Go Pursue

Go Pursue

Go Pursue

Increasing Student Engagement and Safety

Increasing Student Engagement and Safety

Project Details

Project Details

Project Details

Customer: Go Pursue

Category: Education Technology

Project: UX Research and Redesign

Platform: Web App

Tools: Figma

Timeline: 4 weeks (May 2023)

My Team

My Team

My Team

Me (Product Design Consultant),

Linda Rieublandou (Product Design Consultant),

Anthony Phan (Product Design Consultant),

Kathryn Breisch (Founder),

Darren Zou (Developer)

Me (Product Designer),

Linda Rieublandou (Product Designer),

Anthony Phan (Product Designer),

Kathryn Breisch (Founder),

Darren Zou (Developer)

Problem

Problem

There was a need to redesign core product flows and introduce new features for the student persona because

  • The average session duration was lesser than expected

  • Students were not initiating conversations with professionals



Outcome

Outcome

Outcome

We discovered that students hesitated to initiate conversations due to uncertainty about how to start and concerns about talking to strangers. To address this, we implemented safety features and incorporated conversation starters and prompts. Additionally, we introduced engaging features resulting in a 30% increase in average session duration.


My Role

My Role

  • Led User Research efforts comprising of remote, moderated user testing by creating an interview guide and documenting results and next steps

  • Led the efforts for competitor analysis and summarized results for 3 main competitors comprising of strengths, weaknesses, and areas for opportunities

  • Formulated strategies to improve core product flows based on user and business goals, leading to changes in the user flow and information architecture

  • Led usability testing to identify opportunities for improvement

  • Wireframed and prototyped high-fidelity designs

  • Served as the primary point of contact between the product design team and the founder, effectively communicating progress and insights

About the Customer

About the Customer

GoPursue is a student-driven platform that allows students to explore careers, engage with professionals, and find internship opportunities in their area. The aim is to help high school & college students figure out their ideal careers.

Professionals can showcase their career journeys on their profiles and offer mentorship to students seeking guidance, contributing to the community.

Discovering Areas for Improvement

Discovering Areas for Improvement

To understand how the students use and feel about the app, I took the lead in conducting a semi-structured moderated usability test with current users of the app. Through this study, we gained insights into users' pain points.

Key Insights

1

Unengaging professional profile

Career information on professional's profile is not sufficient or engaging enough

2

Struggle reaching out to professionals


Students find it difficult to start a conversation as they're unaware of what to say or ask, and also due to safety concerns

3

Discomfort ‘Favoriting’ profiles


Students find the current 'heart' icon uncomfortable, and they refrain from saving profiles

Competitor Analysis

To further inform our design decisions, the team looked at industry-leading platforms ADPList, LinkedIn and Roadtrip Nation. This allowed us to understand how they tackle similar problems.

To further inform our design decisions, the team looked at industry-leading platforms ADPList, LinkedIn and Roadtrip Nation. This allowed us to understand how they tackle similar problems.

  1. ADPList

A platform where designers can connect with mentors

Tips to prompt users to engage with mentors efficiently offer valuable assistance.

Tips to prompt users to engage with mentors efficiently offer valuable assistance.

  1. LinkedIn

A social network for job seekers, professionals, and businesses

Career resources to transform LinkedIn into a comprehensive platform for all career-related needs.

Career resources to transform LinkedIn into a comprehensive platform for all career-related needs.

  1. Roadtrip Nation

A platform to inspire students to explore and pursue careers

Vibrant, visual career roadmap for captivating student engagement.

Vibrant, visual career roadmap for captivating student engagement.

Critical Changes

Critical Changes

Combining the findings from user interviews and competitive analysis we compiled a comprehensive list of recommendations. For the purpose of this case study, I’ll be focusing on the design decisions behind 3 critical changes -


  • Improvements to student safety while messaging

  • Revision of bookmarking feature to align with professional aesthetic

  • Addition of features to increase student engagement

Combining the findings from the above analysis we compiled a comprehensive list of recommendations. For the purpose of this case study, I’ll be focusing

on the design decisions behind 3 critical changes -


  • Improvements to student safety while messaging

  • Revision of bookmarking feature to align with professional aesthetic

  • Addition of features to increase student engagement

  1. Improvements to Student Safety while Messaging

  1. Improvements to Messaging Features

😞  The current version of the app allows students to initiate conversations with professionals of their choice. However, it lacks essential features of blocking and reporting which were deemed necessary to ensure student protection.


😊  We implemented the option to block and optionally report professionals, to give students a sense of protection in case they encounter discomfort.


😊  Initially, our plan involved implementing a 'Delete' feature. However, we recognized the importance of preserving conversations for the safety of students in the event of any incident. Consequently, we made the decision to introduce an 'Archive' feature instead, which would retain conversations while still providing a sense of privacy.

