One to rule them all. One to find everything. One to gather everything and bind in one process – case study of the e-learning platform NoweMotywacje.pl
The paraphrase of the famous quotation from Tolkien’s books perfectly describes the challenge we faced while designing an e-learning platform for one of the biggest Polish training companies – NoweMotywacje (New Motivations). This challenge was to combine the needs of five stakeholder groups into one common process that can be easily managed. Did it work? As part of the project, an e-learning platform was created, which combines the needs of all groups in one system, consistent for all.
In 2018, NewMotivation asked us for support in building a platform that would digitize their learning process and streamline their internal procedures.
NoweMotywacje is a very large training company, with a variety of trainers (both in terms of specialization and the tools they use), a rich portfolio of customers who have many complex training processes and a huge number of (re-)trained employees. How to combine so many perspectives in one tool, which is supposed to additionally unify and simplify procedures for each of the parties?
Preparations for the expedition – business and its goals
We never start a project with… design. Before we started working on the platform itself, we organized a business workshop with our client. The workshop was attended by decision-makers for the project itself and the whole business – in order to jointly discuss the environment and business context (Business Model Canvas), understand the process and places of contact with customers (Customer Journey Map) and, above all, jointly determine the assumptions of the project and its objectives (map of objectives and success factors). And our primary goal was to..:
Start of the journey – UX Research & Workshop
With a set goal and business context, we moved on to understanding the target groups and mapping their needs. As there was a lot of knowledge to process, instead of tedious analysis, we conducted only a quick Desk Research, i.e. analysis of existing data – we talked to the NoweMotywacje’s team, checked the industry reports, competitive solutions, market forecasts, etc. We also conducted an analysis of the existing data. We checked the materials from the client, reviewed the industry information and similar solutions to get an idea of the industry. Then we decided to organize a series of workshops during which we got to know each of the groups (NoweMotywacje as a training company, Administration/Logistics, HR, training participants and trainers).
At the workshop:
- Together we created personae (after all there were representatives of these groups in the room),
- We mapped processes (complemented the Customer Journey Map),
- We searched for and evaluated pain points.
- and analyzed the potential pain relievers,
- At the end we let our imagination run free, whilst designing potential solutions (Design Studio).
Thanks to a series of workshops, in a short time we were able to understand the needs of users, ongoing processes, their most troublesome elements, and determine what would be the greatest value for each group.
After the workshop itself, we conducted an in-depth Desk Research study, exploring existing alternatives and examining potential solutions that could deliver the desired value.
At the end of 4 research sprints we knew what was most important for each group:
- NoweMotywacje – one tool that will unify the whole process and eliminate the remaining ones and/or allow to combine them,
- Administration/Logistics – one tool to make the process of managing trainers, customers and processes more coherent,
- Trainers – one tool for cooperation in educational processes & automation of report creation (with the duration of the project it turned out that reports were a key element of the platform for each of the groups)
- Training participants – knowledge of where they are in the process, what else they have to face and what progress they have made,
- HR – a simple tool for controlling training processes in the company and their progress.
Once we knew what is important, what the process looks like, and we had potential suggestions for solutions for interfaces from target groups, we wrote down possible use cases (i.e. situations in which each of our personae can use the system). We created an architecture of information (i.e. a platform plan) and a dashboard concept in the form of a mock-up, as a visualization of the direction.
Together with the client, we determined what the minimum plan is (i.e. for the MVP to automate the most critical elements of the process), and what we can develop in subsequent iterations.
The Fellowship of the Ring goes on an expedition – a little bit about the team and our process.
After establishing a common strategy based on the real needs of each group, we determined what values we wanted to “prove” – this served us to define the objectives of the next sprints.
Each sprint lasted 5 working days and its goal was to provide a specific value (goal) in the form of a design so that the development team could implement a given closed path in the next sprint.
What is important, both the design team (that is, us) and the development team (that is, codeheroes) worked simultaneously. This required a very close cooperation not only between us, but also with the customer, who was constantly checking and testing solutions, providing feedback, reflections and needs. Thanks to this, the tool was constantly checked with potential users.
What was so special about our process, so strongly rooted in Lean UX philosophy?
- Simultaneous work of the design and development teams -> shortening the project implementation time,
- The value-driven orientation -> after each sprint there was a feeling that we could launch a project and deliver a concrete, though small, process improvement, and thus a real value for the company,
- Constant cooperation with the customer -> quick feedback from the users on the needs and solutions, which allowed to better match the project and introduce changes on an ongoing basis,
- Closing work in sprints -> each sprint we could decide on, what the next steps would be and what we really needed.
How did this adventure end?
The initial version of the platform was created, which will soon have its official premiere. However, you can see the announcements already on our Behance.
The project itself, thanks to its approach in line with the Lean UX philosophy, allowed us to develop it throughout the whole process, confronting it with the market even before its premiere.
Thanks to this, during the course of the project we discovered that:
- We have one group of stakeholders with special needs more than it had been identified at the beginning – it turned out that sometimes in the process there are also special participants – Super Visors – whose needs were crucial for the sales process in the training courses – we decided to add their role to the system in an additional sprint,
- During the tests it turned out that the reports, which were crucial for almost all target groups, could be better optimized than before – with a mini-workshop we designed a new version that presented the data important for the trainers and the client in a better way,
- Thanks to the close cooperation between us, our development team and the NoweMotywacje team, we were able to pass all the needs through business, UX and technology filters on an ongoing basis, which allowed us to jointly select the best solutions, taking into account all the requirements.
So – Lean UX and the pleasure are all ours <3
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