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Higher Platform

A website for people who want to continue their education after completing a course.

Problem

After graduating from a course, students often forget parts what they have learnt, if they are not practicing it immediately. When the time comes and the knowledge is required, it is difficult to revise what was learnt.

Objective

To find a solution that will allow people who have studied a course, to continue their education in the relevant subject, after their course has finished.

 

Research

Current Market

The main competitors:

lyda.com

lyda.com

khanacademy.com

khanacademy.com

schoology.com

schoology.com

University of Technology Sydney student portal

University of Technology Sydney student portal

The products did not quite address the problem

  • Lynda - anyone can create a course, no interaction between students and teachers and therefore they can't ask for help.
  • Khan Academy - Free online learning of tech subjects, people can join as a coach or parent
  • Schoology - Video, PDF and links can be shared here and there is a discussion baord. It is a simple html editor and lacks 
  • Existing university/TAFE portals - The UTS student portal is similar to Schoology, in that it is a simple editor where the editor can upload content and there is a discussion board. However, there is a poor user experience and no after course support.

I conducted six interviews and 25 surveys. Based on these, the key insights I found were:

  1. Practice - in order to retain what has been learnt, people have to practice it. Many people interviewed applied what they learnt, directly to their workplace.
  2. Discussion - Discussion with peers foster and encourage learning. People are competitive.
  3. Time poor - Many people are time poor and learning after is low on peoples priorities when work gets busy.
  4. Goals - An end goal and purpose is necessary for motivation. If there is no end goal and a clear purpose for why the user is doing this course, then there will be no motivation to finish studying.
  5. Offline and online learning - People are time poor and learning after work is low on peoples priorities when work gets busy. 
     
 

Research analysis and personas

To see how the user's journeys would look like without Higher Platform, it would allow me to see the users pain points and where there was potential for Higher Platform to address them.

User journeys

Matt wants to progress his career by becoming a Customs Broker. To do so, he will need to pass an industry interview. Three years ago, he went to TAFE to study a customs broker course.

 

Nick has ambitions to found his own web development company. He has around 15 years experience in the industry. To do so, he wants to improve his entrepreneurial skills. 5 years ago he got his Business degree but has forgotten most of it.

 

Minimum Viable Product

From the research analysis, I used this matrix to highlight which were the key driving points of the product. The darker yellow notes are the MVPs and the lighter yellow notes were to be carrier out in phase 2 or the project.

jesstong_MVP
 

Information Architecture

The product had two sides to it: the course co-ordinator side and the student side. The student side allowed the user to access all the content material uploaded by the course co-ordinator. The course co-ordinator can set up a curriculum and a step by step guide to lead their students through the course material. 

jesstong_higherplatform_informationarchitecture
 

Prototyping & Testing

User Journeys

These are the main user paths that I explored in the first round of testing, on the student side.

jesstong_userjourneys
 

User testing - Round 1

The first round of user testing conducted for the students side of the product, revealed that it was generally quite confusing to navigate through and to use. There were no familiar layouts, and the way to use it was different from what people are used to.

Below are a few of the pages that proved to be confusing and how they were altered.

 

Prototype Walk Through

Student's user journey

 

Course co-ordinator's user journey

 

Next Steps

Phase 1

  • The first phase would consist of rolling out the MVP, and tried with one specific industry. There needs to be more research and user testing conducted on this industry, so that features can be targeted specifically for them.
  • Initially, instead of making both the course co-ordinator side and the student side, we can build the student side only.  It can be tested with one school, eg. TAFE NSW. We would develop the course curriculum alongside the course co-ordinators to use suitable content and work out the details.

Phase 2

  • In phase 2, there would need to be more user testing across various fields and research into course content requirements of different industries.

  • The product could be tested with different subjects by loading course content onto it, to see if the design is enough to accommodate what they require.

  • More research could be conducted to see what different industries requirements are for learning retention, in order to tailor course features to the product.