PearSquare

Duration: July 2020 to Present

Role: UX designer, Product Manager

Deliverables: Product logic, Optimized task flow, Sitemaps, hi-fi mockup

Tool: Figma

Website: Click here to open

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Overview

PearSquare is a Peer-to-peer consulting platform that offers one-on-one sessions to help students and recent graduates plan and achieve their goals for higher education and early career. We match students with verified expert mentors from our community to help them get college, grad school, and job application questions answered. 

The Problem

1. Traditional college consultant service is usually very expensive and comes with non-customizable bundle packages. 
2. In-school students have
limited opportunities to connect with professionals who work in the industry.

How We Approached It 

Ever since the beginning, our goal is to provide a comprehensive platform to provide affordable and customizable services to our target users. 

For our MVP, we provide our users with lists of verified school Alumni and experts in different fields, as well as features of scheduling appointments with these mentors, create accounts to manage sessions, chat with mentors, make payments and review mentors. For mentors, we provide them with features of registering as a mentor, edit profile and availability, and receive /transfer earning within and outside our platform.

User Research

As one of the original members of this project, I participated in the user research process by creating survey questions, planning and conducting user interviews, and analyzing survey results and interview notes. I focused on the two main user groups we are focusing on: in-school students and working professionals.

Through the user research, we validated the user needs we assumed, but also realized some of the potential users' concern:
1. Students may
feel insecure about the quality of the service, so we decided to use free sessions to add user's trust.
2. Mentors are
worried about the approachable price we are offering may cause their income to get impact, so we added mentor levels and student reviews feature. We try to encourage mentors to provide high-quality sessions so they can increase their commissions. 

User Persona

These Personas are fictional characters I created based on our researched target users. They worked as valuable references during my design process because they remind me of the user's needs and frustrations. 

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Feature Ideation & Stage Planning

I worked with the product team and the tech team to define the product's MVP features, stretch stage features, and good-to-have features based on the priority of our user's needs and the tech team's capability.  Participating in the feature defining process helped me to discover and understand more of our user’s needs.

User Task Flows

The user task flows are based on the user's authentic experience with finding mentor resources and coaching students. We iterated them to align them with product logic and business goal.

New student flow:(Click to open)

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Return/existing student flows:

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Mentor flows:

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Website Sitemaps

We created the website sitemaps to better visualize the information architecture. This helped our back-end developers to build the application infrastructure.

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Initial Wireframes

New student flow:

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Compare the changes:

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👉

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Vertical to Horizontal

List to Cards

Added progress bar

Added basic info

Added CTA and price

The new version gives a modern feeling, allows users to focus on one mentor at a time. The progress bar indicates how many mentors the platform is providing. Changed mentor introduction to mentor basic info because this is more important for students to make a decision. Added CTA and price info to increase the conversion rate.

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👉

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More specific categories

Changed info hierarchy

Added more white space

Left align to center

 

After considered the team's feedback, I made these changes to provide users a better version of the design so they will have an easier reading experience.

Return/existing student flows:

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Compare the changes:

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👉

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From less to more, extending the design elements to add useful and helpful features.

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👉

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From more to less, remove unnecessary design elements to create a clear and easy-to-read feeling and reading experience.

Design Elements

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Current Prototype

Landing process:

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Student choose topics:

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View and book a mentor:

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Desktop version:

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Home page & Sessions detail

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Chat & Write a review

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Desktop version:

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Next Steps

We are in the process of doing different user testings and iterating our design based on testing results. Our team chooses a flexible and efficient working method to collaborate cross-functionally. More specifically, our product team, UX team, and tech team are always open to changes and new ideas, as long as the change is based on researched facts and true user needs.

We will continue working on the product to design and build our stretch and good-to-have features.