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Udemy Marketplace Experience

The Challenge

The Udemy mobile app (iOS and Android) had very basic discovery experiences. The main navigation contained 2 categories, “Free” and “Paid”, which students could browse to see a list of courses. This setup worked as a way to validate if students were looking to enroll in courses through the mobile app. The company had since validated that there was an appetite to enroll in courses through the mobile app, and there was a need to provide students with more powerful discovery tools to help them find the right courses.

Platform
iOS & Android devices

Role
Lead Designer

Helping Students Find the Right Course

Talking with students, we found that there were two main use cases in which students would look for courses. The first case involved the need to fill a knowledge gap. This student needed to learn a particular subject or needed to take a specific course in order to fill that gap. The second case was more aspirational. These students were looking to add skills that may help them get to the next level, move into a new field, or to develop a new hobby.

Search

Through the Udemy website, we found that roughly 60% of students would perform a search if they knew which course they wanted, or knew the topic they needed a course in. While searching is a relatively standard feature or experience, there were a couple key opportunities to help students find the right course. One such opportunity was when a student would click into search. By displaying the top search terms on the search screen, we could shorten the students journey to a course.

Another opportunity was on the search results page. By introducing filtering options, the student has more tools to narrow down to the course that’s right for them.

Just Browsing

For the majority of students coming into the mobile app, the browse experience is the main way they discover courses. To bring continuity to the entire Udemy experience, we leverage the categorization that was used on the web. This helped many new students who many not be familiar with Udemy understand the breadth of subjects available. It also gave our content team the opportunity to market to students who may have interest in a specific subject.

Working with the web team, we worked to standardize the course card to have the same look and feel on the web and mobile products.

Additionally, since browsing through dozens of courses becomes a bit more tedious on a mobile device, the filtering system used in search was implemented here to provide more tools for finding the right course.

Navigation

With the addition of search and the ability to browse, we revisited the navigation to see how to organize sections of the app. We performed card-sorting exercises with several volunteers to see how they would group the sections of the app. We found that students overwhelmingly preferred a clear distinction between “my stuff” and “stuff I can get” (ownership vs non-ownership).

Card-sorting exercise

We asked several volunteers to sort a set of cards in a way that made the most sense to them, using the fewest number of groups. A sample of results shown, which helped us determine the navigation.

From this, we designed a navigation that addressed both the needs of users and the needs of the business. We determined the categories that belonged in the navigation, and then worked on naming them and designing icons for them. After more informal testing with random subjects, we landed on a navigation system and adapted it to iOS and Android.

Various explorations on possible names and iconography for the 5 top-level navigation items in the iOS app.