Case study: An EdTech platform for Self Defense and Mental Health

Aryan Grover
Dec 3, 2020 · 12 min read

The School of Defense: A Masterclass for your Inner and Outer Body Battles


With the rapid increase of crime, stress, and mental health issues, we are in a dire need of a platform that could help us address these problems and help us become a better person every day. The School of Defense is your one-stop EdTech Platform to cater to your needs for mental and self-defense courses. Aiming to build a positive, uplifting environment to cater to all your learning needs right from the comfort of your homes with the help of recorded courses, live classes, and even Mentorship programs.

  • Duration: 2 weeks
  • Role: Product Designer

Project Brief

Now that everyone in the world is staying indoors due to COVID 19, we’ve seen the explosion of a lot of Zoom meet-ups and Live streams. People are looking for new ways to socialize online — whether that’s to meet their friends or to meet new people. We can assume by default that all “events” for the next couple of months are going to be online.

This is a project you’re working on for a fairly new startup in the market. They’re a media and Edtech platform in niche X. The closest analogy would be that they’re ‘MasterClass for X’.

I selected the Niche: MasterClass for Sports/Martial Arts


I wanted to go specifically with the idea of Masterclass for Martial Arts to promote self-defense among people especially women since the crime rate is at an all-time high, newspapers are filled with numerous mishaps with children, women, and the elderly. I wanted to make something that empowers them, help them fight back, and take a stand.

“If a woman is interested in regaining control of her life then it’s really important to break the mechanism of over-protection. Learning self-defense is the only way to do this,”

While researching about self-defense, martial arts, etc, an idea struck me where another problem that people have been facing during the Covid 19 time is Depression, Anxiety, Bipolar Disorder, Schizophrenia, etc, and hence making something for them as well would be an icing on the cake.

Mental health issues are invisible illnesses.

Hence the idea of The School Of Defense: A Masterclass for your Inner and Outer Body Battles was born.

Discovery 1.0

I first focused on understanding the current market for Self-Defense and Mental Health Courses and how big the problem was.

Self Defense and Martial Arts Course

1.The need/sad truth

  • 1 in 4 Students, kindergarten through class 12th grade, who are either a bully or a victim of a bully
  • 10% of students drop out or change schools because of bullying.
  • 81% of women and 43% of men have faced a form of sexual harassment in their life
  • Adolescents aged 14‐17 were by far the most likely to be sexually victimized
  • 2 in 5 women said they have gone out with someone else rather than risk venturing out alone.
  • 1 in 2 women say they have avoided underpasses or ill-lit streets to prevent crime

2. The Outcome

  • Self-Defense: It is undeniable that there is violence in the world. It occurs unexpectedly and without regard for who the victim is. Violence can affect all of us. It is important to be prepared for such occurrences, and the crux of training is to learn fighting skills. Not only do you learn specific techniques, but you also develop the toughness and stamina needed to endure a physical altercation.
  • Confidence: Because you can handle yourself physically, you begin to develop confidence in yourself and your capabilities. You walk taller with your head up; you’re prepared, calm, and self-assured. You learn that you can endure, that you can apply real self-defense techniques, and that you are capable and strong.
  • Focus and Awareness: You become more aware of your environment, which helps to keep you safe out in the world. This broadening of awareness is important in life. It can help in school, work, and in your relationships. It can generally help you navigate your way through life.
  • Reduces Stress: Martial arts offers a positive way to reduce stress. You direct your energy in a physical way that is beneficial and is a great way to release pent up energy and stress
  • Improves Character: You learn respect, discipline, how to cooperate, and how to be humble. This is all part of perfecting your art. You must focus and be open to being corrected. You use criticism to improve yourself. The School of Defense is a great environment for learning the importance of perseverance and excellence.

3.The number game(Business)

  • About 3.6 million people actively participate in the martial arts industry in the United States each year. Participants under the age of 6 are not tracked for statistical purposes.
  • Martial arts studios are able to generate about $5 billion in revenues each year within the U.S. market. According to the IBIS World report, the demand for martial arts will rise as economic conditions continue to improve
  • 1 in 4 teens participated in a martial arts class within the past year.
  • A 14% growth rate was expected in the upcoming years in America alone as Americans move towards a more healthy lifestyle.

