Barbri is a law school and bar exam preparatory company. With over 40 years of experience and one million students, Barbri has become the go-to leader of bar review courses and student support.
Perpetuating’s role was nothing short of a full package, beginning to end partnership. It included everything from at extensive consulting, research, design, design validation, and testing of the design. Perpetuating used agile programming and development methodologies with systematic feedback analysis – all the way through the launch of the new iPhone app. Perpetuating also served as consultants to Apple to elevate the app to meet Apple’s interface guidelines. “Together, we delivered what is internally known as the best partnership and product we have ever created here at Barbri”.
Barbri wanted to allow their students to study their content in a new format, specifically on the iPhone. Their goal was to provide the lectures, course material, study guides and test questions online. In the past, Barbri had provided lectures as audio tracks on DVDs and CD’s, and before that on cassettes, and decades ago, on 8 track. The iPhone and iPod Touch was the obvious and logical “next step” technology. Barbi wanted to be perceived as an innovative leader in their field. They were the dominant and largest provider of test prep services, yet they were not necessarily seen as the most advanced nor as the leading edge from a technology-wise.
To reach this goal, Barbri partnered with Perpetuating to create the foundation for their first-ever mobile road map utilizing the iPhone platform. Perpetuating investigated and researched Barbri’s informational delivery system. We designed the application to support and emphasized multiple learning styles. This enabled us to combine readings, videos and test questions for both tactile and kinetic learners. To ensure that the app was engaging to students, user experience and design were at the forefront of every decision.
Another design consideration taken into account as the project progressed, was the organization of the information. The information needed to be organized such that it would help students increase their proficiency in 7 or 8 subjects. Instead of simply transferring web content from a previous technology, to better suit the students’ needs, we created section for content, grades and progress, lectures, and to-do.
Additional challenges arose with measuring proficiencies. To combat these issues, Perpetuating worked closely with educational experts to understand how students study and take tests. We ensured that all of the course material could be read on the iPhone as well as in PDF and PowerPoint formats for use in the classrooms. The newly organized content database is both easily accessible and provides the highest user experience delivery. Management of the system had to be under secured control. Every detail from whom had access to what to when the content would expire was monitored with extra attention.
During the design phase, we gathered feedback from both past and current students studying for the bar exam. Our test group was enrolled in Barbri’s courses. Under our careful guidance, we walked participants through the app and gathered feedback and suggestions at various stages of development. The app was refined accordingly.
Perpetuating launched a very successful and natively programmed iPhone App and iPod Touch version. We built in the CMS system directly with a highly sophisticated software system. This managed all of the videos, the indexing and over 1000 questions that we helped to load in from their test management system. We then interfaced directly with Barbri’s system that stored the full student registration, tied it back into the CMS so the technical team at Barbri could take over.
In an email the president of Barbri shared from a long-time member of the internal team, who had worked closely on this milestone projection, she said, “when I heard and saw the Barbri app that you created with Perpetuating, I wanted you to know that this is truly the most innovative thing we have ever done at Barbri and I am so excited to still be working here at Barbri at this time!”
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