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StudySmarter

StudySmarter

StudySmarter

StudySmarter

Back

StudySmarter

StudySmarter

StudySmarter

Enhancing content discovery experience for Europe's largest digital learning platform

Enhancing content discovery experience for Europe's largest digital learning platform

Enhancing content discovery experience for Europe's largest digital learning platform

Role

Role

Role

Product designer

Product designer

Product designer

Co-designer

Co-designer

Co-designer

Responsibilities

Responsibilities

Responsibilities

Strategic design, user research, product design

Strategic design, user research, product design

Strategic design, user research, product design

Problem space

Problem space

Problem space

StudySmarter aims to enhance its content discovery experience to provide users with a personalised and engaging learning journey. However, the current content discovery mechanisms lack efficiency and effective content organisation, resulting in low user retention and frustrating learning experiences.

StudySmarter aims to enhance its content discovery experience to provide users with a personalised and engaging learning journey. However, the current content discovery mechanisms lack efficiency and effective content organisation, resulting in low user retention and frustrating learning experiences.

StudySmarter aims to enhance its content discovery experience to provide users with a personalised and engaging learning journey. However, the current content discovery mechanisms lack efficiency and effective content organisation, resulting in low user retention and frustrating learning experiences.

Process overview

Process overview

Process overview

  1. User journeys & intentions map

  1. User journeys & intentions map

  1. User journeys & intentions map

We started by gathering existing research insights to identify missing essential insights. Thereafter, we created journeys and maps user intents based on them.

We started by gathering existing research insights to identify missing essential insights. Thereafter, we created journeys and maps user intents based on them.

We started by gathering existing research insights to identify missing essential insights. Thereafter, we created journeys and maps user intents based on them.

  1. Problem identification

  1. Problem identification

  1. Problem identification

From the maps, we identified the problems that needed to be solved for every different journey. Doing so guided us to imagine the success scenarios for each intent.

From the maps, we identified the problems that needed to be solved for every different journey. Doing so guided us to imagine the success scenarios for each intent.

From the maps, we identified the problems that needed to be solved for every different journey. Doing so guided us to imagine the success scenarios for each intent.

  1. Solutioning

  1. Solutioning

  1. Solutioning

After having a clear list of problems, we brainstormed ideas and create solutions in collaboration with multidisciplinary stakeholders.

After having a clear list of problems, we brainstormed ideas and create solutions in collaboration with multidisciplinary stakeholders.

After having a clear list of problems, we brainstormed ideas and create solutions in collaboration with multidisciplinary stakeholders.

  1. Validation

  1. Validation

  1. Validation

We tested the usability of the solutions. However, as we were aware that prototype testing on solutions that solve intent-based problems, we advocated for creating an MVP to test in the live environment.

We tested the usability of the solutions. However, as we were aware that prototype testing on solutions that solve intent-based problems, we advocated for creating an MVP to test in the live environment.

We tested the usability of the solutions. However, as we were aware that prototype testing on solutions that solve intent-based problems, we advocated for creating an MVP to test in the live environment.

  1. User journeys & intentions map

  1. User journeys & intentions map

  1. User journeys & intentions map

We started the project by creating a foundation of content discovery journeys of the users, believing that doing so would provide a holistic view on different types of needs and intents. We filtered through existing body of knowledge at the company and extracted the parts where the users mentioned how they searched for or discovered content of their wish.

We started the project by creating a foundation of content discovery journeys of the users, believing that doing so would provide a holistic view on different types of needs and intents. We filtered through existing body of knowledge at the company and extracted the parts where the users mentioned how they searched for or discovered content of their wish.

We started the project by creating a foundation of content discovery journeys of the users, believing that doing so would provide a holistic view on different types of needs and intents. We filtered through existing body of knowledge at the company and extracted the parts where the users mentioned how they searched for or discovered content of their wish.

Different intents for content discovery

Different intents for content discovery

Different intents for content discovery

Nothing specific

User may have some ideas of what could be interesting for them, but they are either not actively looking or are open to discover something new. Their focal space becomes smaller as they see more content.


Specific school or university

User is looking for study materials from specific institute, either their own schools or others'. An example is when a user would like to see what other students from the same state are studying.


Specific subject or field of study

User's intention is to find some materials for specific subject. This intent is common for students looking for additional materials to prepare for an exam or as a source for writing academic paper.


Specific topic

User with this intent possess certain level of knowledge on the topic, therefore they have a clear idea of what they are looking for. This intent is common for a quick exam preparation.


Specific question

User is looking for an answer to specific question. They need a quick and easy path to reach to achieve this goal. An example of a journey is when a school student needs an answer for their homework or mock exams.

Nothing specific

User may have some ideas of what could be interesting for them, but they are either not actively looking or are open to discover something new. Their focal space becomes smaller as they see more content.


Specific school or university

User is looking for study materials from specific institute, either their own schools or others'. An example is when a user would like to see what other students from the same state are studying.


