Wyzant saw an opportunity to bring its successful tutoring marketplace from consumers to educational institutions. I led the design of this new product.
To figure out how to meet the needs of this new kind of customer, we organized one of the largest research projects in company history.
I was one of the team members who conducted on-site and remote interviews with university employees.
I shadowed several employees to understand how they used their existing tools to identify and support struggling students.
Making sense of all the research data was no small task. I was a key member of the group who identified the insights that shaped the product.
I built a service blueprint to illustrate how different actors coordinate their activities to accomplish their goals.
Our research revealed important customer needs that would differentiate this new product from our consumer offering. Here are just 2 examples.
Institutional customers prioritize retention.
These schools care much more about turning an F into a C than turning a C into an A. This means they want to provide tutoring services specifically to struggling students, not just anyone.
Institutions support student retention through advocates.
These schools had something in common: they all had staff members who provided 1-on-1 student support. We called this role the advocate, and I designed an entirely new experience for this new type of user.
Designing for Advocates
Advocates have to track which students are using tutoring services and how often, and make sure students stay within their quotas for tutoring hours.
I designed the advocate experience from scratch, ensuring that the information advocates wanted was close at hand and easy to understand.
Advocates can see the full details of each tutoring session, including the tutor's notes about what material was covered.
When a student goes over their allotted tutoring hours, the advocate is notified system-wide with a yellow alert.
Designing for Students
Students needed ways to make course-specific tutoring requests, track the tutoring hours they'd been allotted, and access their session recordings.
I tailored Wyzant's consumer student product into an experience fit for higher ed students. This involved weaving in a new layer of organization: requests were tied to specific courses, and tutors and sessions had to be grouped accordingly.
Some screens I designed for the higher ed product.
Wyzant for Higher Ed was rolled out to more than 10 universities, where it became highly popular with both students and advocates.
More importantly, the product demonstrably increased student retention. One school measured a retention increase of almost 30%, making it one of the most effective interventions for struggling students.