Online Education Product Design and Development

Web

Speech Link Multimedia Ltd

www.speechlink.co.uk

Results (so far)

We delivered a working prototype of Speech Link’s all-new online products.

During the project we helped Speech Link build their in-house development team. Together we facilitated a smooth transition to in-house development delivery of the prototype.

A flexible, iterative approach helped us (and Speech Link) adapt to changing situations over the eighteen month project lifecycle. It kept the project on track and moving forward.

Speech Link were thrilled with the new product look, fee, and usability. They asked us to continue working alongside their in-house team through to launch and beyond.

The Brief

Following previous successful projects, Speech Link Multimedia asked us to work with them on a larger endeavour. They needed to overhaul their flagship Language Link and Speech Link products. For over 10 years they had won customers (and awards) from around the World. Now they wanted their products to deliver even more clinical and functional value. The aims were:

  • Improve the technical foundations, making them more robust and flexible
  • Improve underlying data architecture to make it more flexible
  • Improve interface design and usability to enable sometimes inexperienced users perform complex tasks as easily as possible
  • Design a consistent layout and interface toolkit for new features and functions
  • Improve the clinical benefits of the product
  • Align the products more closely with current school procedures and processes

Our Solution

We started the project with technical and product audits.

The technical audit gave us direction for the database redesign. The database became more complex but also more flexile and efficient.

The technical audit also helped us select appropriate technologies for the rebuild. We had to use technologies that would run on Speech Link’s existing infrastructure. We also knew that some user interfaces would have to perform real-time data manipulation. They also had to update in real-time and update to reflect data changes. So we settled on a set of best-of-class open source frameworks that worked in unison for:

  • application development,
  • real-time data manipulation,
  • user interface and layout design.

Then we set about rebuilding the products, feature by feature.

The product audit led us to completely rethink how to best present each product to Speech Link’s customers. It guided us when designing their interrelations; how users could best understand their concepts. From there we progressed to high level design of:

  • information architecture,
  • user journeys when performing essential actions,
  • a reusable toolkit of colours, icons, typography, units, and interface elements

User testing helped us refine journeys and specific interfaces as we developed them.

Speech Link’s Speech and Language Therapists refined their clinical models as the project progressed. As their requirements evolved we iterated on application logic, information architecture, and interfaces.

On occasions we had to handle highly sensitive personal data. We reviewed internal processes, procedures, and tools to ensure the data remained confidential. As part of that process we invested in Cyber Essentials certification.

As Speech Link’s in-house development capabilities grew, we collaborated with them. It enabled a smooth product development transition to their team.


Speech Link Say

The visual design of the prototype is an enormous improvement over our original. The programming is more flexible and robust, and the prototype is so much easier to use.

Over the course of the project Mpjdesign have fully invested in us and our products. They act like a true business partner, in the easy times and the more challenging situations. Consequently I feel I can rely on Mpjdesign to do their absolute best for us, whatever question we ask or request we make. Our relationship is ongoing and we continue to work with them on current projects.

- Pete McLeod, Managing Director