MIT xPRO— UI/UX case study of MIT Open Learnings' new platform.

Organization

MIT Open Learning

Project date/duration

Spring 2019 Duration: 5 months

My role

As Design Lead my role is to oversee and contribute to planning & requirements gathering, strategy, prototype, and visual design. I also directed the full-stack engineer's development process.

Project Summary

We built MIT xPRO’s online learning platform to distribute curated content from world-renowned experts, helping professionals develop their skills on the job. Users needed a better way to browse the xPRO course catalog, purchase course licenses, and process payments. The current model required numerous emails, phone calls, and a wire transfer to complete a sale. The goal was to create a portal for new and existing users to gather course information and enroll in courses. The analog model only served enterprise clients, and this project allows xPRO to better service its target user and adds individual learners into its business model.

Pain Points

  • Analog process
  • Limited to enterprise users
  • Users had issues accessing the course catalog.

The Challenge

In the spring of 2019, MIT, Open Learning began preparation to roll out a bunch of new professional training courses. With these new courses came a need to change the way xPRO delivered the course catalog was and how clients were affected. Outside of email correspondence, the process of closing a sale lacked a lean digital experience.

We had three months to design and develop a web app that could house a portfolio of courses, allow user sign-up & registration, a payment portal, and a dashboard for returning customers. Also, there was a two-step authentication process for new users, which became a non-negotiable feature that added bulkiness to the app.

The Solution

As a solution, we began to create a platform that would deliver xPro’s advanced professional development courses. While brainstorming, we had to identify the platform’s critical needs, including a course catalog, sign-up, login capabilities, user registration, process payments with check-out, and a user dashboard. With only three months and a hard deadline, we went straight into the design.

User Flow

Personas

After a short research process, we based our findings on the similarities in user goals. With that, I was able to describe the entire user base of xPro into two primary Personas. These personas helped to create a better picture of the target users we aimed to serve with this new platform.

User Interviews

To get more insight into the user frustrations, I conducted phone interviews with some of our current clients. I aimed to get some qualitative data to uncover new problems identified during this process.

Usability test results

I instructed development to begin building as each design was approved. Jumping into the development process allowed us to have an early clickable prototype available for testing. We tested the platform with a small group and included a short survey. The design was well-received, with one significant finding: users were a bit frustrated with the email verification process. Explaining the reasoning behind the steps, users felt a little better and expressed that this was the only problem they found. Most users had no issue with the length of the forms and found it reasonably simple. Users were happy with the purchase and check-out process’ was received well along with the customer dashboard. Many felt the platform was straightforward and provided a pleasant user experience.

Sketches

Prototype

Final Screens

xPro Homepage
Course Catalog page
xPro Course Page
xPro Account Creation page

Results

With only 3 months to complete the project end to end, I created a clear design and development strategy to meet our deadline and roll-out xPro on time. As a result, xPro launched without a snag, and the xPro sales team began funneling their leads to the site to purchase licenses. We discovered that upgrading the existing analog process would allow us to extend xPro offerings to individual learners. This created new business for xPro, which had previously only provided courses on an enterprise level. Since its release, xPro has sold bulk licenses to Boeing, The US ARMY, & IBM, to name a few.

Hands-on product design leader with over 6 years of leading teams in building engaging experiences for consumer brands and enterprise companies.