A solution for one school district in Texas three years ago evolved into a business idea and now that business is a year old and is ready for paying customers.
The mobile app Time ReDesigned focuses on saving educators and school administrators time in their day by collecting data on activities and analyzing where their time is being spent.
Jobi Lawrence is the founder of Time ReDesigned and spent the first half of the school year working with the Time ReDesigned launch team of nearly 140 administrators, from 38 school districts in 13 states. In Iowa, the Bettendorf, Denison, Marshalltown, Ottumwa and Waukee School Districts participated in the launch team.
Administrators in the launch team were able to use the app for free and in turn provided feedback to Lawrence. What she found was, the app delivers on its promise to save time but they need to make the app more intuitive.
“Our launch team members gave us feedback that affirmed this solution can change practice and administrators saw the value to changing their practice,” Lawrence said. “But now we are finishing the enhancements.”
What was learned
After downloading the Time ReDesigned app and registering, the user receives an email with instructions and videos on how to get the most out of the app. But Lawrence explained that not all users were taking advantage of the video tutorials.
“Even though we prepared a series of help videos and FAQ’s, not all of our end users took advantage of those resources,” Lawrence said. “There were some end-user errors that created some barriers.”
With that feedback, Lawrence is working with her developer to create more safeguards within the app so users aren’t accidentally leaving the app running overnight or finishing their day early.
“We were able to identify end user errors that most commonly happened and made sure we can safeguard against those,” Lawrence says. “And that was the whole point. We wanted to make sure whatever we needed to do, our end user has a positive experience and experienced the least amount of challenges.”
She said even shortening the help videos was something the launch team suggested.
“Our main goal is promising and delivering to give administrators more time during the work week, our resources and support can’t gobble up that time,” Lawrence says.
What separates Time ReDesigned from other time management apps is the data collection process. When an administrator opens the app in the morning, they press the start button and the app starts running.
Every 20 minutes administrators enter the activity they are on at that moment. At the end of the day, the user will click “finish” and that data will go into a dashboard.
“We force the end user throughout the process to set goals about how they are going to reallocate that time and provide accountability and support to make sure they are doing those things,” Lawrence said. “That’s the secret sauce, the accountability and support to actually drive behavior change and sustain it.”
In January, Time ReDesigned was the recipient of $25,000 from the Iowa Economic Development Authority for hiring and market entry activities. Lawrence said they’ve hired five interns from Iowa State University to help with inbound marketing and social media strategies.
“The hardest thing to do is build awareness, people can’t buy it if they don’t know about it,” Lawrence said. “And then we are working on follow-ups with our launch team members and converting them into paying customers for the fall.”
Lawrence credits the Des Moines entrepreneurial community for helping her get this far.
“I didn’t set out to start a business,” Lawrence says. “I set out to develop a solution for a school district that I was working for as a consultant. But the Des Moines entrepreneurial community…offering up resources, tools, different things businesses are using that don’t have a cost. Everyone here has been bend over backwards helpful.”
Time ReDesigned is currently available on IOS devices but Andriod testers are being recruited to test the Andriod version of the app.
Startups receive funding from the Iowa Economic Development Authority – Jan. 19, 2018
Time ReDesigned: An app to help school administrators manage their time – Aug. 31, 2017