Curveu was conceived out of a need to view students’ grades on mobile devices. To solve this, a friend of mine and I create an application called San Jose Pinnacle Internet Viewer. The app screen scraped Infinite Campus’s Student Web Portal and displayed it in a mobile-optimized interface.
After the success of San Jose PIV, we decided to translate the application to support multiple school districts, and it was renamed to IC Connector. This application soon skyrocketed in the number of downloads and became the basis for a front-page news article in the San Jose Mercury News. With the app gaining traction, we created a company called Curveu. Our goal was to make IC Connector into a viable product and, in doing so, it would turn into a front-end wrapper for all the Student Information Systems (SIS).
Curveu had many features that IC Connector did not. The two most important being the grade calculator and the statistics features. The grade calculator allows a student to use sliders to see what they would need to get on an upcoming assignment to earn a particular grade in their class. The statistics feature allowed a student to anonymously compare themselves with their classmates (as long as all the classmates used Curveu as well) to see how the whole class performed on a specific test, assignment or their grade overall. Curveu was widely received by all the students that used it, but unfortunately, when we took Curveu around the VC circuit, we could not receive venture capital for it as we did not have the right path for monetization. Curveu is still actively maintained today and acquires new active users daily.
I was involved in Curveu’s initial creation and the early stages of its development. I designed the first application- which was more of a prototype in app form to prove the concept. Once the idea was validated, I was in charge of designing a new look for the entire product. This included the brand guidelines, marketing materials, iOS app, and web platform.
At the time when Curveu was created, the other application on the market that allowed you to view your grades felt more like enterprise software. The platforms were challenging to use and not accessible on mobile devices. There was also a lack of features in these products, which meant there was an opportunity for improvement.
There were two user types that Curveu was created for- the student and the parent of the student. Both user types had the same abilities, so we developed a single persona.
Persona 1: Any User Type
The user needed to be able to access grades and attendance just like in other platforms, but also be able to take advantage of the data that they had at hand. This would allow the user to make data-informed decisions about their education.
Mocks / Designs
Curveu was created using a bootstrap framework, so throughout the design process, this needed to be kept in mind. The iOS application and web application were designed using Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator.
The biggest challenge during this project was figuring out how to make Curveu both visually and functionally appealing so that schools and school districts would want to implement it. This meant it needed to look modern, but not like any other applications they currently used.
This was not only my first project as a designer, but also the project where I learned the most. I had to look at things from a design perspective, but also think about how it would be perceived from a business perspective. This taught me to think critically about all design decisions I made. All aspects of the project were grown very organically, which was quite rewarding and seeing the students and parents benefit from the features we developed was truly special.