effective​ ​learning environments​ ​for​ ​their​ ​staff​ ​and​ ​students.​ ​Continue​ ​reading​ ​to​ ​discover​ ​5​ ​easy​ ​ways​ ​to integrate​ ​social-emotional​ ​learning​ ​in​ ​the​ ​classroom.

Schedule​ ​a​ ​Morning​ ​Meeting

Give​ ​students​ ​the​ ​chance​ ​to​ ​connect​ ​with​ ​one​ ​another​ ​by​ ​gathering​ ​for​ ​morning meeting.​ ​This​ ​can​ ​be​ ​an​ ​opportunity​ ​for​ ​students​ ​to​ ​share​ ​how​ ​they’re​ ​feeling, discuss something​ ​they’re​ ​struggling​ ​with,​ ​or​ ​set​ ​an​ ​intention.​ ​Coming​ ​together​ ​at​ ​the beginning​ ​of​ ​the​ ​school​ ​day​ ​can​ ​affect​ ​how​ ​everyone​ ​will​ ​interact​ ​with​ ​one another​ ​for​ ​the​ ​rest​ ​of​ ​the​ ​day.

Build​ ​a​ ​Diverse​ ​Classroom​ ​Library

The​ ​books​ ​and​ ​literature​ ​students​ ​are​ ​exposed​ ​to​ ​have​ ​a​ ​strong​ ​impact​ ​on developing​ ​empathy​ ​and​ ​building​ ​global​ ​awareness.​ ​It’s​ ​important​ ​to​ ​share books​ ​that​ ​represent​ ​a​ ​diverse​ ​set​ ​of​ ​cultures,​ ​races,​ ​family​ ​structures,​ ​living situations,​ ​etc.​ ​They​ ​should​ ​also​ ​address​ ​a​ ​variety​ ​of​ ​themes,​ ​main​ ​topics​, ​and central​ ​lessons.​ ​Use​ ​books​ ​as​ ​a​ ​starting​ ​point​ ​to​ ​discuss​ ​individual​ ​differences, feelings,​ ​and​ ​conflict​ ​resolution.

Inspire​ ​an​ ​Attitude​ ​of​ ​Gratitude

Research​ ​shows​ ​that​ ​demonstrating​ ​gratitude​ ​not​ ​only​ ​improves​ ​mental​ ​health but​ ​improves​ ​physical​ ​health,​ ​decreases​ ​stress,​ ​builds​ ​resilience,​ ​and​ ​improves self-esteem.​ ​There​ ​are​ ​a​ ​number​ ​of​ ​ways​ ​to​ ​inspire​ ​gratitude​ ​in​ ​your​ ​classroom, including:​ ​have​ ​students​ ​share​ ​one​ ​thing​ ​they’re​ ​grateful​ ​during​ ​a​ ​classroom meeting,​ ​create​ ​gratitude​ ​journals​ ​for​ ​reflection,​ ​or​ ​write​ ​thank​ ​you​ ​cards​ ​to other​ ​classmates.

Switch​ ​Up​ ​Your​ ​Seating​ ​Arrangement…and​ ​keep​ ​switching​ ​it

Arrange​ ​your​ ​classroom​ ​so​ ​that​ ​students​ ​have​ ​the​ ​opportunity​ ​to​ ​sit​ ​in​ ​groups. This​ ​encourages​ ​collaboration,​ ​communication​ ​and​ ​teamwork.​ ​By​ ​switching group​ ​members,​ ​group​ ​size​ ​and​ ​the​ ​arrangement​ ​of​ ​your​ ​classroom,​ ​you​ ​give students​ ​the​ ​opportunity​ ​to​ ​get​ ​to​ ​know​ ​each​ ​other,​ ​discover​ ​strategies​ ​for​ ​how to​ ​work​ ​and​ ​communicate​ ​with​ ​a​ ​variety​ ​of​ ​personalities,​ ​and​ ​keep​ ​things​ ​from getting​ ​boring!

Continue​ ​Your​ ​Best​ ​Practices!

