Building a platform for local amateur teachers
We were tasked with creating an educational community marketplace via an event-planning platform that gives individuals with desirable skills or knowledge the ability to organize their own local events.
For this project I wanted to focus on the creative side of design, so my main focus was on things like ideation, wireframes, and the prototype. The team shared many roles and the entire process was very collaborative in all parts.
Part of the ideation process
We soon discovered that there were many competitors in either the skill-sharing or event-planning sectors, but only one company combined the two. We assumed that there would be some level of saturation in this particular field. Because of this low saturation, we believed that there was still an opportunity in this space.
We conducted user interviews in order to better understand the needs of our target audience. The goals of the interviews were:
learn what users’ current lesson preparation process entails
learn how users conduct their in-person lessons
discover what the average levels of experience were in promoting their workshops
determine which devices are most commonly used in the event-planning process
We interviewed 11 people who were:
moderately skilled in a craft
interested in teaching others
familiar with event planning platforms
Speaking with our target audience
Understanding Our Audience
We conducted an affinity diagram exercise to synthesize the user interviews into more useful information. We used a bottom-up approach in order to not let any preconceived assumptions cause us to make connections that weren’t in the data.
Creating an affinity diagram
Our Target User
Julia is an administrative assistant who is a passionate self-taught photographer outside of work.
She currently teaches friends and family photography and she is now ready to take the leap into teaching photography classes.
She uses many different tools to organize her events, and she wants to reduce the number of different platforms she needs to plan an event.
Julia worries about boosting her class attendance, so she wants to make sure she’s reaching the right people.
She asks attendees for feedback after first couple of classes, but worries it’s not complete or descriptive enough, so she wants a better system for soliciting and receiving feedback.
"Teaching makes you a better practitioner of your art."
The Core Problem
The Skilled Enthusiast who wants to share their expertise needs a centralized, digital solution to set up engaging, local events because the currently available methods are too fragmented and cumbersome, which prevents them from focusing their limited time and resources on sharing their passion.
From our persona and research insights, we created design principles which we eventually narrowed down to a set of four. These design principles help to guide the team throughout the rest of the design process and they will keep us aligned to the core problem and our persona.
We used a method for concepting that is similar to the game Telephone in order to generate many ideas quickly.
Each team member sketched a brief idea and then passed their sketch along to the next person, and then iterated on the sketch that was passed to them.
This allowed each team member to explore ideas they were passionate about while also starting collaborating early in the ideation process.
Sketches from the ideation process
From the sketches we pulled out three main ideas we agreed would be good to investigate in concept testing. I then started creating wireframes for the classroom hub while my teammates worked on the other two.
The classroom hub allows the user to identify and address attendee wants and needs in an open and interactive environment.
The marketing system provides a streamlined experience by unifying and automating the promotion their classes or workshops.
The venue matching tool should help the user to quickly locate and schedule venues in order to expedite their planning process.
The goals of the testing were to determine:
How intuitive it was to create a new course
If the information shown during in the venue search results was clear and useful
Whether the marketing flow was simple enough for a user with no self-promotion experience
We tested the Knew’t prototype in-person with 6 participants, all of whom had either taught their skills to others or planned an event. There were 4 tasks we had our test participants perform:
Create a new course
Find a venue for the course
Create a social media marketing campaign for the course
Create a post in the course message board
Conducting usability tests
Usability Testing Takeaways
Immediate Next Steps
Before we handed the project off we were able to address a number of smaller issues that had come to light in concept testing:
Before and after making adjustments to the prototype
We addressed as many of the points of feedback from usability testing as we could before handoff, so many items were moved into future recommendations:
Create a smart posting system, so that the social media posts have more variety and users have more control of the posting schedule.
Add amenity filter feature in search results so users can search for venues with specific required features like wifi or projectors.
Auto-populate information from previous flows so that users can save time and not have to re-enter their course’s information.