  1. Revision of Bookmarking Feature to Align with Professional Aesthetic

😞  Within the existing app version, a student has the ability to mark profiles as 'Favorite' using the Heart icon. However, during user testing, we discovered that participants expressed discomfort with the use of a heart icon in an app that aims for a professional tone. Moreover, only profiles could be saved, limiting the functionality.


😊  To address these concerns, we made the decision to rename the 'Favorites' feature to 'Saved' and replaced the heart with a more suitable bookmark icon, aligning with the desired professional aesthetic.


😊  Additionally, we introduced a new functionality that allows students to save work opportunities. To facilitate easy access to both profiles and opportunities, we implemented a tab navigation system, enabling users to seamlessly switch between the two sections.

  1. Addition of Features to Increase Student Engagement

😊  To make the professional profile more engaging, we introduced a colorful, fun-to-read career journey that allows professionals to convey their story in a much more compelling manner. This also adds to the visual variety of the page.


😊  To encourage greater student interaction with professionals, we integrated carousel tips at each professional profile's conclusion, prompting students to consider potential conversation topics.


😊  Empathizing that students often face challenges when initiating conversations, we introduced prompts while messaging, to help them easily break the ice and facilitate conversations with professionals.


😊  We added a 'Resources' tab into the navigation bar, providing access to internship opportunities and serving as a space for upcoming features like career resources.

Usability Testing…Round 2!

Usability Testing…Round 2!

I led another moderated usability test to ensure the effectiveness of all the new changes that were made. The goal was to see if the modifications were well received by the target user group.



“Knowing that I can block someone makes me feel secure.” ~ Participant

I led another moderated usability test to ensure the effectiveness of all the new changes that were made. The goal was to see if the modifications were well received by the target user group.


Knowing that I can block someone makes me feel secure.” ~ Participant

I led another moderated usability test to ensure the effectiveness of all the new changes that were made. The goal was to see if the modifications were well received by the target user group.


“Knowing that I can block someone makes me feel secure.” ~ Participant

Tasks/Questions:

  • This is the first time you’re using this app. Create an account.

  • You want to explore new profiles today! How would you do this?

  • Go through [Person’s] profile and comment on the usefulness of the information provided.

  • You like [Person’s] profile and you’d like to look at it later. What can you do to save it?

  • You’re eager to reach out to [Person] to get some career advice from him/her. Send a message.

  • You had an unpleasant conversation with [Person] and you’d feel more comfortable if you could avoid further contact with this person. What can you do?

  • You’re excited to gain some real-world experience! Search for internships on this app.

  • You come across an internship that you’d like to view again later. What do you do?

  • You’d like to view that internship opportunity you were interested in earlier. Where can you go to view it?


Tasks/Questions:

  • This is the first time you’re using this app. Create an account.

  • You want to explore new profiles today! How would you do this?

  • Go through [Person’s] profile and comment on the usefulness of the information provided.

  • You like [Person’s] profile and you’d like to look at it later. What can you do to save it?

  • You’re eager to reach out to [Person] to get some career advice from him/her. Send a message.

  • You had an unpleasant conversation with [Person] and you’d feel more comfortable if you could avoid further contact with this person. What can you do?

  • You’re excited to gain some real-world experience! Search for internships on this app.

  • You come across an internship that you’d like to view again later. What do you do?

  • You’d like to view that internship opportunity you were interested in earlier. Where can you go to view it?

✅  All tasks were completed by our participants. It was interesting to see students request for two-factor authentication. This goes to show that students are aware of and value their privacy and safety.


After development of these features, our CEO reported an increase in the average session duration by 30%!

Further Recommendations

Further Recommendations

Based on feedback from the usability test, the following features were recommended to the client:

  • Progress Visualizations on Student Profile - Introduce visual graphs to easily depict progress made each week 📈

  • Mentor Appreciation - Allow students to express gratitude to a mentor to acknowledge their efforts and insights on their learning journey 🌸

  • Two-factor Authentication - Introduce additional security features to ensure safety 🔐

That's a Wrap!

That's a Wrap!

Due to business considerations and the value placed on the design aspects of Go Pursue, we have decided to limit the public sharing of the project, including the Figma files. However, I would be happy to discuss the project and share additional insights in a portfolio review. Please reach out for further discussion.

What I Learned

What I Learned

Throughout the project, I gained knowledge regarding the privacy concerns and limitations specific to high school students. These factors constrained our ability to introduce certain features. This experience not only provided me with insightful understanding of the Ed-Tech landscape, but also served as a reminder of the importance of thoroughly understanding an industry before engaging in the ideation process.

© 2023 Meenakshi Shyamsundar

© 2023 Meenakshi Shyamsundar

© 2023 Meenakshi Shyamsundar