eLearning app- Design report

Ikasi, eLearning app

Hello, this week I worked in a project which goal was to create an eLearning app. I’ve been given 3 profiles and one of them was the main one that I have to fit my design for. I had to develop the project in one week.

This profile is a person in their 30’s which works in a company and wanted to be promoted and move forward in her career. The manager suggested her what she needs to learn in order to make it possible.

Getting additional information for my profile

In order to get more information an created a better profile I interviewed 4 people between 29 and 43 years old. All of them have been working for many years and nowadays have responsibility positions in their companies as team leaders or Product Owner.

Some of the questions that I asked were:

  • Why did you start using eLearning apps?
  • With what purpose do you use it?
  • Why pay for them when you have almost everything for free at Internet?
Results from my interviews

75% have had at some point of their careers free access to eLearning platforms by been given free access from their companies. Not only allowed them to improve their skill related to work but also were able to learn about some other interesting topics that wanted to learn. Since then, they’ve been using different eLearning apps.

100% said that they prefer to pay for this platforms for learning rather than using free places as YouTube because the quality is way better and they don’t have to spend as much time as in YouTube for finding exactly what they want.

75% also said that eLearning apps are helpful to get quality lessons without having to pay what it cost a university studies and also the freedom they have to use it at any moment they prefer to do.

They also show me some pain points:

  • Sometimes the description of the course doesn’t match the content
  • Lack of time for learning because their busy life
  • Who is going to answer my doubts?

Competitors

I did a research between competitors to look for features that I could add to my project. Some of the competitors I looked at were LinkedIn, Pluralsight, Udemy, Domestika or Codeacademy.

I found out that just one of them the teacher or someone working for the app answer the doubts, the rest of the companies were the user the ones that were answering others questions or doubts.

The other thing that I found was that the competitors or they were offering the possibility to buy a course or to subscribe for a month or a year. But only two of them both and the quality of them was quite poor.

Having that into consideration and what I got from my interviews I decided to had or combine some of the features, either to fit my profiles needs or to combine some options to make my business more successful.

  • My app will allow to but courses not being subscribed and also have monthly or yearly subscription plans.
  • It will have an expert who answer users doubts about the course within 24 hours.
  • Have a plan for companies who wanted to contract us and give free access to their employees.

How companies can benefit from eLearning platforms?

  • It increases the productivity
  • The employees are up to date and upgrades their skills
  • It saves time and money

Searching about the benefits for the companies to give their employees free access to eLearning platforms, I found out that the companies that invest on it in a year their revenue increased a 218% because the productivity and efficiency of their employees.

IBM for example, for every 1$ they invest in each employee they get 30$ in productivity.

If you are interested on this, you can read this interesting article.

Who do I want to help?

Alicia is my persona, which means that is my target profile.

Alicia, my target profile

She is a 31 years old girl from Barcelona. She is an energetic, ambitious, hard worming and sociable woman. She works at IBM as software developer and she is interested in became a software architecture. She is really skilful and have been working for a long time as developer and she needs something more challenging. Her boss told her that she needs to improve her skills in Cloud Computing and Architecture systems.

He told her that the company bought Ikasi eLearning services and that all the employees will have full free access to the app for a year. They just need to access with their work email and the password that the company is going to send them by mail.

After completing a course she would have a certificate what is what he needed to think about moving her to the new role at the company.

Alicia’s pain point are the follow ones:

  • Spending too much time looking for good resources to learn from
  • Unsure of the quality of information that she’s getting, and whether it is up to date
  • Can’t dedicate a lot of time to learning new skills with her existing commitments and schedule

How could we help Alicia?

I created an app were you could buy a single course, have a monthly or yearly plan or have free access from your company.

See the prototype here

Once in the app you could buy the course itself if you are not subscribed or if you are subscribed enter your email and password and have the free access to all the courses and paths.

As Alicia has a free account from work she access through her companies personal email to the platform. Once signed in she could continue watching the courses she started and not finished yet or choose any other course.

