Springboard Student Success

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Problem: Springboard is an online school that offers courses in UX, data analytics, machine learning, and more. On Springboard's website is a student success page that talks about the experiences of graduates of Springboard's courses. Springboard found that people weren't spending as much time on this page.

Goals:

  • ​Increase the amount of time spent on Springboard's student success page

  • Increase the number of people who submit an application/enroll in a course after reading the student success page

My Role: My role was as UX researcher and designer.

Approach and Strategy: I started with competitive analysis. Then I designed the first iteration, which I then tested with three people, alongside testing the current design with two people. Based on the feedback I received from testing, I designed a second iteration.

Competitive Analysis

There were three competitors identified to me that I did competitive analysis on: Lambda, Thinkful, and OpenClassrooms.

OpenClassrooms

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OpenClassrooms doesn't have anything like a student success page, but they do have two student accounts near the bottom of their home page. These accounts include the graduate's picture, name, current title, quote, and a link to a video in which they talk about their experience.

 

The video was very well done. It gave a compelling story and had well edited footage. Video may be something that Springboard can consider if it likes, but it would have to be very well done.

Lambda

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The first thing that Lambda has on their “stories” page is a featured story of one of their graduates, showing a picture, blurb, and link to read more. The first thing that Springboard shows on their student success page is a quote from a student, how many people are enrolled in their courses, a link to see what students have said, and logos of some of the companies where graduates have worked.

 

Springboard’s page is more effective here since the first thing you see is a quote talking about how great the class is, whereas on Lambda’s page the first thing you see is someone’s name. Springboard also covers information about a wide range of their graduates with their link and company logos whereas so far Lambda has only talked about one of their graduates.

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(Left: Screenshot of a part of Lambda’s “stories” page; Right: Screenshot of part of Springboard’s student success page)

Right below the highlighted story, Lambda shows four more graduate stories, showing the graduate’s picture, name, and location. Clicking on these allows the user to read more about these graduates. This is very ineffective, as it doesn’t give the user much of a reason to click on them. Compare that with Springboard, which shows graduates’ pictures, their position before taking the course, their position after taking the course, and quote. This hooks the user into the graduates’ stories and gives them more of a reason to click on “read more”.

Thinkful

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(Above: Screenshot of part of Thinkful’s “outcomes page; Right: Screenshot of part of Springboard’s student success page)

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In about the middle of Thinkful’s “outcomes” page, there are some accounts of their graduates, showing their picture, name, and current position. There is a link below all of this that the user can click to read more about each of the graduates. Springboard’s student success page already does something similar, and is more effective, since it is more descriptive, since not only are we given a picture, name, and current position, but also a quote and their position before taking the course. This gives users more of a reason to click on “read more”.

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One of the first things that Thinkful’s “outcomes” page shows are the average salaries and employment rate of graduates of their different classes. Further down the page is a line graph showing the average percentage of graduates hired after a given amount of time after finishing a course. Right below that are some pie charts showing some diversity figures about their graduates.

 

Springboard currently doesn’t have anything on their page similar to this. Including things such as salaries, employment rate, average hired rate, and diversity statistics can benefit Springboard’s page as it convinces users to take further action more.

Sketches and First Iteration

With my research, I was able to decide what to include in my design. I started my design with sketches and then made my first iteration.

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User Testing

I did two tests with the current Springboard student success page and three tests with the page that I designed. From those tests, I thought of making the following changes to the page I designed:

  • Make the headers for data science and UX design under the projects bigger

    • One test participant said the headers were too small​

  • Add where the people who did the projects are currently working

    • ​One test participant said that they would like to know how the projects impacted their careers. The solution proposed is possible since all of the projects either link to the graduate’s website, the graduate’s Github, or the Springboard blog, all of which have more information about the person and links to pages such as their LinkedIn, Twitter, Github, etc

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  • Put "over 5,000 students have enrolled in our courses" back into the design

    • One test participant said that that was "really powerful"

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  • Add where the people giving reviews currently work

    • One test participant said that they would like to see where the people giving the reviews are working now and give more context to them. The solution proposed is possible since all of the reviews have been given by people verified via LinkedIn.

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  • Add information on where the statistics came from

    • ​One participant said they couldn’t tell whether they found the design for the salaries and employment rate trustworthy or not. This participant also said they didn’t have enough information to figure out whether the design for the breakdown of graduates was trustworthy or not.

    • One participant said they would appreciate a source for the breakdown and it saying if the information is based on one year or for all graduates

  • Say that the figures being used for the salaries are in USD

    • ​One test participant said that saying which currency is being used makes a big difference

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Second Iteration

Conclusions and Takeaways

Based on the results from usability testing, I was able to see what works and what doesn’t work and make the proper changes to the design. I was able to see that the key values of the product such as being something that people would want to spend time on and understandability were achieved. If I had more time for this project I would conduct more tests.