"Starry Rain" 💫☔️
Design a sysetem to help the treatment and evaluation of children with autism.
By automating the processes of education activities and digitalize children's historical data It will significantly reduce the paperwork of teachers and help them devote more time on the children with the insights from data.
July - Sept.2021
Microsoft Research Asia
Innovation Engineering Team
UX Design Inthern
Primary Product Designer of the Project
1 Product Manager
About the project
Using OCR and machine learning technologies to help the treatment and evaluation of children with autism. The target is to build a system to help Beijing Starry Rain Educational Research Institute (the first private non-profit organization in China to help autistic children and their families) to automate the processes of education activities and digitalize their historical data from more than 10000 students, which will significantly reduce the paperwork of teachers and help them devote more time on the children with the insights from data.
In 1993, A mother of an autistic child established Beijing Starry Rain Educational Research Institute. It became the first private non-profit organization in China to provide services for autistic children and their families.
However, operating in its 28th year, Starry Rain is facing the challenge of digital transformation...
"We focus on data collection. There will be some evaluation forms to gather information about those children, such as their hobbies. The challenge that we are facing now, with the increasing forms of teaching, we need to spend lots of effort on data collection. If these forms can be transformed to a database for further summary and analysis, we can obtain a deeper understanding of our children's characteristics, hobbies, and interests, we can devote more time and energy to educating children and their parents." -- by Teacher Zhang, teaching at Starry Rain for 17 years
In 2021, Our team members visited Starry Rain. After investigation, we found their current informatization level of Starry Rain was ZERO... Most of the teacher's work is done manually.
Some pictures I took from the field research in Starry Rain Institut
Vision & MIssion
Connect Engineers and NGOs with Github.
Enable digital transformation of NGO for Autism and use AI to help more autistic children maximize their quality of life.
Our Design Goal
How it will work / How it will be built
So we decide to focus our project on:
1) Build a web platform to digitalize their current business processes and education activities, so teachers can save a lot of time in scoring calculations, data statistics, etc. and devote more time to the children.
Build a Web platform
2) Use OCR, Azure Form Recognizer, etc. to turn the historical forms from more than 10000 students to structured data and store in database. These data can be mined and used to play a huge role in rehabilitation prediction, teaching improvement and course recommendation.
Introduction to their past operation pattern
Beijing Starry Rain Institute
Their Service Object
the children who was diagnosed with autism, "autistic", "comprehensive development disorder", "asperger's." And they provide related consulting for their parents, family training guidance services, maintenance for autistic children, parents' behavior training skills training.
1. Provide individualized education programs and preschool training guidance based on "behavior training" for children with autism aged 3-6, so as to help children with autism get early individualized education promotion;
2. Assessment services for children aged 3-12 with autism, and family training programs based on assessment results;
3. Pre-employment training services for autistic children aged 13-18 to help them gain the ability to live independently;
Survey on their work flow
In this process, all teachers' work is paper-based manual work....
Problem They Faced
Their current informatization level of Starry Rain was ZERO...
Teachers need to manually record massive behavioral data of children, so it is difficult to establish personalized archives for tracking children
Institutions are limited in the number of students data they can accommodate
The form of text for autism may be obscure and not direct enough to help parents better understand the needs and causes of children.
What can we do for them?
Regarding their digital transformation, our team made a long-term strategy including three stages, establishing a patient database, digitizing the diagnosis and evaluation system, and open source collaboration.
So...the first step in their digital transformation is to establish a patient database/system to automate the processes of education activities and digitalize their historical data from more than 10000 students, which will significantly reduce the paperwork of teachers and help them devote more time on the children with the insights from data.
That is exactly what our team and I did during my internship.
Short-term Design Goals
Digitalize history data
1. Turn the historical forms from more than 10000 students to structured data and store in database and enhance data use in autism cases.
Build a Web platform
2. Create personalized electronic files for children to help parents and teachers track their children's situation
Design From Scratch
To help the teachers reduce their paperwork, firstly, we establish a web platform to automate the processes of education activities and digitalize students' historical data.
Therefore, teachers can have more time devoted to the children with the insights from data.
Due to the tight schedule, I went straight to the high-fidelity prototype design and skipped the low-fidelity prototype.
The prototype design of the first version mainly includes three sections:
1. Student Kanban
Student kanban is mainly used to manage and follow up the assessment of every student and help teachers complete the assessment procedures for all children.
The progress of each student's assessment is presented as a table, and the teacher can check and edit the assessment results of every student.
Main functions in Student Kanban
1. Select the class and students
2. Add new student: Click Create new student button and add rows in table
3. Create a new test: Click to create a survey and add columns to the table
4. Check the completion of the form: Click to enter the interface for completing the specific form. Students who have not completed the form can click to complete the assessment, and students who have completed the assessment can modify the content
2. Questionnaire Management
This page is about the assessment questionnaire information. Teachers can create, delete, edit, release assessment questionnaires. After creating a new questionnaire, it will show on the first page of student Kanban and urge teachers to complete and fill in the assessment of each child.
Main functions in Questionnaire Management
Create and publish a new questionnaire for children’s assessments.
Edit and delete questionnaire
3. OCR Recognition
OCR module is used to support students' historical data scanning, storage, editing, modification, and students' information query function.
*This project is protected by NDA, please understand only a portion of this project can be revealed.
The starry rain project is one of my responsible projects during my 5-month internship at MSRA(Microsoft Research Asia).
I was so happy to join a team collaborating with NGO to design for the public good. The first time I joined the group, there was no designer in this program. Due to the tight schedule, I created the first crude version of the platform, which had a lot to be improved. Now the project is still in the development stage. I can't wait to see the online version and hear the teachers' feedbacks. I also know that there is long way to go for the Starry Rain project, the pace of working for public welfare will never stop. One day I hope to see AI could accelerate the digital transformation of many public service organization like Starry Rain. I will continue using the power of design to lighten the society.
By the way, the day after I checked out, this project won the first prize in Microsoft Global Hackathon 2021 (Beijing). I was so proud of that.
The prize-awarding ceremony👆
(But It is a great pity that the ceremony was three days after I finished my internship😭)