Mental Health Courses

1.The need/sad truth

  • Mental health and substance use disorders affect 13% of the world’s population
  • More than 75% of people with mental, neurological, and substance use disorders receive no treatment for their condition at all
  • 17% of youth (6-17 years) experience a mental health disorder
  • It is estimated mental disorders are attributable to 14.3% of deaths worldwide, or approximately 8 million deaths each year
  • COVID-19 has disrupted mental health services in 93% of countries.
  • More than 8 in 10 people with mental health problems in low-income countries receive no help.

2. The outcome

  • A greater sense of calm or inner peace.
  • Greater self-acceptance
  • Clearer thinking.
  • Increased self-esteem.
  • Improvements in relationships.
  • Improved moods.
  • Provides a better understanding of how mental illness can affect a person’s life.
  • It can help to reduce the stigma of mental illness
  • Gives you confidence when helping those who are suffering
  • Helps you to recognize early signs and risks of mental illness in others

3.The number game(Business)

  • Depression and anxiety have a significant economic impact; the estimated cost to the global economy is US$ 1 trillion per year in lost productivity.
  • Every $1 spent treating common mental health disorders repays $5 in improved health and productivity,
  • Research for the World Economic Forum estimates that between 2011 and 2030 mental ill-health will cost $16 trillion in lost economic output worldwide.

Discovery 2.0

Analysis of how other Edtech Platforms working and showcasing all the courses and data?

This was done to get a better understanding of:

  • Business Model
  • User Flow
  • Organization and Content distribution.
  • How do they make it engaging?
  • Their brownie and pain points


Business Model

  • Subscription-based model
  • About $18/month to access the entire collection of courses

Brownie points

  • Visuals
  • Gives a premium feel
  • Course Diversity
  • Celebrity’s courses
  • Self Paced Courses

Pain points

  • No certification on Course Completion
  • No supervision or help
  • No User Retention and motivation to come back again (Based on online Research)
  • No free trial


Business Model

  • Marketplace business model

Brownie points

  • Course Diversity
  • Provides Certification
  • Courses have nominal prices
  • 30-day money refund policy

Pain points

  • The app looks cluttered and leads to cognitive overload
  • Sections misplaced
  • Only one preview video available based on which decision to enroll has to be made.


Business Model

  • Subscription-based model
  • $19 billed monthly, or $99 upfront for the year ($8.25 per month)

Brownie points

  • Course Diversity
  • Self-paced
  • 1 Month free trial
  • Search screen

Pain points

  • Visual Hierarchy
  • The app looks cluttered and leads to cognitive overload
  • The fluorescent color pops out and is not soothing to the eye
  • Cards take too much space

Design Principles and Frameworks

I created a set of design principles to guide and validate the design decisions I was making. Such practice helped me to hold myself accountable to the end-user goals as well as the business goals and create a cohesive and unified experience.

I have used the AARRR framework to define the business goals

  1. Acquisition: The number of users who interact with your product.
  • Number of App downloads
  • Number Successful signups

2. Activation: The % of users who achieve success

  • Number of users who subscribed to a course
  • Number of users who attended the recorded and the live classes
  • Number of people who enrolled for the mentorship course

3. Retention: The % of users who stick with your product, month after month

  • Number of unique courses users subscribe per month
  • Number of unique mentorships courses users enroll per month
  • Total number of lessons watched per month
  • Total number of live lessons attended per month

4. Referral: The % of current users who refer to new users

  • Percentage of current users who invites a new user
  • Number of first-time users invited by existing users

5. Revenue: Measured by

  • Monthly recurring revenue (MRR)
  • The average revenue per user (ARPU)
  • Average contract value (ACV)
  • Customer lifetime value (LTV)

Business Model

During the research, I found out that people preferred a Subscription-based model over an on-demand marketplace but at the same time, I observed that when they were given a chance to register for multiple courses at a time they would register for all courses they liked and eventually not complete any.

To solve this issue I restricted the user to pursue 5 courses at a time also giving him the option to unsubscribe whenever they want and take up another course. This would help increase the completion rate of courses.

  • Subscription-Based Model, $20 billed monthly or $120 upfront for the year ($10 per month) after the 7 Day Trial.
  • Personalized mentorship programs start at $150.
  • Shop Feature to increase the revenue.