Chances​ ​are​ ​your​ ​lessons​ ​and​ ​activities​ ​already​ ​encourage​ ​social​ ​and​ ​emotional development​ ​in​ ​your​ ​students.​ ​Look​ ​for​ ​opportunities​ ​to​ ​include​ ​group​ ​work, peer​ ​feedback,​ ​and​ ​creative​ ​expression​ ​in​ ​your​ ​lessons​ ​plans.​ ​Use​ ​literature​ ​and read​ ​alouds​ ​as​ ​a​ ​means​ ​to​ ​inspire​ ​discussion​ ​surrounding​ ​your​ ​classes’​ ​social​ ​and emotional​ ​needs.

This​ ​article​ ​was​ ​contributed​ ​by​ ​​Move​ ​This​ ​World.​​ ​​ ​Move​ ​This​ ​World​ ​provides​ ​PreK-12 schools​ ​with​ ​a​ ​comprehensive​ ​social-emotional​ ​learning​ ​program.​ ​Through evidence-based,​ ​developmentally​ ​aligned​ ​digital​ ​tools,​ ​Move​ ​This​ ​World​ ​ritualizes​ ​a daily​ ​practice​ ​of​ ​identifying,​ ​expressing​ ​and​ ​managing​ ​emotions.​ ​Educators​ ​and students​ ​strengthen​ ​their​ ​social​ ​skills​ ​and​ ​improve​ ​emotional​ ​health​ ​in​ ​order​ ​to​ ​create environments​ ​where​ ​effective​ ​teaching​ ​and​ ​learning​ ​can​ ​occur.​ ​​Click​ ​here​​ ​to​ ​learn​ ​more about​ ​their​ ​social​ ​and​ ​emotional​ ​learning​ ​program.

Move This world logo

Resources:

Garbacz,​ ​S.​ ​A.,​ ​Swanger-Gagne,​ ​M.​ ​S.,​ ​&​ ​Sheridan,​ ​S.​ ​M.​ ​(2015).​ ​The​ ​role​ ​of​ ​school-family​ ​partnership programs​ ​for​ ​promoting​ ​student​ ​social​ ​and​ ​emotional​ ​learning.​ ​In​ ​Durlak,​ ​J.A.,​ ​Domitrovich,​ ​C.E., Weissberg,​ ​R.P.,​ ​Gullotta,​ ​T.P.,​ ​&​ ​Comer,​ ​J.​ ​(Eds.),​ ​The​ ​handbook​ ​of​ ​social​ ​and​ ​emotional​ ​learning: Research​ ​to​ ​practice​ ​(pp.​ ​244-259).​ ​New​ ​York,​ ​NY:​ ​Guilford​ ​Press.

Jones,​ ​S.​ ​M.,​ ​&​ ​Bouffard,​ ​S.​ ​M.​ ​(2012).​ ​Social​ ​and​ ​emotional​ ​learning​ ​in​ ​schools:​ ​From​ ​programs​ ​to strategies.​ ​Social​ ​Policy​ ​Report,​ ​26​ ​(4).​ ​Society​ ​for​ ​Research​ ​in​ ​Child​ ​Development.

Morin,​ ​Amy.​ ​​13​ ​Things​ ​Mentally​ ​Strong​ ​People​ ​Don’t​ ​Do:​ ​Take​ ​Back​ ​Your​ ​Power,​ ​Embrace​ ​Change,​ ​Face Your​ ​Fears,​ ​and​ ​Train​ ​Your​ ​Brain​ ​for​ ​Happiness​ ​and​ ​Success​.​ ​William​ ​Morrow,​ ​an​ ​Imprint​ ​of HarperCollinsPublishers,​ ​2017.

Osher,​ ​D.,​ ​Kidron,​ ​Y.,​ ​Brackett,​ ​M.,​ ​Dymnicki,​ ​A.,​ ​Jones,​ ​S.,​ ​&​ ​Weissberg,​ ​R.​ ​P.​ ​(2016).​ ​Advancing​ ​the science​ ​and​ ​practice​ ​of​ ​social​ ​and​ ​emotional​ ​learning:​ ​Looking​ ​back​ ​and​ ​moving​ ​forward.​ ​Review​ ​of Research​ ​in​ ​Education,​ ​40(1),​ ​644-681.