Specific subject or field of study

User's intention is to find some materials for specific subject. This intent is common for students looking for additional materials to prepare for an exam or as a source for writing academic paper.


Specific topic

User with this intent possess certain level of knowledge on the topic, therefore they have a clear idea of what they are looking for. This intent is common for a quick exam preparation.


Specific question

User is looking for an answer to specific question. They need a quick and easy path to reach to achieve this goal. An example of a journey is when a school student needs an answer for their homework or mock exams.

Nothing specific

User may have some ideas of what could be interesting for them, but they are either not actively looking or are open to discover something new. Their focal space becomes smaller as they see more content.


Specific school or university

User is looking for study materials from specific institute, either their own schools or others'. An example is when a user would like to see what other students from the same state are studying.


Specific subject or field of study

User's intention is to find some materials for specific subject. This intent is common for students looking for additional materials to prepare for an exam or as a source for writing academic paper.


Specific topic

User with this intent possess certain level of knowledge on the topic, therefore they have a clear idea of what they are looking for. This intent is common for a quick exam preparation.


Specific question

User is looking for an answer to specific question. They need a quick and easy path to reach to achieve this goal. An example of a journey is when a school student needs an answer for their homework or mock exams.

  1. Problem identification

  1. Problem identification

  1. Problem identification

Challenge 1: Content structure is not optimal for content discovery with looser intent

Challenge 1: Content structure is not optimal for content discovery with looser intent

Challenge 1: Content structure is not optimal for content discovery with looser intent

After knowing the user intents, we compared the user journeys with the content structure on the platform in order to analyse whether it is optimal for user's way-finding in their content discoveries.


We found that the current structure assumes that the users know how the knowledge for that specific subject or topic is organised. In other words, it requires that the user knows that, for example, Polysemy is a under the topic of Lexicon. Organising content this way would not be an intense pain point for users who are looking for materials for specific topic, but it would not be optimal for users who do not have specific idea beforehand or those whose the knowledge is structured differently at their school or university.

After knowing the user intents, we compared the user journeys with the content structure on the platform in order to analyse whether it is optimal for user's way-finding in their content discoveries.


We found that the current structure assumes that the users know how the knowledge for that specific subject or topic is organised. In other words, it requires that the user knows that, for example, Polysemy is a under the topic of Lexicon. Organising content this way would not be an intense pain point for users who are looking for materials for specific topic, but it would not be optimal for users who do not have specific idea beforehand or those whose the knowledge is structured differently at their school or university.

After knowing the user intents, we compared the user journeys with the content structure on the platform in order to analyse whether it is optimal for user's way-finding in their content discoveries.


We found that the current structure assumes that the users know how the knowledge for that specific subject or topic is organised. In other words, it requires that the user knows that, for example, Polysemy is a under the topic of Lexicon. Organising content this way would not be an intense pain point for users who are looking for materials for specific topic, but it would not be optimal for users who do not have specific idea beforehand or those whose the knowledge is structured differently at their school or university.

The current content structure doesn't allow users to get to e without knowing it's under a, b, c, and d

The current content structure doesn't allow users to get to e without knowing it's under a, b, c, and d

The current content structure doesn't allow users to get to e without knowing it's under a, b, c, and d

Challenge 2: Current search capability isn't optimised for users to type keywords of any intent level

Challenge 2: Current search capability isn't optimised for users to type keywords of any intent level

Challenge 2: Current search capability isn't optimised for users to type keywords of any intent level

Through mapping the intents based on snippets of user interviews as well as statistics from our data platform, we found that users of different intents typed different keywords in the search bar. For example, students who are looking for study materials for a specific field of study would normally start by typing a name of the field. The search capability, therefore, needed to be able to recognise these keywords that are not topic names, which was the main mechanism of the current search functionality.

Through mapping the intents based on snippets of user interviews as well as statistics from our data platform, we found that users of different intents typed different keywords in the search bar. For example, students who are looking for study materials for a specific field of study would normally start by typing a name of the field. The search capability, therefore, needed to be able to recognise these keywords that are not topic names, which was the main mechanism of the current search functionality.

Through mapping the intents based on snippets of user interviews as well as statistics from our data platform, we found that users of different intents typed different keywords in the search bar. For example, students who are looking for study materials for a specific field of study would normally start by typing a name of the field. The search capability, therefore, needed to be able to recognise these keywords that are not topic names, which was the main mechanism of the current search functionality.

  1. Solutioning

  1. Solutioning

  1. Solutioning

Solution 1: Browsing feature

Solution 1: Browsing feature

Solution 1: Browsing feature

An intuitive browsing experience should give users the ability to smoothly navigate through the layers of content while also allowing them to jump directly to specific topics when they need to. With a strong emphasis on navigation, we aimed to communicate clearly to the users where they are in the structure of content. Our approach was to balance the rigid content hierarchy and the flexibility to quickly access specific topics, ensuring that users can efficiently explore the platform's offerings.


