Master’s Thesis

Data-Driven UX Process for MOOC Design

iMooX is the only Austrian MOOC platform and was founded by the Graz University of Technology and the University of Graz in 2013. iMooX offers free online courses in German and English on a university level. However far too little attention has been paid to the user experience and aesthetics, that’s why iMooX needed a fresh start in 2017. The research focused on a data-driven user experience design process consisting of strategy, research, analysis, design, test, production and launch. This paper examines the significance of user experience in the rise of Massive Open Online Courses to reach a higher user satisfaction. Collectively the results of the conducted research and analysis led to design solutions that were put into practice.

iMooX Deliverables

Due the course of 7 months in 2017, I was leading the UX process of Austrian’s only MOOC platform iMooX, which was founded by the Graz University of Technology and the University of Graz in 2013. The UX process went from a strategy, research, analysis, design to the production phase and is the base of my Master’s thesis upon user experience design.

Business Goals and Technical Specifications
In 2017 I was hired specifically to enhance the user experience of iMooX and in order to succeed I surveyed everyone involved in the project and researched in order to fully understand the purpose of the platform, the goals, the target audience, and the technical means.

Competitive Analysis Report
In order to not only understand the own platform, but also the competition, several test user accounts and heuristic evaluations of competitor platforms were carried out and presented to the team, always with a comparison of the former iMooX platform by hand that the team does not get out of touch with the current situation. The created report was then sent to everyone. In order for iMooX to grow, it needed a compelling UX advantage to the other platforms in the German-speaking market.

Personas and UX Research Report
Based on user research and in order to create more empathy for the user, iMooX personas were created. I incorporated their goals, needs, and interests.

Usability Testing 1
Several comprehensive usability tests were designed, carried out with core test users and analyzed.

Other deliverables regarding this project include:

  • Experience Maps, User Journeys, and User Flows
  • Wireframes
  • Interactive Prototypes
  • Visual Design, Content Strategy and new Marketing Approach
  • Styleguide and Specifications for Developers
  • Usability Testing 2

Within one year the iMooX user base grew from 17.000 users to 23.000 users and therefore grew by over 35%. By the start of 2019 iMooX can even claim a user base of over 35.000 users. According to a 2019 study, the iMooX users are very content with the new structure/design of the platform.

Another user interface re-design, a social media marketing plan, and content strategy were following in Summer 2018 and Spring 2019.

Problem Definition

iMooX is the only Austrian MOOC platform and was founded by the Graz University of Technology and the University of Graz in 2013. iMooX offers free online courses in German and English on a university level. However far too little attention has been paid to the user experience and aesthetics, that’s why iMooX needed a fresh start in 2017. The research focused on a data-driven user experience design process consisting of strategy, research, analysis, design, test, production and launch. This paper examines the significance of user experience in the rise of Massive Open Online Courses to reach a higher user satisfaction. Collectively the results of the conducted research and analysis led to design solutions that were put into practice.

Process

iMooX Deliverables

Due the course of 7 months in 2017, I was leading the UX process of Austrian’s only MOOC platform iMooX, which was founded by the Graz University of Technology and the University of Graz in 2013. The UX process went from a strategy, research, analysis, design to the production phase and is the base of my Master’s thesis upon user experience design.

Business Goals and Technical Specifications
In 2017 I was hired specifically to enhance the user experience of iMooX and in order to succeed I surveyed everyone involved in the project and researched in order to fully understand the purpose of the platform, the goals, the target audience, and the technical means.

Competitive Analysis Report
In order to not only understand the own platform, but also the competition, several test user accounts and heuristic evaluations of competitor platforms were carried out and presented to the team, always with a comparison of the former iMooX platform by hand that the team does not get out of touch with the current situation. The created report was then sent to everyone. In order for iMooX to grow, it needed a compelling UX advantage to the other platforms in the German-speaking market.

Personas and UX Research Report
Based on user research and in order to create more empathy for the user, iMooX personas were created. I incorporated their goals, needs, and interests.

Usability Testing 1
Several comprehensive usability tests were designed, carried out with core test users and analyzed.

Other deliverables regarding this project include:

  • Experience Maps, User Journeys, and User Flows
  • Wireframes
  • Interactive Prototypes
  • Visual Design, Content Strategy and new Marketing Approach
  • Styleguide and Specifications for Developers
  • Usability Testing 2
What's next?

Within one year the iMooX user base grew from 17.000 users to 23.000 users and therefore grew by over 35%. By the start of 2019 iMooX can even claim a user base of over 35.000 users. According to a 2019 study, the iMooX users are very content with the new structure/design of the platform.

Another user interface re-design, a social media marketing plan, and content strategy were following in Summer 2018 and Spring 2019.

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Skills

Editorial
100%
User Experience Design
100%
Design Leadership
95%
Marketing
95%

Master's Thesis: Data-Driven UX Process for MOOC Design

Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) have revolutionized how students worldwide learn from anywhere just using their smartphone, tablet, laptop or computer. The past five years have seen a rapid development of online education in many fields, from free offers to expensive online-diploma courses. MOOCs are quickly becoming a key instrument in online education. A main aspect of MOOCs is that they are free of charge and accessible for everyone. Many have no access to free and high-grade education, this is why the MOOC movement was one of the most important steps towards education accessibility in recent years. MOOCs offer students the convenience of time, location and indefinite access, and independence of education quality.

iMooX is the only Austrian MOOC platform and was founded by the Graz University of Technology and the University of Graz in 2013. iMooX offers free online courses in German and English on a university level. However far too little attention has been paid to the user experience and aesthetics, that’s why iMooX needed a fresh start in 2017. The research focused on a data-driven user experience design process consisting of strategy, research, analysis, design, test, production and launch. This paper examines the significance of user experience in the rise of Massive Open Online Courses to reach a higher user satisfaction. Collectively the results of the conducted research and analysis led to design solutions that were put into practice.

iMooX: Redesigned and a new Look & Feel in 2017.

Project Details

DATE: 2018
CLIENT: Graz University of Technology
MY ROLE: Author, UX Design Lead
SKILLS: UX Design, Editorial

Printed Master's Thesis

ISSUE DATE: 2018
Hardcover, open thread binding, 255 pages.
The book is structured in several sections which are visually separated with different colors.

iMooX Video Example

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