Back to school with Kinvolved

Back to school tips for kinvo users

By Tips and Resources

Welcome back to another school year with Kinvolved! Back-to-school season is busy, and we know administrators’ and educators’ time is limited. We design our features with efficiency in mind, and our data demonstrates that KiNVO can indeed help educators save time by streamlining their daily routines.

Of the teachers we surveyed for our annual Impact Assessment, 74% said that KiNVO saves time compared with previous parent outreach methods, and 92% said that KiNVO makes it easier to communicate with parents. We hope that our new features and support offerings will improve teachers’ day-to-day routine even more in the coming year.

We also know that it’s incredibly important to engage parents in a meaningful way. We’re proud to report that 90% of teachers we surveyed said that KiNVO helped strengthen their relationships with parents.

This back to school season, we want to support our teachers with tips to save time, while still maximizing parent engagement with KiNVO.  We like to call the following KiNVO features our “core 4,” or, the KiNVO features teachers can’t live without!

 

  • KiNVO messaging: Send an official KiNVO welcome message, and open the lines of communication in less than 10 seconds!

 

Use KiNVO’s ‘Welcome Message’ template via the Send Message page to open lines of communication in under 10 seconds. Parents want to hear from you, and they love this simple, clear welcome message! Engagement is a two-way street, and it’s important to set the tone that you’re not just sending messages, but that you want parents to write back.

Remain positive as you think about how to improve communication with parents this year. Give parents who may not have been engaged last year another shot! Sending this welcome message signals that you’re ready to start afresh.

Log into KiNVO and check out our FAQ pages for more tips and instructions on how to use these messaging features, and other features discussed below!

 

  • KiNVO attendance: Swipe right, or left, and send! Parents know right away if their students are absent or late to your class.

 

Recording attendance in KiNVO takes 15 seconds–just swipe right to mark a student absent, or left to mark a student late. You can even record why a student was absent, or how many minutes they were late, and communicate that to parents. You can make your own custom absent and late message templates, or use KiNVO’s default templates.

And don’t forget, you can communicate with parents via KiNVO in more than 55 languages! One of our favorite features, two-way translation, ensures that parents will receive absent or late notifications in their native language. Parents can respond in their native language, and teachers and administrators will receive the message in English, or whatever language they choose!

 

  • Schedule reminders for next week, today!

 

Busy and forgetful teachers, rejoice! You can now schedule messages to go out once or multiple times in the future.

School event happening next Monday morning? No sweat! Schedule a quick reminder to go out on Sunday night. Want to help those three students that always ‘forget’ to hand it in their weekly homework that’s due every Friday? Make sure parents get a gentle nudge on Thursday after school to check in with their student(s) about it.

You can schedule messages to go out to all of your students or parents, one course, one grade-level, or just specific students or parents. This feature saves tremendous amounts of time, and helps you stay on track with your family engagement plan.

 

  • Can’t get in touch via text message? Backpack home the Attendance and Family Engagement Report Card!

 

Can’t get in touch with a parent via sms, email, or robocall? Have no fear! You can always download a PDF version of the attendance and family engagement report card.

This simple PDF analyzes attendance records, and showcases absenteeism/lateness trends. It also highlights bright spots. Simply download the report, print it out, and send it home via backpack with students whose parents you’re struggling to reach. The report card will give parents an objective glimpse at their student’s attendance behavior.

We hope this list aids in your planning, goal-setting, and time-management strategizing for the new school year. If you have any questions at all about Kinvolved, the features listed here, or other ways to save time and improve attendance with KiNVO, don’t hesitate to reach out! KiNVO users can contact our support staff at support@Kinvolved.com. Interested in KiNVO or our work? Drop us a line at hello@kinvolved.com.

Let’s make it a great year!

Three ways that KiNVO employs UI/UX to change user behavior

By Tips and Resources

In designing KiNVO, our attendance improvement and parent engagement app, we aim to create the best conditions for our community. However, even the most simple interface is not always enough to engage users.

