TEC – STEAM Products for Kids

Spearheading the development of the 2024 line of educational products


Product Lead and Creative Director


Create a new product lineup for 2024 


TEC – Creative Educational Technologies in Portuguese – is one of the leaders in STEM education in Brazil, serving up to 50 thousand students with a complete package that includes – but not limited to – reading books, science experiments, custom electronics, an audio series with original songs and lyrics, teacher guides and an online platform. I was hired as product lead to update and create its 2024 line-up of products, updating all existing material, as well as coming up with new tools and strategies for their online presence. This journey required me to hire a whole new product team and to get acquainted with the challenges of managing different teams and diving deep into large-scale manufacturing. Our team had to work under a very tight deadline, as all products had to be ready by the end of the semester when most school contracts are signed. The rigid timeline had to culminate with a big event that would bring teachers and school managers from all over the country to showcase the new product line.


 I loved coming up with romantic backgrounds and turning hundreds of images into magical locations. One regret was having to scrap a “Night in Paris” scene after finding out that the blinking lights at the Eiffel Tower are trademarked. I was proud of how the lighting effects came out and in the end, we were able to use them on the Gondola Ride scene. 

The head-tracking parallax effect also required a lot of fine tweaking. Working alongside the development team we managed to make it feel responsive while conforming to a 4mb size restriction.

The project was showcased at the 2020 Snap Partner Summit as an example of the successful integration of Snap’s Camera API into other popular Apps. 

It was well received by Bumble, who commissioned new environments a few months later. 


15 fully illustrated lesson books for the ages of 6 to 14 years old, complete with exercises, experiences, teacher guides, papercraft, and electronic toys.

8 proprietary electronic components designed for small children had to be redesigned and retested and manufactured in scale.

1 web portal with a robust login and user tracking system, with different solutions for students, teachers, and legal guardians. 

5 new recordings of original soundtracks in a professional recording studio with a full cast of musicians.

Designing a 100 square meter (1000 square ft) pavilion for the company’s participation at Latin America’s largest private education fair – Bett Educar.

Setting training guidelines and designing workshops for new and incoming teachers. 

Providing on-location assistance and gathering UX research data at schools from north to south of Brazil.


Given the scale and the tight deadline, I had to quickly acquire a deep knowledge of all aspects of the company, from its business model, client list, branding, and manufacturing. 


The manufacturing aspect was new to me, but luckily the assembly plant and team were located in the same city as the main office and they welcomed me to closely follow their processes and understand the bottlenecks they had to overcome. 


Unlike digital services, these products demanded a whole new level of planning, as a simple decision between two types of paper or adding one component quickly snowballs to great hurdles (or opportunities) thanks to the economy of scale. 

TEC’s clients are present throughout the entire continental Brazil and our products had to be accessible to a range of different environments, school sizes and educational methods and cultures. So I traveled to different cities and states alongside the training and sales team. There I had the chance to get face-to-face with the teachers and school administrators, as well as the students who already were users of TEC’s past products. 

All the information I gathered in the first months would then be compiled into a series of presentations and separate user journeys to better prioritize the development process. 

The first on the list was the creation of the new web portal.







Create a portal where teachers, students and caregivers could have access to our audio books, video tutorials and digital versions of our books.


Pain Points
After the initial research, I managed to map some of the most pressing pain points.
  • Access to the audiobooks and video guides was only possible through a mobile APP.
  • Limited to mobile devices. Several schools have a “no mobile phone” policy.
  • The APP was very slow to update, making it almost impossible to add fixes or new content.
  • Teachers wanted to project the video using their classroom laptops.
  • Sales team needed better solutions for managing user data and login.


Early wireframe mapping a basic streaming service layout
Streaming services offered a known interface for video content

Design Philosophy

A web portal would provide the scale and agility TEC requires, and after researching available backend services the actual design process could begin.


The UX Research and our existing data showed our user base varied greatly, with teachers being often resistant to learning new systems. This is understandable, as they already have to cope with a challenging working environment and growing pressures from all sides.


