Yearbook creation

Theresa Neil Interaction Design / Guidea: Principal UX Designer

Research and Design, Yearbook creation application. A cropped screenshot of a yearbook project management dashboard.


We were tasked with designing a yearbook creation application based on a cross-country generative user research study.


We interviewed yearbook editors and teachers from 15 schools across the United States.

Photo of sticky notes during the synthesis process.
  • 324 empathy-based sticky notes became 56 affinity groupings 
  • Over 300 pain points (pink) and user-ranked opportunities (blue) across 37 themes
  • The themes were then further distilled into core insights across the yearbook journey

The affinity mapping exercise helped us to map the journey of the yearbook creation process and define four school personas:

  • Culture of Cool
  • Strong and Lasting
  • Breathing New Life
  • Trying Despite Adversity

Map of the yearbook creation journey and its pain points.

Design goals

Based on our research, we defined key take-aways and design goals for each user type and designed dashboard concepts based on them.

For editors

  • Provide me with control and flexibility over my book so that I don’t rely so heavily on my rep for support.
  • Give me more awareness of my team’s progress on the book so that I can identify issues as they occur. 
  • Help me create a book that captures a complete and inclusive experience so that more people will want to buy it.

For page designers

  • Provide tools that help us learn to be professional designers and writers so that we can make a book that shows off the pride for our school. 
  • Provide guardrails using modern means so that we can give our editor higher quality work with less errors.
  • Help us work collaboratively and keep us informed so that we all have a shared responsibility for the completeness of the book.
Proposed information architecture diagram for the yearbook creation app.
Editor dashboard wireframe. Editors can view yearbook progress at a glance. They can also easily see which school events need coverage and how they’re doing with ad sales.
Page designer dashboard wireframe. Designers can view their upcoming deadlines, access their assigned pages, and keep up with school events and ad sales.