Three ways that KiNVO employs UI/UX to change user behavior

We work with schools and districts to build a community-wide effort to change student attendance behavior, to which parent behavior is also often a contributing factor. Teacher and student services staff KiNVO utilization is extremely important, as it affects data accuracy within the app. To help maximize KiNVO use, we look to the psychology that underlies the process of initiating and performing a behavior.

 

BJ Fogg’s behavior model states that for a specific behavior to occur, three elements must be present at the same time: motivation, ability, and triggers. Fogg’s model states that a behavior is most likely to happen when a person feels sufficiently motivated, is able to perform the behavior (for example, they want to message families, and they have access to the app), and is reminded to perform the behavior by a trigger.

Foggs Behavior Model

KiNVO triggers take various forms, such as notifications that remind teachers to record attendance, or visual cues, like students walking into the classroom. The model, as the graph below shows, stipulates that triggers work effectively only if the person’s levels of motivation and ability are sufficiently high. Simply reminding someone to record attendance, even if they know how to do so in the mobile app (i.e. their ability is high), will not be effective if there is no access to the Internet, and the person has little motivation to do it.

We’ve discovered that simply ensuring that the three components are present might not be enough to create an effective, easy-to-use interface that encourages increased use of the app and results in our end goal (i.e., more school staff using the tool). In addition, school staff can be motivated in several ways, and the factors that motivate one group may not necessarily motivate another. Similarly, comfort levels and technical abilities vary, so we design triggers for varying skill levels, and allow our users to choose between different customizations of our model.

Our top three design strategies are as follows:

  1. Map Users’ Motivations: Why do they want to change their behavior now and not tomorrow? Whether a school has been tracking attendance and using family engagement strategies or not, we work with them to either understand and refine or craft new strategies through our Professional Development services.

During this time, we assess the strategies that they have been using, and determine what has and has not worked for them in the past. Are they motivated by extrinsic or intrinsic factors? We are gaining a deeper understanding of our users and how they interact with KiNVO to create an interface that is both usable and valuable.

  1. Assess Ability and Lower Barriers: We work with schools in different districts and school environments, so we ask ourselves–where will our users most likely be when they use our product? What tasks will they most commonly perform? What pain points might they encounter? How do they feel about their capacity and skills?

The answers to these questions inform the standards that KiNVO’s interface must meet. The best way to gather this information is through contextual inquiry. We conduct feedback sessions with our teachers and administrators and observe as they use KiNVO. We also reveal features that are in beta to some users, and track their interactions to see where they are making mistakes. hen, we use this information to inform new iterations.

Three ways that KiNVO employs UI/UX to change user behavior

We went through this process when we released our attendance recorder to NYC DOE schools. We began with a simple attendance recorder that allowed teachers to take attendance in real-time as students walked in, but through contextual inquiry we realized that teachers do not always have the time to record attendance as students walk into class. We learned that we needed to simplify the ability to record attendance retroactively. Updating the attendance recorder to meet teachers’ needs has resulted in an increase in attendance recording and more accurate data within the app.

  1. Identify Triggers: We are always trying to understand what motivates our users and how we can adapt our product to their ability levels. Regardless of how much we love a new interface, our interface must cater to users’ needs. Our teachers are motivated to improve attendance and inspire positive change in their students’ lives, and we want to turn their good intentions into tangible outcomes. To do so, we must trigger behaviors that will help enact these changes. Our teachers are motivated by different factors at different times. Rather than flooding them with triggers, we give them control over (and options for) what types of triggers to receive.

KiNVO allows attendance teams to send notifications to teachers at precise times–to direct the user’s attention to the app in order to perform a desired action. Given the sheer volume of notifications to which users are exposed to and the diversity of schools with which we work, we provide administrators with the ability to schedule these messages in a way that is non-intrusive, but still allows teachers to record attendance with enough time to conduct appropriate interventions afterward if necessary.

