item bank redesign

Illuminate Education is the leading provider of integrated K-12 SaaS-based software and content solutions. Illuminate's innovative tools are designed to increase the power of teaching to teachers and the delight of learning to students.


Item Bank is a tool created to help educators build assessments for their students. Users can either create their own test questions or select items from our library consisting of 21 standard item types (multiple choice, math equations, hot spot, etc.). Illuminate's Item Bank is a powerful tool that allows teachers to give students assessments based on school district standards.


Lead UX Designer

Research, Prototyping, Interaction, Visual design & testing, some coding

The Problem

Item Bank was created in 2010 and has not received an update since 2013.

  • Difficult to navigate
  • Components lacked consistency
  • Disorganized Information architecture
  • Inefficient filtering system
  • No design style guide to reference

One of the most prevalent issues was how difficult it was to navigate between building an assessment to creating a custom item. They were required to exit the assessment builder, create their item, return to the assessment builder, search for their item, and then add it into their assessment.


User Research

The first step was to understand the user’s pains and gains with the product. Illuminate’s users ranged from middle school and high school teachers to district administrators who were in charge of overseeing the district’s education software. To get a better understanding of our users, we created user personas based off the data we collected from teachers and district administrators that we worked with.

mr-pusch ms-murray

The Solution

Our goal was to simplify the application’s flow by improving the navigation. We drastically reduced the amount of screens users had to click through in order to build an assessment. Our new Item Bank is now a single page application, inspired by the efficiency of e-commerce websites. Users can now easily switch between item creation and building their assessment. I also designed a filtering system that allows users to search for items more quickly. As a result, a handful of school districts that were planning to part ways with Illuminate decided to stay because they were pleased with the improvements made in the redesigned Item Bank.

IBX Gif Item Creation Gif


During the Item Bank redesign, we decided to create a style guide to help create a uniform product style. The design system our team created consisted of foundational styles and reusable components. Moving forward the design system was a point of reference our team could refer back to when building high-fidelity mock-ups.


Project Takeaways

When redesigning a product, it is easy to get caught up in improving small aesthetic details. However, I learned to prioritize a well designed information architecture over a quick fix design. I also learned that more eyes are better than one. My teammates and I exchanged constructive criticism to build on our designs. Collaboration is key in order to build a good product.

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