Parent School Dashboard

Creative Direction, UX Strategy, Architecture, Data Visualization

Parent School Dashboard
Creative Direction, UX Strategy, Architecture, Data Visualization
Ted Billups led the UX redesign of the State of Michigan Parent Dashboard and the Michigan School Data portal to be accessible WCAG 2 AA.
Ted Billups
Strategic Consulting, Accessibility WCAG, Creative Direction,  Data Visualization, UX Design, Software Prototyping, Illustration, Agency Owner

The Michigan Department of Education uses software and websites to communicate primarily with parents, educators, policymakers, businesspeople, researchers and the citizens of Michigan.


The Department of Education required its first parent-focused dashboard to help parents make important decisions for their children, community and schools. Data was collected and shared in the past through multiple channels, but many parents were unaware or unable to understand the information.


Research and Requirements: Understand the vision and complex data requirements of the State of Michigan Department of Education and other parties involved including the State Board of Education and the Federal Department of Education.

  • UX Design: Multidimensional personas of parents; their motivations, abilities, needs and tasks and how their journeys evolve over time.
  • User Research with Parents throughout Michigan - qualitative and quantitative: Focus groups throughout Michigan
  • Contextual observation of parents using wireframe prototypes and similar software, tree testing and card sorting
  • Behavioral design analysisUX Requirements, architecture and interactive wireframe prototypes
  • UX Visual Design and Visual Specifications for development WCAG 2.0 Level AA compliant design
  • Brand: name, messaging and managing copywritingImplementation was performed by a separate firm.

The Parent Dashboard website was highly successful with a much wider group of stakeholders than expected such as businesses, legislators and policymakers.  It was one of the first state parent dashboards in 2017, reaching millions of parents that want to help their children, improve their schools, and make decisions in their community. I presented the dashboard to the Michigan Board of Education several times and received high marks!

Parent Dashboard screens, architecture and research
User research and testing with parents yielded their preferred methods to find and select schools, by search keyword, address and exploring via map.
Education Resources for Parents section was created inside the redesigned MI School Data site, which now includes the Parent Dashboard.
Contact Ted Billups
© Billups Consulting LLC