As she want to change her career path and has not clue where to start or how to follow she decides to join the path section to have help. In the pat she will see all the courses and the order she would have to follow to start as beginner and finish as advanced. Inside the path Alicia could see all the courses shorted by beginner, intermediate and advanced.

She is ready to start with the first course. It has a description of the course and links to see the comments from other users and the first part will be the preview of the course to check if is what she was looking for and check if she likes how the teacher teach and her accent as sometime is difficult to follow some accents. Will doing the course she also has available a Q&A section were she could ask her doubts, using the searching bar she could check if any other user has done a question related to her doubt and if not she could send the question and it would be answered by an expert from the app within 24 hours.

As she has not much free time she also has the option to download the video and watch it when it suits her, like commuting work were she spent 40 min every day and in some parts she has not connection to Internet.

Once finished the video, she could see in her path page the percentage of the path has already done and the videos watched will have a completed button. When she will finish all the videos she would have a certificate and could upload directly to her LinkedIn.

All the certificated she had could be found in her Ikasi profile as well in order to download or upload to LinkedIn if at the moment she completed she didn’t upload. This way she could show her boss that has done the courses required to be consider to move to the software architecture area.

If she finds any video interesting and wants to learn more about the topic she could go to the Search area and find her other courses, paths or authors related to that topic.

Sketches

After the interviews and bench-marking (look what competitors have) y had quite clear the features the app needed to have to fit our users needs (download, preview, comments, doubts,..) and to make a difference having something that they don’t have like variable options for user to do the courses (paying and not subscribing, subscribing or offering it to the companies companies).

I tried to create a simple and clear flow so the user could navigate and find what they want in an intuitive way. This was the first flow idea of what I wanted to show:

First flow sketch

Once I got the flow decided I focused in what I would like to show and and how many screens i would need for it. With this information and a first round of testing I created a medium fidelity prototype to go back to test and check the things that I had to improve in order to be more clear for users.

Principal flow
Secondary screens flow

Results of testing and changes done

After 2 rounds of tests with 3 people in each round I got the feedback that the flow was clear and intuitive and was solving the problems that were the pain points at the beginning of the project.

The changes I have done were more about adding extra information to make some things more clear , like the following 2 examples:

Adding info to the naming for people not used to this terminology

Here, the path name, if they haven’t use before an eLearning app they didn’t know the exact meaning of path. I didn’t want to change the name itself because is the name commonly used for this way to teach, but I found necessary to add some more info to leave clear that was something to go from beginner to advanced level.

Show where exactly are all the certificates

Here when you get the certificate you could see that at the bottom was a sentence saying that your certificates are in your profile, but as it was just below the option to upload to LinkedIn was confusing and people have doubts if it was refereeing to their profile in LinkedIn or in the eLearning app. To solve that I increased the space between the button and the sentence and I added to the sentence that the certificates were in their Ikasi profile.

Changes for the preview.

I struggled a bit with the preview of the video. At the really beginning I put an extra screen when clicking the preview button. In the first round they suggested me to show it in the same screen and their were right, it was not need to move to a new screen. Once clicked the button it would show the preview on top of a blurry background.

In the second round of testing I got the feedback that why not to put the first thing to see instead to have to click in a button which was the 3rd of the list. I thought some ways to solve this problem like starting directly with the preview, but the I had to put something to let them know that what they will see after would be the course itself. And at the end I decided in the first place of the content, once starting the video will be the first thing you will see.

I thought as well that even for the courses that not subscribed people wanted to buy, they will have this first part unlocked so they could check the preview and decide to buy it or not.

Conclusions

In the end I’ve been able to create an app within a week which suits and solves the problems that my profile given had. I tried to link all the results from my research with the solutions I designed.

The short amount of time I had to design and create the app make me have to work under pressure some times. I did a schedule that I followed quite well but next time I’ll adjust it a bit so I could test with more people.

I wanted to thank you for reading this post and you are more than welcome to contact me if you are interested in having conversation or just share your thoughts about my work.

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Ainara Rementeria

Ainara Rementeria

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