By facilitating easy navigation through content layers, users can dive deeper into subjects and access related materials. Simultaneously, the option to jump directly to specific topics enables users to quickly find and study specific topics they require. The browsing feature overall is to empower the users to tailor their learning journey while providing them with a pathway that fit their intents.

An intuitive browsing experience should give users the ability to smoothly navigate through the layers of content while also allowing them to jump directly to specific topics when they need to. With a strong emphasis on navigation, we aimed to communicate clearly to the users where they are in the structure of content. Our approach was to balance the rigid content hierarchy and the flexibility to quickly access specific topics, ensuring that users can efficiently explore the platform's offerings.


By facilitating easy navigation through content layers, users can dive deeper into subjects and access related materials. Simultaneously, the option to jump directly to specific topics enables users to quickly find and study specific topics they require. The browsing feature overall is to empower the users to tailor their learning journey while providing them with a pathway that fit their intents.

An intuitive browsing experience should give users the ability to smoothly navigate through the layers of content while also allowing them to jump directly to specific topics when they need to. With a strong emphasis on navigation, we aimed to communicate clearly to the users where they are in the structure of content. Our approach was to balance the rigid content hierarchy and the flexibility to quickly access specific topics, ensuring that users can efficiently explore the platform's offerings.


By facilitating easy navigation through content layers, users can dive deeper into subjects and access related materials. Simultaneously, the option to jump directly to specific topics enables users to quickly find and study specific topics they require. The browsing feature overall is to empower the users to tailor their learning journey while providing them with a pathway that fit their intents.

Solution 2: More fuzzy, yet specific search capabilities

Solution 2: More fuzzy, yet specific search capabilities

Solution 2: More fuzzy, yet specific search capabilities

We optimised the search feature by implementing several key enhancements.


Firstly, we incorporated dynamic suggestions in the drop-down, offering users relevant options based on the keywords they type. This feature aids users in quickly finding the desired content, improving their search efficiency.


Secondly, we integrated a search history function, allowing users to easily access their previous searches. This feature promotes convenience and enables users to revisit or refine their previous search queries effortlessly.


Thirdly, we also suggest study materials that are popular among users with similar profiles. This tailored approach helps users discover relevant study materials and enhances their engagement with the platform's content.


Lastly, we implemented a feature to detect when users are searching for specific subjects. This functionality enables the search system to recognise subject names and allowing users to browse content in that specific subject.

We optimised the search feature by implementing several key enhancements.


Firstly, we incorporated dynamic suggestions in the drop-down, offering users relevant options based on the keywords they type. This feature aids users in quickly finding the desired content, improving their search efficiency.


Secondly, we integrated a search history function, allowing users to easily access their previous searches. This feature promotes convenience and enables users to revisit or refine their previous search queries effortlessly.


Thirdly, we also suggest study materials that are popular among users with similar profiles. This tailored approach helps users discover relevant study materials and enhances their engagement with the platform's content.


Lastly, we implemented a feature to detect when users are searching for specific subjects. This functionality enables the search system to recognise subject names and allowing users to browse content in that specific subject.

We optimised the search feature by implementing several key enhancements.


Firstly, we incorporated dynamic suggestions in the drop-down, offering users relevant options based on the keywords they type. This feature aids users in quickly finding the desired content, improving their search efficiency.


Secondly, we integrated a search history function, allowing users to easily access their previous searches. This feature promotes convenience and enables users to revisit or refine their previous search queries effortlessly.


Thirdly, we also suggest study materials that are popular among users with similar profiles. This tailored approach helps users discover relevant study materials and enhances their engagement with the platform's content.


Lastly, we implemented a feature to detect when users are searching for specific subjects. This functionality enables the search system to recognise subject names and allowing users to browse content in that specific subject.

  1. Dynamic suggestions

  1. Search history

  1. Study material suggestions

  1. Subject search

  1. Validation

  1. Validation

  1. Validation

Usability test

Knowing the limit of prototype testing, especially on content finding which requires more elaborated and tailored experience, we conducted our primary tests of the two solutions (separately) focusing on usability. The results of both convinced us that the users understood the logic of the flows and would be able to use the solution in live environment.


Testing in live environment

We moved on to develop the solutions and observe the following activities:

  1. Content impressions

  2. Opening rate of study materials

  3. Time spent on studying

Usability test

Knowing the limit of prototype testing, especially on content finding which requires more elaborated and tailored experience, we conducted our primary tests of the two solutions (separately) focusing on usability. The results of both convinced us that the users understood the logic of the flows and would be able to use the solution in live environment.


Testing in live environment

We moved on to develop the solutions and observe the following activities:

  1. Content impressions

  2. Opening rate of study materials

  3. Time spent on studying

Usability test

Knowing the limit of prototype testing, especially on content finding which requires more elaborated and tailored experience, we conducted our primary tests of the two solutions (separately) focusing on usability. The results of both convinced us that the users understood the logic of the flows and would be able to use the solution in live environment.


Testing in live environment

We moved on to develop the solutions and observe the following activities:

  1. Content impressions

  2. Opening rate of study materials

  3. Time spent on studying