IA and Wireframes

With the knowledge from my research and competitive analysis, I sketched various ideas, flows, and low-fidelity wireframes for the app. This helped get the ideas on paper.

After having a general idea of the platform, I switched to Figma where it was easier to make iterations and get a better visualization of the product.

Visual Design


  • I wanted to give a glimpse of the services provided by the app and visually communicate the value to the user but at the same time, I wanted to narrow down the funnel and prevent users from dropping off and quickly convert them so I added the sign up flow on the onboarding itself.
  • Simple copywriting and images explaining the features and delivering the required value to the user.

Sign Up and Payment

  • Tried to make the Signup flow intuitive, to make the user feel like they are having a conversation with the app rather than filling up the form.
  • Focused on optimizing and reducing the number of steps required for the user to Sign Up and prevent drop-offs.

Feed personalization

  • Giving users what they like to give them a personalized feel.

Home Screen

  • Cards and sections are neatly organized to prevent cognitive overload.
  • Ongoing courses and their progress can be tracked easily.
  • Since we are dealing with physical and mental well being, a quote to keep them motivated.
  • Trending, recommended, and featured courses are shown as well.

Search Screen

  • The users can easily search for the courses and the recommendations are shown are accordingly
  • Courses have been divided into various categories and optimized to get the required results faster and with just one click.
  • Search results can be filtered based on ratings and the duration of the course.

Course Page

  • Users get an overview of the course, the learnings, the outcomes, requirements, the feedbacks, and the ratings.
  • Users can watch the introduction video and then make up their choice. In case the user is not happy with the course after subscribing they can always unsubscribe.
  • Users trust the instructors, they are trusting the instructor with their body and mental health, so they are more likely to buy products that they recommend and buy from them. A marketplace was added to generate an extra source of income for the app and to enhance the user experience.
  • Users who are really passionate and want to learn more can register for the mentorship course.

Recorded classes and AR

  • Users can follow the instructor's movements.
  • Since Postures and stance are really important, users can switch on their camera, and using AR we could help them fix their forms.

Checkout Page

  • Checkout flow for Add ons purchased and the mentorship course enrollment.
  • Optimized and reduced the number of steps to make a payment to prevent drop-offs.
  • Users can redeem their earned credits to make the payments along with the conventional payment options.
  • Success screen with an option to turn on notifications to enhance user's experience and engagement.

Live Classes and Workshops

  • These Live classes are public and the users can attend any instructor’s live workshop.
  • Voiceovers to help users with their martial arts and yoga forms.


  • This is a premium version of the course where users who are really passionate and want a One-on-One interaction with the instructor, Live classes, learn advanced techniques, Community Learning, etc can enroll for the mentorship course.

a) Course Overview

  • Students can come here to get information about their instructors, guest lectures, course structure, classmates, etc.

b) Classes Overview

  • Students can come here to get information about know about their upcoming classes, access previous live classes, and the prerecorded classes.

c) Community

  • I wanted to create a positive environment for the students where they could share their ask for help, interact, share their battle stories, mental health, and depression stories and how they overcame their fears, an environment to inspire, motivate and uplift their classmates.

d) One-on-one session with the instructor

  • Students can book sessions with their instructors.
  • They can also access the recordings of the previous sessions as well, which would help them refer back to the session in the future.

Profile Page

  • To view his stats, unsubscribe to the courses, access course completion certificates, track orders, etc.
  • It is also one of the touchpoints to ask the user to refer to his friends. Users tend to be happy after seeing their progress, certificates, etc and that is when the chances of the user referring the app to his friends are quite high.

That’s all

Thank you for taking out time and reading this case study. I would love to hear your feedback on the business model, product, or the case study. Feel free to reach out to me on Linkedin or Twitter.

It would be amazing if you could give 50 claps to the article.Click/Tap and hold the clap button for a few seconds and BAM!


From idea to product, one pixel at a time.

Aryan Grover

Written by



The best resources for designers starting in Design, UX, and UI. Bootcamp is a new product publication from the team behind the UX Collective ( To submit your story:

Aryan Grover

Written by



The best resources for designers starting in Design, UX, and UI. Bootcamp is a new product publication from the team behind the UX Collective ( To submit your story:

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