AppD University is an online learning platform for becoming an expert in Application Performance Management.
My role during this project was managing a team of designers, creative direction, leading user research, leading user experience and interaction design and overall product ownership.
AppD University needed to create a compelling digital experience for enrolling and monitoring progress towards online and in-person training. Online, self-paced courses were an entirely new offering and the existing website faced some very real challenges in IA, navigation and look and feel. Users were unable to successfully navigate the site or register for courses.
Traditionally, online learning platforms are an older industry with poor user experiences. We wanted to change that.
To begin the process, we printed every page of the existing website to develop an opinion on usability issues. The goal was to develop a hypothesis before moving into user testing.
We ran a series of video think-out-loud studies to gather insight about our existing experience. The success criteria was simple; was a customer able to register for a course?
Results showed it took users up to 8 minutes to find the registration button. We also uncovered a host of other usability issues including problems with navigation and lost context when exploring the site.
User Journey Mapping
Clearly, the entire IA needed to be rethought. We started from scratch and created a series of persona-based user journeys to identify where we were taking users today, and where we wanted them to go.
Armed with usability data, we started exploring layout options for a new experience which focused on clear user journeys, IA, content discovery and leading customers down the path of registration.
Visual Design, Prototyping and More Testing
Before designing the entire experience, we created visual mockups and a high-fidelity prototype to test with customers for validation. A lead designer on my team defined the overall style guide and design language.
We ran the exact same usability test conducted on the original site. The outcome exceeded our expectations, though we did uncover some additional usability issues we needed to prioritize around navigation.