Wyzant is the nation's top platform for expert, 1-on-1 tutoring, having delivered over 10 million hours of instruction and created countless success stories for students and tutors alike.
I was Wyzant's first full-time design hire, and I led the design practice for most of my time there.
Here are just a few of the projects I worked on.
Personas & Experience Map
As Wyzant’s product practice was getting off the ground, we wanted to establish a shared understanding of Wyzant’s users: students and tutors.
Our team conducted extensive user research, analyzed the findings, and turned the results into deliverables that influenced product development for years to follow.
One of 5 student personas I co-created
Experience map I designed about tutor users
My job as a designer was to help our tutors look great, but not only by designing an attractive profile layout. We needed to deeply understand what information students wanted to see, and then prompt tutors to provide that information.
For example, students were better able to identify whether a tutor was a good fit once we incorporated subject-specific qualifications and hours of availability into tutor profiles. As a result, more students found a tutor and got the help they needed.
I was involved in selecting what information we included and how it was displayed throughout multiple iterations of the profile design.
One of the tutor profile changes I designed was adding subject qualifications.
Displaying search terms in bold helped students find what they were looking for.
Wyzant's tutor search results page was almost constantly under experimentation. We were always asking ourselves how we could surface the best, most relevant tutors.
I designed several changes to search results that helped students find the right match.
One such change was taking whatever text the student had entered into the search field and highlighting it in the tutor results. This was especially effective when students were searching for highly specific topics rather than broad subjects.
Because there are so many expert tutors on Wyzant, students have a much better chance of finding a good match if they use filters in their search. We designed a simple quiz to collect details about the student’s needs, and used the responses to filter the tutor search results.
This feature benefitted the tutors, as well: the students’ responses were passed along to the tutors, helping to clarify what type of help the student was looking for.
Asking students questions about their tutoring needs helped match them with the right tutors.
Strategic Shift to Adult, Online Learners
Wyzant's leadership team wanted steer the business toward a large, growing market: adult learners seeking online lessons. This was a big, high-stakes change in our product strategy, and we needed a place to start.
I ran the design sprint that laid a foundation for the product changes to come.
Photos from the design sprint I led
Recordings were a great incentive for getting students to take lessons online, one of our key business goals.
To become the nation’s top destination for online tutoring, we had to deliver an exceptional online lesson experience. One popular feature we developed to achieve this was providing students with free access to lesson recordings.
There was a tricky aspect to designing this experience: getting both the student and the tutor to agree to be recorded. We helped them overcome their reservations by clearly explaining how the recording was used, and who would have access to it.
Wyzant has always aimed to serve as many learners as possible, so we hired a team of accessibility experts to audit a large portion of our site and identify issues.
I was responsible for designing the fixes. This included adjustments to our color palette, typography, and page layouts.
It was a rewarding experience to learn the nuts and bolts of web accessibility, and I'm glad to have added this skill to my toolkit.
Some of my recommendations for a new color palette that would be easier to interpret for the visually impaired
Product Roadmap Workshops
Once Wyzant's senior leadership had set strategic goals around what to do, the product team created roadmaps for how to do it.
I regularly ran workshops with the sprint teams to generate ideas for the roadmap. Not only did we get loads of great ideas that were turned into features, the activity got the whole team feeling excited and invested in the plans.
A PM’s feedback about the above brainstorm: “John just led one of the most productive ideation sessions I can remember being a part of. We left the meeting with a ton of great ideas for the upcoming quarter. What's perhaps most impressive is that we were able to collaborate just as effectively remote as we would have in the office. Truly impressive.”
Wyzant for Higher Ed
Wyzant for Higher Ed was a partnership program with universities to provide online tutoring to their students. I was the lead designer on this new product.
Wyzant for Higher Ed was designed to meet the needs of both educational institutions and their students.
In my seven years designing for Wyzant, we delivered millions of tutoring hours, more than doubled new student conversion, and shipped dozens of new features.
Wyzant's business was thriving when it was acquired in 2021 by IXL. I'm incredibly proud of what we built together, and it feels great to know that design played a part in the company's success.