SkillAcademy is meant to take online education to the next step.
We’re helping individuals and organizations solve the world’s toughest challenges with massive open online courses (MOOCs) offered by the best universities in the world, for free. Organizations can plug-and-play a university size curriculum in minutes using our platform.
We're aggregating all courses from different MOOC providers, to name a few: Coursera, edX, Harvard Business School, udemy, udacity, Novoed, Codecademy ...
By doing that, we're creating an online catalog of all online course available online for you to explore. Once you're settled on a set of courses you want to learn, you combine them in a curriculum or Skillcamp, then you're ready to start learning and logging your progress.
As the founding designer, as you can imagine in a startup, my role basically covered every aspect involving design, more than I can put into this brief:
Branding and logotype
Ideation process and business vision
Designing wireframing ideas and new features
Designing high fidelity mockups for user testing
Continuous user testing with current and potential users
User research opportunities for improving the launch of the platform and increase user acquisition:
Replacement of disturbing landing targets with clear calls to action and defining user segmentation flows.
Implementing a more engaging onboarding experience from landing to real engagement with the product.
Restructure of the navigation to be more mobile friendly and scalable across devices and platforms.
Responsive HTML, CSS and JS that served as the UI of the platform. This covered every view on the platform, from landing page to blog.
Integrating the analytics interface into the LMS (Learning Management System) with Chart.JS
We had two hackathons internally within the team, the purpose of these 2-day hackathons was coming up with ideas to drive userbase growth. The outcome was two entirely distinct products than our main platform:
The Free MBA
During our brainstorming, we discovered a hidden treasure within our course catalogue, all the equivalent courses of a fully fledged MBA lying there for free, for anyone to grab.
Unfortunately, all these courses were scattered and no one knew they can actually get certificates for all these courses.
Solution ? We combined all these courses in a special catalogue under a new domain, thefreemba.com, where you would combine courses of each speciality and when done, you're good to go, you just got yourself a Free MBA curriculum.
Drop rate in online courses averages around 90%, before the start of each course, the forums on the course provider just start piling up with threads and threads of people trying to group themselves to form study groups to meet online or offline. This came always as a recommendation from the educators to help lower the drop rate.
So instead of the unstructured forums we created an online tool for students to find fellow students that are studying the same course so they can form study groups much easier.
FAILURES AND LEARNINGS
- Looking back, I can't ignore one of our biggest mistakes, requiring signup for users landing on index.
Which was a design decision to "grow" our userbase, as much as we would argue that this helped, but it also bumped our bounce rate from 30% to 50%.
- Selling something that is already free is hard, really hard, so you have to figure out what's your business edge, your added value to the user.
- As much as a responsive design philosophy from day one was by choice ( it helped us reach 15% of our user base on mobile and tablet), but a lot of features required triple the implementation time and testing to be done and ready for the users, significantly slowing our velocity.
We could have started with desktop, test the hypothesis and based on the results start investing time porting these features to the mobile platforms.