The Menlo Math Program
SRI Education | User Experience Design
Services offered: UX/UI Audit; Persona Development; Storytelling; Visual Design; User Experience Design
SRI Education had something special on their hands, they just didn’t have an equally great way to present it.
After 25 years of evidence-based learning research, SRI Education had built a math curriculum they called Menlo Math, and they were eager to expand its influence to classrooms across America. Menlo Math students saw impressive learning gains in their field trials, and teachers were saying the curriculum was something truly unique. The research team was on the verge of a huge success, but they didn’t know exactly what their next step was. To expand their impact, they needed to find a partner that could help them communicate their story clearly and powerfully.
ProjectEd brought in a team of storytellers, designers, and industry experts to help SRI Education’s research team solidify their message. Starting with a face-to-face workshop, ProjectEd created a solution far more customized and personal than a traditional firm would, and in a fraction of the time.
ProjectEd’s 4 Steps to Success:
Step 1: Workshops
ProjectEd flew out to Silicon Valley to crystallize a vision for the story. In just two high-energy, hands-on sessions, the team identified which elements of SRI Education’s curriculum deserved a spotlight, analyzed the needs and biases of their audience, and developed a strategy. Working with the full research team, ProjectEd ended the sessions with buy-in and confidence.
Step 2: Storytelling
Back in New York, ProjectEd turned the workshop’s insights into something tangible: a script that any SRI Education team member could use to communicate their message. The script captured the strong voice and ideas that the research team already possessed, distilled into something impactful and direct. After reading the script, the team knew immediately that they’d reached a turning point: “This is exactly what we’ve been trying to say,” said Sarah Zaner, Director of Product Development & Strategy, “We wanted to tell our story in a way that would get others as excited about the potential of Menlo Math as we are, but we didn’t have the words. Now we do.”
We wanted to tell our story in a way that would get others as excited about the potential of Menlo Math as we are, but we didn’t have the words. Now we do.
— Sarah Zaner, Director of Product Development & Strategy
Step 3: Deck and Demo Development
With voice and message approved, ProjectEd used the script as a lodestar, crafting a professional-quality deck that included visualization, animation, and a customized delivery approach. ProjectEd’s priority was to make this presentation as easy and natural as possible for the SRI Education presenters. Working together, the two teams refined even the smallest details, down to word choice, animation length, and the number of clicks in the demo. They capped off the process with coaching sessions, providing example videos and personalized feedback on team members’ stage presence, cadence, and style.
Step 4: UI Design
Along the way, ProjectEd did a full analysis of Menlo Math’s UX, and drew up ideas for a new look and feel, presenting mood boards and wireframes to the SRI Education team that would elevate the product to a new level.
Bringing Out Value
When SRI Education began its engagement with ProjectEd, the team already knew what ideas it needed to emphasize to potential partners. “It wasn’t that we needed help understanding the value of our product,” said Peter Levy, Director of Commercial Business Development for SRI Education, “What we needed was help understanding how to best communicate that value.”
“We couldn’t have told the story or built the case the way you guys have. And we certainly couldn’t have produced these visuals.”
By starting with a facilitated workshop, ProjectEd could achieve buy-in, define a process, and design a new product in weeks instead of months. More importantly, with all stakeholders involved throughout, the planning was thorough and vetted, setting the stage for growth and success.
The research team has asked to extend their partnership with ProjectEd, utilizing the deep knowledge of SRI Education and their product to lend help on their website. Peter Levy told us that going forward, as they develop new tools and curricula, “We expect to be coming back to you guys to say ‘what could you do with this?”
We couldn’t have told the story or built the case the way you guys have. And we certainly couldn’t have produced these visuals.
— Peter Levy, Director of Commercial Business Development
About SRI Education
SRI Education, a division of SRI International (SRI), provides research-based analysis of educational outcomes and reforms, and the impacts of technology on learning.
SRI is a nonprofit, independent research center headquartered in Menlo Park, California. Its mission is to create world-changing solutions that make people safer, healthier, and more productive. It performs client-sponsored research and development for government agencies, commercial businesses, and private foundations.