Fogg’s behavior model shows that triggers are most effective when the user’s levels of motivation and ability are sufficiently high. This means that timing is crucial; a notification about your daily exercise routine while you are on your way to work will probably not make you turn the car around, and will more likely be perceived as annoying.

 

At Kinvolved, we gather all of our design strategy cues from our users. Our product team conducts interviews with teachers and administrators over the course of the school year to help us to determine their motivations. The feedback we receive from these exercises is used to design features that the same teachers will be motivated to use.

Runy Pswarayi is the Creative Director at Kinvolved. Runy has freelanced as a designer and photographer for various non-profits in the US and Africa.

Five Ways to Take Advantage of Your Partnership With Kinvolved!

Five Ways to Take Advantage of Your Partnership With Kinvolved!

By Tips and Resources

At Kinvolved, we aim to provide you, our partners, with the strongest support possible. With this in mind, we are pleased to share these five key tips to make the most of KiNVO in 20172018!

Attend our Attendance Summits!

NYC Public Advocate Letitia James with Kinvolved Co-Founders

This is a great networking opportunity, during which  you will meet fellow school educators, administrators, district leaders and community-based organization partners, who are equally passionate about elevating student attendance. In the past, our Summits have included professional development sessions on attendance research and policy, tactical training on KiNVO, and support in developing strategic attendance plans. We have enjoyed keynote remarks by the inspiring Letitia James, Public Advocate of the City of New York, and other local leaders.

SAVE THE DATE: Our first 2017-2018 Attendance Summit is scheduled for Friday, October 20th. A formal invitation to this FREE event is coming soon!

NYC Public Advocate Letitia James with Kinvolved Co-Founders
Take advantage of our training and online resources to roll out KiNVO at your school!

We offer a virtual training to each school team, which we will tailor to your goals and needs. During this training, your administrators will learn how they can best use KiNVO within your school community.

Our users also have access to an amazing FAQ resource library that holds articles and videos with tips on everything from logging into KiNVO to using our reporting features, and more.

Additionally, we suggest that you attend our monthly webinars as part of your training. These are great, free opportunities to ask any clarifying questions, deepen your use of KiNVO’s features, and learn from other KiNVO users’ best practices.


Our staff members are happy to help you set short- and long-term goals to measure successful KiNVO implementation at your school. Our partners that establish goals for KiNVO usage from the launch have experienced significantly more success in their first year of our partnership than those who have left utilization of the tool to ambiguity.

If you’d like us to visit your school, we’re happy to do so!, A member of our team can offer an in-person training for an additional fee. Please reach out to support@kinvolved.com to learn more!

Incentivize students to increase attendance with monthly prizes or celebrations!

Ms. Taryn Cheeks, Community School Director at Brooklyn Community Arts and Media High School is a great model of this strategy. Taryn started by rewarding students with at least 90 percent monthly attendance with pencils and certificates. Over time, she upped the ante on her rewards, offering everything ranging from “sundae bars and ‘breakfast for lunch’ in the cafeteria, to an ice-skating trip for students with perfect attendance.” Taryn has seen how students have become committed to attending school to ensure their eligibility for the upcoming reward. This powerful example reinforces the incredible importance of positive reinforcement for both parents and students.

Understand the different ways that you can use KiNVO!

If you understand the versatility of KiNVO, you will use it in the best way to reach your goals. We are constantly sharing blog posts that highlight how various partner schools have uses of KiNVO in creative ways to achieve diverse attendance, family engagement, and school culture development goals. Whether to champion the parent communication, attendance or both, we encourage you to read our blog to get more creative ideas.

Reach out: we want your feedback!

We truly love to connect with our users and partners. We want to know more about your experience with KiNVO and how we can improve.

In fact, every year we conduct an impact analysis to identify areas of strength and areas for improvement. We conduct by interviews with KiNVO users. We would love to hear and include your stories and feedback. If you would like to participate in our next report or have any feedback, please contact us at kinvolved@support.com. Check out our initial findings from our 2016-2017 school year impact report!

Together we are stronger in leading this movement to elevate attendance! Please feel free to contact us at support@kinvolved.com, we are always happy to hear from you!

