Student Feedback Drives Product Design

One of the things that we take pride in doing is embedding ourselves in the special education and autism communities here in Eugene. We learn so much from our peers and friends at places like the ARC of Lane County, Pearl Buck Center, the newly launched SLLEA house, and especially the innovative Connections Program run through the 4J school district.

Josh Barbour has been running the 4J Connections Program for 10 years, and is constantly on the lookout for tools that help empower his students. Connections Program participants have been instrumental in the development of the Goal Guide app through their involvement with Cognitopia as a software testing work experience site.

Each week a group of five to nine students would visit our office and share insightful commentary and feedback around goal setting. We were interested in knowing how the students set goals and understanding the challenges they face in accomplishing tasks in their everyday lives.

These conversations and collaborations have helped us clarify which features within Goal Guide best help to set, complete and share goals. The students also taught us a lot about what was intuitive (or not) and lacking (or not) in our early versions of the app.

As an example, one of the students was instrumental in leading us to the idea of the “Quick Add” goal feature. He didn’t like the category distinction in the app, but wanted to create a goal first and then figure out how to keep it organized within a category. Because of this direct input from one of our testers—which we corroborated with others in the group—we’ll be rolling out a new feature to help you quick add goals in the near future!

Interested in learning more and providing some valuable feedback of your own? Sign up for the Goal Guide beta testing program here: https://www.cognitopia.com/signup

About Matt Fanelli

Matt Fanelli helps run the show by drawing on his experiences as a big brother to an exceptional little brother with ASD. With a law and business background, Matt helps Cognitopia build lasting partnerships with others who provide services to those on the Spectrum. In his spare time, he spends time with his fiancé, Emily, and his dog, Poca.

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