Designing the permanent home for Udacity’s alumni
This is one of the most challenging projects that I worked on at Udacity. Alumni community is one of the key differentiators of Udacity from its competitors. Udacity interns (PM, Software Engineering & Design) tackled this project head on and shipped Alumni home in record time.
I was given the chance to own and design the alumni portal under the guidance of the senior designer.
I worked in a cross-functional team of Sr. PM, Engineers, Community Managers, etc.
My responsibilities included research, user experience, interaction, and visual design.
Working with a cross-functional team was a great advantage in terms of getting quick feedback from the product team and stakeholder, it helped things move quickly and create impactful designs.
Since lots of stakeholders were part of this project, my first step was to talk with everyone and get everyone’s ideas together. Next step was to know more about users and their needs. In this case, I was designing for Udacity’s Alumni as well as Community Managers who were going to update the content.
Udacity Alumni Journey
To understand more about desinging for Udacity's alumni, I started with plotting the journey of Alumni. It gave me more context about alumni's background, where they come from and what is their ultimate goal.
Udacity produces different types of content to help our alumni in different ways. It’s in the form of webinars, organizing events, successful alumni stories, and other different resources. But there’s one problem, the content is scattered all over the internet.
Balancing what users wanted and what stakeholders wanted was one of the challenging parts of the project. Surveys and qualitative research helped me a lot in getting the user’s perspective and putting it in front of the stakeholders.
"My job hunt (aided by some great content on resumes and networking on Udacity) ultimately ended last week. I’ve accepted, and started, a position as the Associate Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship at ASU’s W. P. Cary School of Business."
Two users & CMS
One of the challenges was to manage two different user’s expectations and design in the constraint of CMS.
Initial ideas and mockups
My initial ideas included pushing for the customized portal which will have all the content catered towards their Nanodegrees. Feedback from the stakeholders helped in shaping the subsequent mockups.
I moved to the visual design stage after having positive feedback from Community Managers and Engineers.
And then some more :)
Once the layout and element order was finalized, I iterated more on each element and pressure tested them: What should be max/min text length? how would it look with light/dark colored photos? How would it look in edge case scenarios?
Designing for Internationalization
Designing for an international audience was a new experience, my designs had to consider how the content would look like in different languages, what type-size will make text more legible, etc
Although I couldn't get to user testing with Alumni to get their feedback, (that'd be the next step for the project) I did get some data from analytics tool which was quite helpful.
Launched and currently visible to 50k Udacity Alumni.
Hotjar reported Alumni are more interested in the Community Group Links section
This project was an amazing learning experience for me, uncertainty, iterations over iterations and many more things
Designing for internationalization
Good design emerges from constructive feedback and iterations
Embrace ambiguity and stay curious
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