Xantal Tejada is the Client Success Coordinator at Kinvolved. She is a graduate of the University of San Francisco, from which she earned a degree in Communication and Peace Studies.

Purpose driven Ui-Ux

Three Simple Tips to Establish Purpose- and User-conscious UI/UX Design

By Tips and Resources

Working in the EdTech space, we at Kinvolved are creating a product, our mobile and web app, KiNVO, to be suitable for an extremely diverse user base. KiNVO services teachers, administrators, and student support staff who range in age from 21 to 70, and who occupy the entire spectrum of familiarity and comfort with technology. For this reason, it’s not always easy to build an interface that can properly balance usability with streamlined visual design in a manner that suits everyone. Some designers may favor minimalism over clutter, but users dislike guessing blindly through interfaces that lack effective cues.

 

To achieve a sleek user interface (UI) that your product’s users can fully appreciate, you must first create a design that answers to your product’s intent, and that takes into account your users’ web literacy level.  At Kinvolved, we consider the below best practices to achieve successful UI design:

 

  1. Establish your product’s purpose. It is better to err on the side of simple usability for an app like KiNVO. For example, in NYC public schools, KiNVO is designed to revolutionize the essential practice of attendance recording in schools. We help educators to save time and input more reliable attendance data into our app, compared with the traditional paper-based record. This simple task is critical, as well-taken attendance, with active real-time feedback from parents, will ultimately improve student retention rates. For KiNVO, data accuracy, ease, and speed of use are important. We want teachers to spend less time fumbling with attendance sheets, so our design must accordingly be as simple as possible to use.
  2. Understand your users. Let this guide the direction of your user experience (UX). Some recent attention has shined upon technologies that appear to thrive, in spite of (or perhaps due to) their chaotic and unwieldy UIs. Notable examples include the Bloomberg Terminal and Snapchat. These products are exceptions to the classic “usability-first rule.” They were designed to target certain narrow audiences, like professionals and tech-savvy adolescents, who treasure the exclusivity afforded by an interface that is confusing to outsiders. Though it becomes tempting to conclude that users are attached to clunky interfaces, it is important to remember the wants and needs of your users. Does your interface serve a niche user-base, or is it more important to make your product serviceable to a wide audience of people, possibly with varying levels of technological skill? With this in mind, we want KiNVO to be intuitive, keeping the barriers to entry as low as possible for users of all technology skill levels.
  3. Borrow familiar symbols into your design, to minimize distracting text. Just as learning your second and third language is progressively easier than picking up your first, you can leverage users’ existing knowledge by using iconography. For example, in the KiNVO app, the globe symbol corresponds to language selection, and the paperclip symbol denotes file attachments. Allowing symbols to “speak for themselves” will replace excess text, remove clutter from your site or application, and improve the look and feel of your product. But, be aware of the costs of becoming too minimal. For example, when you keep buttons tucked away from view by hiding them within nondescript dropdowns, certain essential functionalities might be completely overlooked by users. Know what is essential for the consumer’s regular use, and accordingly make the design as clutter-free as possible, without compromising usability. Consider this part the fine-tuning knob that will allow you to strike the balance between cleanliness and usability that is just right.

 

At Kinvolved, we keep these three practices in mind in all of our constant UI/UX designs of new features, and modification of current interfaces. As part of our most recent web and mobile  app redesign, we have made our Inbox, thread view, and attendance recording interface more user-friendly and reflective of modern design trends. Inspired by the aesthetic of current messaging media like Gmail, Facebook, and iMessenger, we implemented key UX strategies that minimize unnecessary text. We have also adopted a front end, with which most users are already familiar. We work hard to consistently improve our product and its design in support of our end users.   

 

KiNVO has proven to be effective in elevating attendance, and if used well, it can be transformative for our educators, students, and our nation’s future.  The best way forward is as a community, join the movement with Kinvolved.

 

Gloria Feng is Kinvolved’s Design and Marketing Intern, and a student at Brown University. She specializes in improving Kinvolved’s web and mobile app interface.

 

© 2019 Kinvolved™. All Rights Reserved, Kinvolved Inc.

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