Make teacher’s life easier – they deserve it!


What is the most popular content portal in the world now? One that children, adults and even math teachers enjoy? Netflix came to our minds and our team decided to use it’s card-based design as our main reference.

With a Teacher User Journey Map, we could create a new information architecture that merged how the lesson books are presented with pre-existing knowledge of navigating streaming services.

Once all lessons were mapped, our designer and I could come up with a working wireframe and adapt it to function on our newly assembled user administration system that would run the back end of the entire platform.






Designining for managers


The development included close integration with the sales and support team at TEC, as they would be the ones managing the platform.

With their journey in mind, I streamlined the user management system and created several tutorial videos to guide them on all aspects.

One of their favorite features was to be able to manage the entire user base using a spreadsheet platform they were already acquainted. 


Portal Launch

The end product was enthusiastically received first by teachers, as they quickly recognized the navigation interface, as well as the structure of chapters and lessons from the printed reading material.

Simple solutions offered great quality-of-life improvements, like being able to jump to a chapter mentioned in a video tutorial or simply accessing the site from a desktop computer. A few months later the portal was made available for students.

Results from the Portal Release

Increase in 22% of daily unique users

Decrease downtime to 1% a month, from previous 8%

Streamlined user data management to 2000 new profiles in two months.

58% satisfaction rate increase






The UX Research conducted in the first three months and the development of the Portal pointed toward the need for an overhaul of the existing printed material, including the science and electronic kits that accompanied them. The existing material, albeit successful, required better ease.

 This process would be very challenging, but also a unique opportunity to improve the service provided by TEC and optimize component manufacturing and kit assembly.

The early ages kit

The 2024 product lineup included 16 books and over 140 different experiments that had to be updated or created from scratch.

For this challenge, a detailed research and development plan had to be devised alongside all departments of the company.

To help us in this task, I hired a team of graphic designers, musicians, assistants, and video editors, which had to be constantly managed.

It was also decided our team would move from our office to the assembly plant, where we could isolate ourselves to come up with hundreds of pages of new copy, as well as experimenting with new and exciting lessons for all age brackets.

Product team reviewing earlier versions of the reading material

The process was a thrilling “all hands on deck” process where besides managing the teams I would also create the layout for all teacher guides using InDesign, assemble the later years alongside remote freelancers, and even illustrate some of the chapters and comic books included in our middle school segment.


The trademarked custom electronics were improved following complaints and suggestions from teachers and students, which required constantly traveling to meet our researchers and suppliers out of state. I enjoyed being part of the R&D process of electronic devices and being embedded in different teams and suppliers to devise new improvements to the existing product.


There was great excitement once we received the updated components, now made sturdier, safer, and easier to use. The following user testing sessions were a great success and our current clients couldn’t wait to get their hands on the new components – once they came to Rio de Janeiro for TEC’s product launch event.


The new line of products was finally presented to our clients during TEC’s launch party – or should I say “musical”. We called the actors who voiced our characters to take part in a full-fledged musical presenting the history of science in Brazil and the importance of being creative for building a better future for ourselves and the world around us.

It was an emotional event where the team was able to celebrate the result of their hard work and see the joy and approving faces of current and future clients alike.

The early ages kit

What I learned


The intense tenure at TEC was one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences I had as a professional, as it pushed my design and managing skills to their utmost limit. 

In hindsight, I learned about the uttermost importance of having a disciplined approach to time management, all while being attentive to the changing team dynamics. 

The early ages kit

One thing I would do differently would be to pace the release of products more evenly instead of lumping them into a single big release. This not only would provide earlier insights into how the new product is shaping, but also provide the team with a moral boost you get when holding the fruit of your labor in your hands. 

I’m proud of what we achieved, especially the team that was assembled and that is now part of TEC’s core. 

Now, with a new school year starting in Brazil, when I walk around the streets I’m delighted to watch children wearing our experiments and telling excited stories of discoveries about the lessons we worked so hard to create.

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