As decisions become increasingly data-driven, the ability to interrogate data is emerging as a key skill for self-advocacy. Unfortunately, marginalized communities most heavy impacted by algorithmic decision making are often those least prepared to question those decisions. With this issue in mind, my graphic design advanced studio worked with SAS to design data literacy tools for middle schoolers to use outside of the traditional classroom.


Design an interactive tool to teach data concepts to middle schoolers. The tool should:

  • Explain data concepts and their relevance to understanding a sample dataset
  • Enable users to try out the concepts.
  • Allow users to share and communicate their findings in a compelling manner.

Students worked in groups for this 9 week project. Each group worked with one of three data concepts: Distributions, Correlations, or Clusters.

Student designers: Kennedy Liggett, Joseph Rogers, Rachel Thomas


Student designers: Cole Ferguson, Rachael Pollock, Anna Schecterson


Student designers: Abbey Carr, Anya Gunturi, Darron Klett



Research Process


Launch at SAS


Panel discussion with local middle school math teachers.


Key findings from teachers: middle-school kids are narrative driven, want to know why/relevance, Distract with short attention spans, "into me," competitive with one another, love pop culture mediums, like to work in teams


personas and scenarios


As Is user journey maps


Benchmarking current educational tools for middle-schoolers as well as online data literacy tools for adults


Ideation exercises


sketches and storyboards


Several rounds of critiques with SAS


Wireframes and task flows


Rough prototypes


User test rough prototypes at the local middle school with kids.


"To Be" user journey map


Hi-fi prototypes and scenario videos