While the number of students learning through online courses have increased in the past few years, the content available has exploded to a point where it has increasing become difficult for students to discover and complete valuable courses.
Edunaut is an web based platform dedicated to help learners discover and choose online courses across various providers and content creators. It further aims to provide a collaborative environment where students can discuss and share their knowledge.
Lead Product Designer (Team of 5)
The project started with the core idea to simplify the process of selecting an online course. Initial desk research into domain highlighted the critical issue faced by numerous students today. Through further analysis and opportunity identification, a solution was created and detailed. The following document elaborates each of these steps.
Initial research highlights two points:
The biggest regret of students with online courses is not comparing enough relevant courses before choosing the course.
Their biggest concern is the quality of the online course, and if it would be appropriate, followed by a lack of community and interaction between professors and other classmates.
After problem identification, possible existing market solutions were studied and analysed for their usefulness in context of helping students discover the right course.
They list courses across multiple providers and universities
Provide popular and trending courses in different domains
Have articles and blogs to explain from experts to educate the users about different fields and features
The course catalogue is incomplete & not updated regularly
They don't provide easy ways to compare & choose courses
No scope for interaction between students or any discussion
No personalisation or recommendation for different students
Quantitative Survey - 101 Participants | Semi Structured Interviews - 5 Frequent Online Course Users
Findings from survey:
58% people are looking to learn things in new domains and thus are beginners
46% start a new course once in few months
29% are unsure of the usefulness of a course and therefore don't enrol
54% people seek friends, experts opinion and check discussion forums before taking any course
95% people share their opinion and feedback of course with close friends
Key User Statement from Interviews:
Only after I started the course, I realised it is not what I wanted to learn
I make a list of courses I would want to do later
Even if I post my queries on Reddit, I can never know when it would be answered by a reliable source
There is no defined goal, so I lose motivation
I wasn't able to match the timeline of the course, so I left it
I don’t trust the course provider for suggestions, the result seem biased
Meaningful conversations happen only in smaller groups
There is no option to do cross platform comparison of courses in similar domains
I want to see the difference between similar looking courses
Place where users can look at courses from multiple providers
Be able to compare courses to make better decisions
Save courses for later
A place where course and domain related discussions can happen
Personalised course recommendation
To solve the identifies issues and take advantage of the opportunity areas, ideation was done for possible directions. One promising directions was building a Chrome extension which can show relevant courses across different providers when user is looking at a specific course. While being a good solution that provides help to users based on context, it can not exist independently, firstly, because there is a need of platform where users can access full catalogue and search for courses. Thus, this was decided as future exploration.
Considering the scope and possible use cases of the solution, a web based platform was sought out as the most appropriate option. Through multiple iterations, a basic layout for the platform was sketched which was further digitalised and implemented.
The process steps followed to develop the platform were as follows:
Identification of features needed on the platform - Search (by domain, by provider, through keywords, explore), Recommendations, Bookmarks, Compare Courses, Completing courses
User Journey from landing on the platform to reaching the desired course and making the purchase
Information Architecture - Making clusters of relevant information together and identifying the distinct pages and data hierarchy to determine the flow - Landing page, Listing page, Course Detail, FAQ, Contact us page, About us, Policy page
Creating digital wireframes and user interface of different pages and defining the interactions
The name 'edunaut' is derived from two roots - 'edu' for education and 'naut' for ocean with a complete meaning of 'Ocean of Education'.
The following section covers some of the key features of the platform.
1. RECOMMENDED COURSES
User Statement: 'Only after I started the course, I realised it is not what I wanted to learn'
This feature help users choose the right courses quickly and easily by asking them a few relevant questions to determine their area of interest, motivation for looking a course, their preferred time commitment and inclination towards payment. This would save users the hassle of finding different courses especially if they are new to the field.
2. SEARCH AND FILTER COURSES
User Statement: 'There is no option to do cross platform comparison of courses in similar domains'
Search courses across many providers and easily refine results by adding multiple filters like course domain, course type, duration, cost, provider, language and many more parameters.
3. COMPARE COURSES
User Statement: 'I want to see the difference between similar looking courses'
Add multiple courses in the compare tray and see the details of each course against different parameters.
4. BOOKMARK COURSES
User Statement: 'I make a list of courses I would want to do later'
Allows users to save course which they want to pursue in the future and also share their preferences with friends.
5. RATE AND REVIEW COURSES
User Statement: 'I don’t trust the course provider for suggestions, the result seem biased'
Share honest opinions with friends and community about personal expereince and feedback.
6. RESPONSIVE WEBSITE
Desk Research: 'Around 51% students access web through mobile devices where 46% through desktops. Source-Statcounter'
Responsive websites to provide best experience across mobile devices and desktops alike.
7. UPCOMING FEATURES
A space to enable meaningful discussion and exchange of ideas for online courses and subjects. The discussion forum to be linked to the course catalogue so that users can discuss about any course and course specific discussions are visible on course detail page.
BADGES & EDUCOINS
To increase engagement in the discussions and recognise authentic reviews and comments amongst others, users to be awarded badges and educoins which can be further used to avail other features and discounts.