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Center for Guided Montessori Studies

Center for Guided Montessori has been providing Montessori teacher training for two decades. However, the course seems to lack proper user research, content design, and accessibility. As a former teacher trainer, I have observed that many adult learners find the platform frustrating and difficult to follow. They struggle to understand the assignments and requirements, which often leads them to give up.

Project Overview

Current State

Redesigning web version and course content to provide better user flow
Improving the conception > design > validation > dev workflow

My Role

  • User-interview to understand the painpoints and frustration using the learning platform

  • Usability testing with current state and redesign to understand the mind-set of the user.

  • Created high-fidelity wireframes to demonstrate end-to-end product flow.


1 Year



Background Story

A teacher called me in the evening at 7pm, asking for my help urgently. I could hear the frustration and fatigue in her voice from working all day with children, managing her parental responsibilities in the evening, and trying to meet a deadline for an assignment she didn't even know existed. As a teacher trainer, CGMS alumnus, educator, and parent, I could relate to her exhaustion and frustration.

At that moment, I couldn't help but think that getting Montessori training for adults shouldn't be this difficult, especially for educators. After consoling her and providing her with more time to complete her assignment, I began to research this frustration among adult learners. It appears that the pain points revolve around similar issues, such as difficulty following the sequence, lack of feedback, lack of reminders, the user flow of the course, and accessibility problems due to poor user interface.

Research Goals

In order to create a proper project timeline, it was important to learn the needs of the users as well as CGMS. CGMS is limited in terms of funding and the reason they couldn't iterate on their course design is because of the lack of knowledge and understanding of User experience. My task was difficult to convince them on how important user experience for the success of the business and of users. Users need to feel successful using a digital product to maximize learning. A poor digital design can lead to information deficit and learning. 

  • Empathize with users to create understanding of their pain points.

  • Testing of current state website to understand the user flow deeply.

  • Heuristic analysis of current website to understand User Interface issues.

Auditing Current State

Provisional Persona

After conducting initial research and usability testing on our current app, we developed proto-personas to ensure that we prioritize our end users' needs over our desire to offer more features. By understanding each user's unique financial requirements, Savi Finance can create customized investment plans that align with their long-term goals.

Live in the moment spender

Needs to accomplish

  • Able to track spendings to enjoy life

  • Able to enter transactions and split bills with friends.

  • Able to upload a receipt.

Needs to feel

  • Efficient and not task oriented

  • Appreciated for taking time to log in the transaction. 

  • Needs a reward.

Working from Home

A busy person, long term thinker

Needs to accomplish

Woman Working on Laptop

Balanced saver recent grad

Needs to accomplish

  • Able to enter manual transactions fast

  • Be able to add notes to keep track of the finances

  • has additional options to add details related to the transactions

Needs to Feel

  • Able to find the option to add transaction manually without scrolling through too many pages.

  • Able to add transactions efficiently and expedite the process

Needs to Feel

  • At ease and not overwhelmed.

  • In control of finances to plan and keep track on investments.

  • Feel a sense of self-achievement

  • Comfortable with learning a new tool to help fill the gaps in savings

  • Confidence in using a new tool.

User Interview

After doing A/B testing, it was time for us to validate our findings. For this, I interviews 8 participants for 10-15 minutes to gain a deeper understanding of pain points and challenges with the current version of manual transaction screen.

Research Theme:

Understand the pain points with manual transaction

Goal: Gain a deeper perspective on why manual transaction feels frustrating and cumbersome for users. 

Research Questions

  • What do you like/dislike about the current version of manual transaction?

  • How often do you use that feature?

  • Why do you need to use manual transaction input?

  • How does it help you in your budgeting?

I gained a deeper understanding on issues with UX as well as UI. In order to create a solution, I begin to synthesize my findings to keep me anchored in creating the best user-centric solution.

Empathy Map

By creating empathy map, I was able to understand users' ultimate needs for manual transaction and how we can align the needs of all stakeholders with a better design solution. TI gathered this information and summarized them in insights and needs. By doing so, I can refer back to them when I am designing the solution.



Working from Home



  • Wants to record transactions that are not auto synced with credit card or made with cash

  • Wants to add friends for split bill.

  • Wants to do it fast with little to no efforts.

  • I want to be able to spend no less than few seconds to input a transaction.

  • I want to add notes and sometimes scan a receipt for records

  • I need to split the bill with family and friends

  • There is not enough time to keep records and input transactions manually.

  • It is too much effort to record transactions manually.

  • Feels the need to record the transactions to help with savings.

  • Wants to be on top of saving goals and records the transactions but feels frustrated and gives up.

  • Sees the value of recording each and every transactions to get the full picture but gets bogged down with too much information.

Defining the Problem

Based on our user research and insights, we have discovered that the users find the manual transaction input process frustrating, primarily because of the overwhelming number of options presented to them. While users appreciate the ability to choose from different options, they are not in favor of filling out a massive form.

  • How might we help users achieve the goal of recording a transaction with minimal efforts?

  • How might we offer all the features on the one screen without having a long form to be filled out?

  • How might we reduce the number of clicks and scrolls for the user to help them achieve the task faster?

My Solution

Heuristic Analysis

After understanding the needs of our end user, we proceeded to create a user flow chart that would enable us to have a better understanding of their journey. The flow chart was instrumental in helping us comprehend the user's thought process, which allowed us to design the solution better.

Low-Fidelity Design

When finalizing the user journey, I transfer my ideas to paper, test and iterate. The low-fidelity design helps me visualize my solution on paper.

Medium Fidelity Design

Even though I wasn't obligated to create a medium-fidelity design for this project, I invested some time into converting my low-fidelity ideas into a digital format. I wanted a more refined visual representation to assist me in iterating and ensuring that I kept the users' requirements as a top priority.

Design System

High Fidelity Design

At present, Savi Finance is solely concentrating on developing a design for dark mode for the launch. The primary objective is to ensure flawless user testing of the high-fidelity designs before the launch. Based on the current color scheme, I have designed a high-fidelity prototype for user testing purposes.

A/B Testing of Old Versions & Redesign

When it comes to usability testing, I am like a child in a toy store. My goal with usability testing is to really touch the users' hearts and minds. I want them to feel confident, valuable, and inspired to use our product. Creating unbiased narrative of my product, I usually begin with usability testing with empathy.

Evaluation & Task

Task 1
Ability to locate manual transaction button and create a transaction.

Task 2 
Understanding the flow task and perform the task of adding the transaction

Task 3
Ability to save the transaction.


During usability testing, we discovered that the users would love the feature of uploading the receipt and auto-syncing the input fields. There is a still need among users to save receipt. Users also like the feature to split the bill and invite friends to the transaction. 

Design Iterations

The app now includes a "Split the bill" button for transactions where users want to split the cost with a friend or family member. In the future, this feature will be expanded to allow users to split bills like Venmo.

During usability testing, we discovered the receipt auto-fill feature. However, users still feel the need to save receipts, especially for larger purchases and while traveling.

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