Creating A Student-First Solution to State Reporting


Project Overview

Data collection isn't typically thought of as a fun process. With our Find Your Path assessment, we were able to introduce our core users to our product in an easy, delightful way, while at the same time gather essential information administrators needed for state reporting.
User Research
Interaction Design
Interface Design
Mobile Web
Desktop Web App
  • My role: Lead Product Designer
  • Tools used:, Sketch, Invision
  • Project Timeline: 3 Months


Personality and career assessments are a typical starting place for schools' college and career readiness (CCR) programs. They usually involves a long questionnaire, with each question presenting students a statement. The student interprets, and notes down how much or little they feel the statement represents them.

Each statement is tied to a certain category, and by completing the test a student can be assigned an overall personality type. Each personality type is then presented to the student alongside a list of matching careers or industries. The overall idea is to get students to consider how their personalities and interests match up with potential careers.


The main issue with these tests is that they're longer than necessary, and aren't always designed specifically for students. This results in them believing that the tests are inaccurate, and so they end up with a negative and skeptical view towards their results.

School administrators on the other hand view these assessments as a necessity. Often the act of administering these tests to students is required by their state in order for their school district to secure funding for the following school year.


Redesign career assessments from the ground up for students first.

We knew we needed to create an assessment experience that worked for students first, and administrators second. That meant trimming the fat of a typical 100 question survey, and speaking the language of students both through both interaction and content. By doing this, we could not only provide school administrators with the data they needed, but do with more accuracy than ever before.


With the career assessments, we knew we needed something that would show value to districts right off the bat. This meant incorporating the assessments into our onboarding process. At the same time, this would mean the assessments were our first introduction to new students, so it had to be a hit with them as well. Breaking things down further, we determined to focus on the following:

1. Condensing without losing accuracy
  • We knew the burden of a 100 question survey couldn't just be moved to a phone or computer. We needed to find a way to cut down on the time it took to complete the survey, but make sure that it did not affect the validity of the results.
2. Speaking the language of our students
  • Gen Z is notoriously good at sniffing out inauthenticity, and we only had one chance at a good first impression. How could we convince students that our platform wasn't just another online tool forced on them by their teachers, but actually an experience that was tailor-made with them in mind?
3. Connecting to the larger platform
  • Even if we were able to simplify the assessment and win over our student users, we knew we needed to give them something more. In what ways could we go beyond the typical career suggestions to get students deeper into our platform and use their results as a jumping off point?


1. Competitor Analysis
  • To start off, we needed to know how career assessments were typically administered to students. By working with our partner districts, we saw a large variety of online tools that were in use. Some were designed by other CCR platforms, some from smaller assessment-only focused providers, and others just from free online tools.
2. Career Assessment Research
  • In addition to the typical career matches that these assessments provided, we wanted to see what else could be extrapolated from a students answers. We spent time researching similar assessments used in other fields, and the alternative uses and results that they provided.
3. Outside Design Inspiration
  • To make sure our assessment experience was right for students, we looked beyond the ed-tech space and did a deep dive into the visual and interactive design of popular Gen Z apps. We wanted our experience to be just as informed by Tiktok, VSCO, After School, Whisper, and Snapchat as it was our competitors assessment tools.


By taking a deep dive into the construction of a career assessment, we were able to break it down into abstractions that could then be rebuilt and simplified in our product. After creating a rough generalized questionnaire flow, we worked on potential interactions that made the assessments not only quick but fun for students to take.


As we honed in on our overall product approach, a concrete user flow was established. This allowed us to begin the user interface design process, as well as start the gathering content and assets needed for our assessment.

Final designs for the

Student Career Assessments

At its core, we knew our assessment needed to be two things: fun and fast. It was the gateway into our platform, and as a result a do-or-die situation for quite literally getting students "on board." It also needed to fulfill the needs of our school administrators without slowing students down. Our end results was an experience that students not only enjoyed, but went out of their way to experience and share with their classmates.

Assessments statements

This all started with our content. We took the dry, irrelevant statements that typically came with these assessments and made sure they made sense to our students. Things like ,"you rarely if ever show up late to work," was rephrased as, "you're almost never late for your classes."

And while relevant scenarios were good, we knew that they too could become stale and boring if students were presented with too many of them. These assessments typically wait until all statements were addressed before assigning a result.

We on the other hand made an assessment after each statement was addressed. This allowed us to cut out later statements which we could predict the answer to, thus reducing the overall statement amount.

Survey interaction

To win over students, we knew we had to make our interactions as fun and intuitive as our content. Students needed to be able to pick up their phone and know exactly how to interact with our assessment.

While our students might not be of age to use dating apps, they certainly caught on very quickly with how to answer statements. Swipe left for no and right for yes. We also made sure that these interactions matched their corresponding buttons below. Two additional buttons were also added: redo and not sure.

As each statement was addressed, the progress bar at the top would slowly tick up until completion. We also displayed the statements in a card format, so students could feel that sense of progression as they might by physically going through a deck of cards.

Celebrity matches

While we'd love it if all students were motivated by the prospect of finding a fulfilling career from an early age, we knew that wasn't realistic. We needed something that would hook students and give them a reason to answer the assessment honestly and keep them there until the end.

We solved this by providing celebrity matches to students after they finished their statements, but before receiving their career matches. This way we proved to them a certain level of accuracy that they could carry on into viewing their career results.

In fact, students loved this so much that, as word spread in school district, students would onboard to get their celebrity matches before their assigned class period.

Career results

While the career results were technically the end of the assessment, we wanted it to be the beginning of our students journey into SchooLinks. Their results not only gave them a point of reference for careers to pursue and majors to study, but it also pointed them to the major parts of the platform that would further their journey of self exploration.

Students could go to the career profile of their career goal, or if they felt it wasn't exactly spot on they had the option to check out similar careers in that career cluster. Additionally, they had the option to go right into the college search experience by seeing schools that offered the major they matched to. And for those less curious we still provided a button to access their dashboard where they could get further their guided introduction to the platform.

And of course with the completion of the assessment, this information was now available to school administrators to use for their state and internal reporting needs.

Assessments page

Over the years as students dove deeper into their college and career exploration process, we encouraged them to come back to the assessments page. It gave them a chance to retake assessments and compare new and old results.

With the original "Find Your Path" assessment being such a hit, it gave us the opportunity to design and develop new assessments to further engage our students.


The original Find Your Path assessment ended up leading to many more assessments, with each one taking the same core concept of breaking down a survey into a simple interactive activity that connected to deeper information in the platform and led to further action. Though in many ways it wasn't only an MVP for our future assessments but only for SchooLinks as a whole. It distilled our core idea of designing student-first experiences that in the end benefitted school administrators and students alike.