ReactKit (2021)

UX Design
Project Overview
This project was done for Regine Gilbert's UX class at NYU's Tandon School of Engineering, and is a proposed intervention to the complications that online learning presents, particularly to higher education students with ADHD. The proposed solution is a 3 part feature extension to Zoom, one of the most commonly used online lecturing platforms.
My Role:
User researcher, Designer
Individual project
6 weeks
timeline, personnel

Problem Statement

Higher education students, especially those who experience attention deficit, who are transitioning into online learning feel disconnected from their classmates and find it hard to focus in online lectures. They find it hard to maintain motivation so they can stay engaged and get the most out of their classes.

Process Overview


first concepts & Design

user testing



Secondary Research
Competitive Analysis


Based on the initial research, we have an opportunity to provide an experience that keeps students motivated and improves focus for remote classes by

My initial concept (shown in the sketch to the right), was a plugin for asynchronous content platforms such as Canvas or Moodle. It was originally an enhanced version of the existing module system that exists on these platforms. My design was intended to encourage breaking up long lessons, tracking progress clearly, and being able to self-assess and give feedback on the module and class at the end of each section of the lesson.

However, I thought back to my problem statement and the user interviews, and I realized that the last two needs I identified above were largely unaddressed with this initial concept

The most prominent pain points revealed in my interviews were explicitly related to synchronous content (like Zoom lectures), not asynchronous.
*coincidentally, shortly after finishing this project for class I noticed that zoom actually rolled out this feature :) 

My feature prioritization for the reworked concept and solution are as follows:


The goals of ReactKit are primarily to encourage live feedback and engagement during synchronous lectures, therefore increasing motivation in an online learning environment. The success of these features could be quantitatively measured by:

Success would look like a higher number of messages sent after installation of the plugin (more users interacting with each other or at least asking questions to the lecturer), and a higher number of clicks in the Zoom window after installation compared to before, with number of clicks on average being maintained across lectures (users are aware of the new features and using them, and are maintaining that engagement across class sessions)

Below are the site maps to show where the new features would sit within Zoom's existing information architecture.


5 user testers, all higher education students who are familiar with the Zoom interface
Overall, my testers said it was easy to understand how to use new features, but it was difficult to find the question and answer board and differentiate from existing chat feature


After user testing, here were the adjustments I made:

  1. Added an onboarding popup that describes what's new and how to access the new features
  2. Instead of a Q&A button in the bottom toolbar, the Q&A feature is accessible as a tab by the existing chat feature.
  3. Adjusted the anonymous toggle contrast to be higher and therefore more visible



What's Next?

Given the time constraint, if I were to continue developing this project I'd continue user testing and using the success metrics determined above to continue iterating.

I'd also like to explore options for other platforms like Google Classroom - Zoom seems to be main option for universities but K-12 remote learners seem to usually use Google Classroom.

I think there's also an additional opportunity to improve on the interaction component of online learning through the possibility of navigating a virtual space and/or making customizable avatars. My solution helps ease some anxiety when it comes to interacting in class, but there is still the larger issue of making genuine connections and having conversations with classmates that I think warrants further research and development.


Overall, if I were to approach this project again I'd seek a more diverse panel of user testers. My secondary research was focused largely on students with attention deficit disorders who were particularly struggling with adapting to online learning, however I don't feel I was able to adequately represent that target group with the user testing group that I had, although I did receive crucial and valuable insight from the testing group I had. I'd also take the extra step during secondary research to talk to experts in teaching for special needs to gain some more insight on known approaches to online learning, as I feel my knowledge was limited by time constraints as well as solely relying on looking up scholarly articles on my own.