Chalk was a 9-year-old education tech startup based out of Kitchener, Ontario, known for their digital lesson planner (B2C) and their curriculum mapping software (B2B). Though they had a niche of loyal users, their B2C product faced retention problems. Coupled with a shift towards an inbound B2C2B business strategy, Chalk needed a better understanding of their target users to align its product strategy with its new business strategy.
This obviously wasn't designed by a teacher.
This quote came from a survey sent by our account managers to teacher-users in our B2B client schools. We faced tech adoption problems because our technology didn't seem to match teachers' expectations. This was further reflected in our B2C engagement metrics:
Our apps were intended to solve a problem for teachers: planning lessons. But teachers didn't seem to find our solution useful. Was there a mismatch between how teachers actually plan lessons, and how our app wanted them to do it?
This research produced three useful frameworks for understanding our target users:
This provided an overview of the workflow pattern that recurred in teacher interviews, and showed gaps between how teachers work and how our product worked.
Our research also provided plenty of data to create personas of different users with very different goals. This helped us notice misalignments between users' needs and our products' features.
Combining qualitative research findings and stakeholder input, we built journey maps for each persona, highlighting the peaks and valleys in their experience. This helped us identify where the Chalk product story was falling flat, and why we suffered from high user attrition.