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Duration: 2.5 Weeks
Client: Candlefox

Project Overview

About is an education marketplace website in the VET sector, connecting students to varying online courses from several educational providers. 

The brief:

Over time, Candlefox has added more providers and more courses in to which potentially has impacted on the overall user experience. They are looking for quick wins to improve the user experience on the following pages

  1. Subject page - listings of all relevant courses to a specific subject area.

  2. Course listing page - all the information about a specific course.

Project Objectives:

  • Increase student conversion rates

  • Discover if there is any potential group of students that is not appealing to.

My role:

Research, personas, customer journey maps, sketches, wireframes, design iterations and prototyping.

Re-defined Problem Statement

A busy, young professional looking to move forward in their career feels frustrated about the process of finding the right course for their needs, but are unable to find support or information they trust.

Training Research Info

Research Approach

Competitor Analysis allowed us to see how other education marketplaces and websites offered courses to potential students. It subjectively helped us determine what methods work best and which weren't so helpful to future students.

Heuristic Evaluation was conducted using Nielsen’s Heuristic List. This task allowed us to evaluate the existing website on both desktop and mobile platforms against structured criteria to see where improvements could be made.

For user testing, we combined them with our 1:1 Zoom interviews via screenshare with an online tool called Markup. This service allowed us to make annotations of what users where saying and where they struggled when using the website.

Surveys & Interviews was our primary source of quantitative and qualitative data. Interviews in particular helped define key motivators in why students were looking to uptake study.

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Persona & Customer Journey Map

From the research we identified 2 distinct user groups:

  • Older generations looking to return to the workforce or seeking to learn a new skill

  • A younger generation (under 30 year olds) looking to upskill and further their careers

The client already knew that their platform was mainly used by an older audience and so being able to identify another potential user group was a pleasant surprise,

The team and I had built up the below personas and as we wanted to tap into the new user group. We focused the customer journey map on the younger generation, Katie Williams, who is looking to upskill and progress her career.

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How Might We

From Katie's journey map and from our synthesized data, we pose the following How Might We statements, to help Katie find the right course to suit her needs.



With Candlefox, a member of my team facilitated a design workshop for the purpose of ideation. We went through Crazy 8's, Brainwritting, Brainstorming and Minimum Viable Product (MVP) exercises.

Main Takeaways:

Build trust by improving website clarity and connectivity with clearly presented information, reliable testimonials and improved ability to contact

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Development, Usability Tests & Iteration

From the workshop, the team and I identified that trust was the most important factor and should be kept at the forefront when designing our solution.

We created a typical user flow (when a user lands on the landing page) and an atypical user flow (directed from Google search results) of how users would find the right course. In order to build trust from the beginning, the team and I chose to optimise the landing page and the personalised course list widget, alongside the course and subject pages.

Within the team, I focused on optimsing the landing page as I firmly believe that first impressions play a huge role in building trust. To achieve this, I explored the following ideas from the workshop:

  • Relatable stories of past students

  • More imagery to humanise the website

  • A simpler and easier to use UI

  • De-clutter without losing supportive trust elements such as educational partners

Usability Testing & Iterations

In usuability testing, I experimented with a hero banner slideshow portratying images and a brief caption of a past student's journey. This was met with mixed reception, as the sliding animation was distracting for users and the captions were difficult to read, though some were apperciative to see other student journeys. I also found that the user's focus was being drawn away from the personalised course list widget, due to the distracting hero banner.

After synthesizing all usabaility testing results, I used a single image for the hero banner as a supportive trust mechanism, so that it wasn't the main focus but that still added to the overall trust feeling. 

To simplify and optimise the usability of the landing page, I placed the list of courses directly below the hero banner for users to browse, as this was the 2nd most performed action a user would take (1st was for users to use the personalised course list widget).

(Click image below to expand)


To see the finished prototype, please watch the short video below.

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If you'd like to learn more about this project, feel free to reach out!

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