Case Study

Teacher planning and digital repository platform


The Smartplanner Dashboard goal was to add value to the clients printed school book offering, and to offer a planning & digital repository to allow US Teachers to access the Digital Assets that come with the HMH Educational Curriculum. I was design lead, but also worked pair designing with a learning designer. In 18 months we created a number of applications that where successfully delivered too over 12million American Teachers.


In pair design team with a Learning Designer. Working with Development team, Offshore GA, Offshore Product Owner


18th Months, 15 Person Scrum Team, Remote QA, Remote PO


Axure (Wireframes) Adobe Illustrator CC/ Photoshop (Visual Design), Pen and Paper (Storyboarding)


Wire framing, Project Workshopping, User research, Visual Design


Run as internal project in Dublin (HMH’s European Base) we were tasked with developing a single point of access for teachers to use their MySmart Planner Application and leverage that into a one stop access point for the digital assets and services available to them via their school package.

The Challange

There was a number of challenges to this project, from a purely practical view, the target users were in America and we were in Ireland. The system was being built on a legacy technology stack. This ended up effecting what was possible and what wasn’t.. So sometimes the ideal user solution had to be redesigned to deal with the older technologies.

The Approach

Using research that the America user research team ran. We wire-framed a number of solution. To deal with the amount of information a dashboard solution was deemed the most efficient, dashboards should be scannable and easy to understand so many versions where created and worked through before finalising the solution. The project also created a tablet version prototype though it was a desktop first project. 

The Process

As the Product was for American Teachers, and the development team was in Dublin Ireland, we had a company in LA do the user testing, we relied heavily on the videos from these sessions. Locally we did guerrilla testing with local Irish teachers, and got our American counter parts to do the same testing. 

The Kit

We created a number of kits for this project, the developers then worked them up to full digital versions and used them as a guide if they had to create more assets. And a discussion documents with stakeholders.

The Outcome

The Dashboard was rolled out to over 12 million teacher, later we where informed that there was a very positive uptake in system usage and it provided a great add-on to the more traditional book experience. 

This project was definitely a great learning experience. While it was challenging working directly legacy systems it was also extremely eye opening to learn about the technology  stack itself, which is definitely something I wouldn’t have learned otherwise.