Project 3 Ted

Concept Project

Duration: 2 weeks Sprint

Team: Letizia Ghisletta, Vianney le Masne and Yinka Awoyinka

Tools used: Omnigraffle, Sketch, Keynote, Marvel,Trello, Google forms, Google doc, and invision


Ted is a global community, welcoming people from every discipline and culture who seek a deeper understanding of the world. TEDs agenda is to make great ideas accessible and spark conversation. It prides itself on the quality of content its community produces, and wants to capitalise on this expert content by providing paid group Q&A Sessions online.

The Opportunity

With the growing popularity of AMA (Ask Me Anything) style interviews on Reddit and elsewhere, TED sees an opportunity to leverage their expert user base by introducing an online question-and answer area where questions and created, answered, edited and organised by its community of “curious souls”

The first thing we did as a team was to define our Problem statement. This clarifies the brief and tells us exactly what we need to accomplish.

Problem Statement

“TED Questions worth spreading” was designed to help users create, answer, edit and organise questions to get answers from the expert user base on TED under a specific time. We have observed that the service isn’t helping users create, answer, edit and organise questions to get answers from the expert user base on TED, which is causing them to either remain with unanswered questions, or get answers from other sources, which can be less thorough than TED. How might we improve the service so that our customers are more successful based on frequency of visits and user activity ?


From the problem statement we went straight to Research.

We started with a competitive analysis

Competitive Analysis

General Assembly do often host Q&A sessions of their upcoming courses. There is a limit to the amount of questions you could ask, it is a live session, this is not an ideal situation for the nervous or shy users. Reddit is an online Q&A website, so you could ask as many questions as you wanted, secure in your anonymity, but you had no idea of the persons expertise or experience in the subject discussed. TED had accountability and vouched for experts in their chosen fields.

Conducting this exercise started to shape or ideas, we now knew what was lacking on TED, this also meant we knew had a direction.

We performed an analysis on what success would look like, we all felt it was important to have this at the back of our minds. We saw them as goals to achieve. We found it inspiring, as we worked to create this feature on TED.

Succes would look like:

  • Increase traffic on site vs YouTube
  • Profiles created on TED vs Guests
  • Decrease bounce rate from videos vs Google

To understand who TED users were, and to make sure that we eventually interviewed the right people we created a survey using Google Forms. This was placed online, we promoted it further on General Assembly Slack channel and Facebook. We received 45 responses, they were screened and we eventually decided on 12 were suitable candidates.

We interviewed some of the candidates over the telephone, a few others face to face and a couple more in a coffee shop. It was very interesting and informative.

From our interviews a trend emerged, similar themes and issues were raised, and noted by us.

Trends from Interviews:

After watching Ted, users tend to drop off and further research the speaker/expert, they generally wanted to find out more information, for example, had the speaker publish a book or any other form or literature, next upcoming talk, and in some cases they went searching for previous appearances or “talks”

Mose of the users that attended live Q&As were nervous and shy about asking questions, some could not “raise their hands” The one thing that really stood out from all the interviews was “their love for the community”, the collection of knowledge seekers. The “Curious Souls”

The interviews, the research all helped in shaping and creating our TED Ask personas.

Carmella is our primary persona, because she:

“wants to have a place where questions are asked clearly” “ so that I discover interesting answers”

“wants to be sure my questions are answered even if I have to pay” ”so that I can debate directly with the experts”

“wants to be inspired by other people’s questions” “so that I expand my understanding of the topic”

Design and Testing

Once our personas were defined, we then took all the key points and used this to map out the TED Ask main features. This would eventually be the core functionalities of TED Ask, all the information used is based on our interviews and what they told us they needed in the new feature.

Design Studio

To generate multiple solution to screen designs in a rapid way we conducted a design studio. This involved the team sketching key interfaces in rapid successions, iterating and sketching all over again. This is a powerful and efficicent way of designers collaborating to achieve quick results. It truly is a remarkable process. It is swift and rewarding.

Testing and Iterations

Following the Design Studio, we tested the paper prototype twice. Iterating between each test.

Issues raised in the Usability Testing

REWARD medal was not clear, the whole concept was unclear to the testers

UPLOAD Video should be placed inside the editing question

WHERE does my question go, during testing testers could not see the question once typed and submitted.

Next Steps

  • Implement TED Ask Request for expert
  • Pre-submit questions ahead of TED Asks
  • Develop Direct Messaging
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