2020-2021 (Launched on iOS app store June 2021)
Miguel Rodriguez (me) - CEO, PM, Lead Product Designer
Advisors: Luke Cooper (Fixt), Paul DeGooyer (MTV, Peloton), Ali Baxter, and more.
Investors: TEDCO, multiple angel investors.
Research Product Architecture + UI, UX
Product Management, UXR, UXD, UID
MuSchool is for those striving to reach their fullest potential and learn from the best in the world. It's also for expert-influencers who get 1,000s of DM's asking questions and have no way to monetize their responses.
• Influential creators and experts receive 1,000s of direct messages asking for feedback with no incentive to respond.
• Personalized feedback and 1-on-1 mentorship with influencers is out of reach for most people. If they do find access, expensive live sessions were the only option.
There are multiple apps on the market that aim to solve this problem now; however, when we began our research there weren't any that provided users with a cost effective means of engaging with influential individuals. Before MuSchool, when you had a specific question for an influential expert it was up to you to find the answer by searching for that needle in a haystack or taking a shot in the DMs.
• A 2-sided knowledge marketplace benefitting both influential creators and the audiences they serve (or currently fail to serve). Think Snapchat or Cameo for learning. Users pay to send messages to their favorite creators and get personalized feedback messages sent right to their inbox.
MuSchool synthesizes and improves upon familiar features of popular products to solve a critical set of market pain points. It makes learning from a hero more affordable, flexible, and personal than ever before & it streamlines the entire process on both sides of the marketplace.
Initial research focused on better understanding existing user needs and processes related to seeking expert advice.
What products and processes exist to solve this problem?
How do users interact with existing products and processes? What's the user's journey?
Are their pain points with existing products? Why? (x5)
Who exactly is experiencing the problem? How do they think? How do we measure the pain?
A survey was conducted with 40 participants (50% seekers / influencers) to identify which products and processes they are currently using and determine which problems are critical from both a learner and expert perspective.
A series of in-depth interviews were then conducted with 20 influencers and 20 seekers to further identify pain points, frustrations, motivations, needs, and desires with existing processes and products to determine how MuSchool could improve this experience.
Experts receive a surplus of DMs to their social media profiles but have no incentive to respond to them
Users value the ability to engage on their own terms, without needles friction and rails
Major products in the market lack desirable features and feel to ed-tech learning, outdated or untrustworthy
A simple solution to accessing talent/experts and the assurance of a response is valuable and needed
Too much information on screen makes users feel overwhelmed, they'd like a more curated experience
Current solutions do not comprehensively solve users pain points, and focus on too narrow of a use case
A large scale competitive audit was performed internally in addition to a market research report executed by a firm we hired. These efforts gave us clarity in identifying competitor strengths and weaknesses, and the market opportunity. This chart summarizes some relevant key features from competitors:
An affinity diagram was created to identify high level themes and group similar insights gained from the user interviews.
Interview data was then synthesized further into a number of tables for us to keep track of for future sprints, and throughout the continued customer research and design process.
A persona was built based on the data collected to help drive decision making and keep the product focused on solving users pain points, frustrations, and goals.
Wire framing was conducted in order to define a starting point. A low fidelity prototype was then created for initial user testing.
The primary user flow is the process of searching, selecting an expert, and beginning a conversation.
MuSchool's simple information structure makes it easy to navigate and move through tasks.
Using the feedback and insights gained from research, analysis and sketching, a low-fidelity prototype was created to begin user testing.
A usability study was conducted to determine where improvements could be made and identify new ideas to satisfy user expectations, needs, and desires.
The extent of the exchange they were purchasing was unclear
Tags in V1 were not clickable and seemed pointless as they were
Not enough content types present on creator profiles
Add a clear description of the exchange on the creators profile to make onboarding a conversation easy
Make all tags clickable to fascilitate sorting and searching, add links from other social accounts
Adding intro videos for every profile and also having them present on the marketplace, add reviews.
Inspiration was drawn from popular social apps but with a focus on minimal yet functional simplicity, rooted in a creative-centric aesthetic. The UI design reflects the user's desire to have a clutter free, curated, and friendly look and feel.