Student onboarding

Product Design
How might we ensure that students can easily select and access the correct course materials so they are ready to learn by the first day of class.
My role
  • Worked closely with product and ux managers to identify problem space and opportunities.
  • Held whiteboard sessions to brainstorm and sketch potential solutions.
  • Generated wireframes and built out prototypes for usability testing.
  • Engaged with user researchers on testing scripts.
  • Worked diligently with accessibility team to adhere with guidelines.
  • Partnered with UI on visual design and UA on voice and tone.
  • Provided redlines to development and go through UX audits with dev QA.
Opportunities and Challenges
Improve how students onboard to our digital courseware products and reduce barriers so student can get access quickly.

Students had trouble understanding what they were signing up for.  As a possible first introduction to Pearson digital products, there needed to be more clarity what Pearson was offering.  

Improve how students can easily identify that they are accessing materials for the correct course.  

Students comparison shop, with cost the primary driver behind their ultimate purchasing decision, although convenience and speed do play a role.
Understanding the problem
Students are often provided an invite link on their syllabus or emailed from instructors where they can purchase directly online or access course material via an access code.  Students struggled with accessing the correct materials for their course as it was a theme with customer support data. Analytics showed that bounce rates were high once users got into the purchasing flow. With past student onboarding flows, users didn't have a enough information to easily assess what they are signing up for. Pricing wasn't displayed until the user got to the checkout page. The invite page didn't speak to the features of the product and left students looking for cheaper options.

There are many touch points throughout the student's onboarding flow, from signing in/up to making an online purchase or redeeming an access code before landing on a student portal. The journey really begins with an invite page.

Since this page could be student's first interaction with Pearson, we saw it as an opportunity to introduce what our digital course materials could provide. I worked with our marketing team to inject our product's value proposition onto the invite page. It started with text then evolved to add illustrations and video. The video not only spoke to the value proposition, but also included what steps needed to take to quickly access their course material.

Taking feedback and data from customer support, we looked into adding a FAQ section to help guide students with their onboarding process along with making it clear that the product students are looking at is the correct material associated with their course.

The idea to surface pricing on the invite page was met with some challenges, but mainly from backend database and architectural standpoint. Placing pricing and duration details upfront provided transparency and a clear path for students to make their decision to purchase.

We went through several design iteration and usability testing, with each iteration gaining student insights that informed our designs.
Whiteboard showing user flow diagram. Whiteboard showing relationships between elements.Concept webpage for college students to obtain materials for their course.Concept webpage for college students to obtain materials for their course.
User insights and findings
Overall students found the content of the course invite screen to be useful. They liked seeing information that gave them an idea of what the product was and how it worked.

Students appreciated having the the access options prominently displayed at the top.

Students felt that they had sufficient information on this page to learn about product. They wanted to see the video and expected to see an overview of the product features in the video. They also wanted to see price on this page.
Outcomes and improvements
There are many factors that impact student’s decision on accessing their course materials with price being the main driver. Displaying value propositions, course association, and pricing up front on the invite page provide students transparency and clarity to help them quickly access the correct material. With designs fully implemented and live, the hope is that the solutions will improve student's onboarding and reduce support calls.

Concept webpage for college students to obtain materials for their course.Concept webpage for college students to obtain materials for their course.