January 2020 saw the release of the new version of the Dynamic Placement Test Admin Panel. Sky Chan, Product Manager, talks about what he aimed to achieve with this version, and why he likes it. The Admin Panel is the program teachers and administrators use to set up tests, check results and print certificates.
What was your design concept?
The interesting thing about this project was being able to build on feedback from users of the previous Flash-based version. On the one hand, we knew there were things to fix: setting up a new test for just one person was clumsy in the old version; it was difficult to search the system for individual test takers; and of course Flash is becoming obsolete this year. But we also had a positive vision. This was to build a tool with as many useful functions as possible, but at the same time to keep it as simple as possible to use. Our users have a wide range of IT abilities and we need to cater to them all.
What are the main functions in this new version?
Okay, there are five main parts to the program and they all need to integrate with each other:
- Managing users
- Managing tests
- Generating test reports
- Generating certificates
- Admin functions: licence reports, usage statistics and so on
The basic workflow for users is to input groups and test takers. This can be a manual process, or you can import them in bulk. When you are ready, set up your test, select the start and end dates, the interface language and the other settings. Choose the test takers or groups who are going to do the test. Click to notify test takers of the test details. Once the test is complete, click for a report and print out certificates. It’s that simple.
What new features have you included?
Well, the whole thing has been redesigned from scratch, so there are a lot of new features. I’ll just highlight three. Firstly, you can easily update test details. This means that if, for example, you want to extend the time the test is available this can be done in a couple of clicks. Secondly, there is a new Quick Test function which enables you to set up a test for a single user in seconds. And thirdly, you can print certificates for test takers — and can choose from a selection of certificates. You might want to cross-reference IELTS scores or the Canadian Language Benchmark. You might want a certificate with your own school’s logo. It’s all very simple.
What are your plans for the future of the Admin Panel?
This has been a big job and the next step is to get more feedback from users around the world. This will all feed into the next big project which is to apply this technology to Clarity’s Results Manager program. The Results Manager and Admin Panel will merge — under the Admin Panel identity — to become a single program covering all of Clarity’s admin functions. This is my big project for 2020.
As Product Manager, what do you like best about the new version of Admin Panel?
I like the flexibility and I like the UX — what used to be called the “look and feel”. It doesn’t matter whether you are creating a test for thousands of candidates, or just one. With this new version you can do the whole job in just a few clicks of the mouse.