I've helped build an on-demand platform for knowledge.
My first ever startup gig, a very significant time period in my career. I've joined the Tutor Universe team in their very early stages, in 2012. It was during my last year in high school.
I’ve already had significant experience as a visual designer and now it was time to build an actual product. Two PhD students, Hung and Thomas was company in Iowa University, and got some seed investment to kick things off.
The first thing that I’ve worked on was a Virtual Study Room (VSR) that consisted of video conferencing, a shared whiteboard with various drawing tools and a chat window. The goal of the company back then was to be the first online tutoring marketplace, and the VSR was the flagship product that was to host a transaction between a tutor and a student.
Virtual Study Room (2012)
It was a challenging project to take on as a UX novice, but after some initial testing we were satisfied that the VSR worked well enough. Closer to public launch, I worked on a Landing Page that would be the first and foremost part of the potential customer experience.
There came the first major reshuffle of the product: it was called TutorUniverse v2.0, and we introduced a Q&A module that allowed anyone to post questions, browse posted questions and provide answers, keep the discussion going in the comments section and have the community vote for the best answers. This version took the focus away from the VSR, and emphasized on-demand learning in a more casual form, using text and images.
I am especially proud of this product because it wasn’t only about designing static screens - it was about designing a platform, a User Interface system that redefined the whole experience.
After a lot of user testing (done on usertesting.com - may not be the most legit way of doing it but it was efficient and we still learned a lot) we launched Tutor Universe v2.0, with a complete user interface overhaul.
With the launch of v2, we’ve also built a new landing page that got some online recognition amongst the likes of Mailchimp and Squarespace (15 Stunningly Beautiful Landing Page Designs)
And we were growing. There was significant traction with our Q&A system - it worked. During that time, Guy Kawasaki, marketing veteran who worked on the marketing of the first Macintosh computer at Apple, joined our team as an advisor. It was a big day, and they all celebrated with champagnes. (except me because I was remote)
During that period, more users we acquired, the more we realized the Q&A is the main solution to the market - webcam tutoring was not the correct answer.
With a slight change in direction, we started working on a Q&A focused mobile version.
After I left the team, the product adopted a Snapchat-like interface that attracted the high-school demographic a lot, which brought traction and success over time. Gotit! is now one of the top education apps on the App Store, and you can get explanations to your homework questions in 10 minutes, guaranteed.