Classy is a third-party, student powered course rating platform

DATE - Jan - May 2019

ROLE - Product designer (sole)

RESULT - Launched a course rating platform and reached more than 1000 students

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Why build classy?

There is a big in-transparency in both the education and the job-finding industry. People don’t know what it really feels like to take a class or work at a company, yet huge opportunity cost lays ahead when they make a wrong choice. Entrepreneurs had built Glassdoor and Blind to help employee out. So why not something for students? We want to make a place to find honest and accurate courses reviews and educate students to get their right education.

Problems we want to solve

There are two channels for students to gather course information: the official college source and peers. At our school, the official course page received little maintenance and didn't have any valuable information for students. On the other side, students asking their peers via message or forums often receive incomplete and subjective responses, which could lead to bias toward courses and missing out on good courses

How we’re solving it

100 surveys and 20 + interviews after, we defined informative, complete, and honest as the three quality Classy should have. We want to make sure a course gets reviewed in multiple perspective and verified by peers (complete); the course reviews are as objective as possible (honest); and that the course information can immediately help students make a decision. (informative) Lastly, by making Classy a open platform, we are making these information more accessible for students

Designing a course review platform

Find the right course

To let students identify a course at a glance, I created a visual course card system, using icon, color, and pattern to communicate course information. Students can also glance at basic metrics information when hovering over the cards

Learn about the course

The 4 types of course metrics we collected is the core of how Classy present information to students. Each metrics is visualized uniquely to convey information as intuitively and digestible as possible

Submit a review

I used two design methods in the form design to encourage students to submit more reviews: first to make the submission as easy as possible, and second to show progress and encourage completion.

How I got there

After defining the product quality with the team, I started off breaking down the user flow and identifying tasks/critical information at each stage of product interaction. Information density start low with general level logistics on homepage and extends to more detailed metric information as user progress through. As a designer, my mission is to guide students to find more information and progress through the funnel.

At the transfer point of each stage, I used both visual and interaction design methods to facilitate progression.

I believe most of design results can be measured via session time and click rate. I consider the product a success if course information can be accessed fluently and students spend extensive time digesting the course content.

Result

Classy was launched during Fall 2020’s registration period and reached around 1000 CSE students in the first week, which is about 1/3 of our targeted audience. We were able to gather mostly positive design feedback on the platform and have good retention rate throughout the registration season. Our next step is to include more courses and hiring more students to join the team.

Feedbacks from surveys

Reflections

Good design are not expensive  design is not everything that counts when it comes to shipping a product. Quality hand off documentation, inexpensive design, and enough empathy toward developers and PMs can help speed up the development process and benefit users at the end of the day

Focus on the problem, not the solution  You can’t get to the perfect solution in one try. (not always at least) In every iteration there’s a problem to solve. Think about how each of them would contribute to a better experience as a whole. That way there’s a clearer bigger picture in your mind when designing.