Course Hero aims to create a world where every college student graduates confident and prepared. The design team at Course Hero envisions an end-to-end system in which students, educators, tutors, and others can collaborate to help students learn and grow. The team is organized around our different audiences so that we can understand their needs and evolve Course Hero’s products and services to serve those needs.
The Course Hero design team includes product designers, brand designers, and UX researchers. The product designers are organized into three groups: the student team, the educator team, and the tutor team. Working from a shared set of values and design principles helps keep our customer experiences cohesive across the entire team. Together, we are building a “multi-sided marketplace” for our students, educators, and tutors. Because the work for each audience often has implications for the other audiences, the team meets weekly to brainstorm, collaborate, and discuss UX research, product design, and brand design projects. Since going remote, the team has stayed connected through frequent Zoom meetings, active Slack chats, and a monthly book club where they read and discuss design books to stay current with trends in research, design, and product development.
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The Student Design Team
The student team is responsible for all of the experiences that we offer our students, from browsing our study documents to asking questions with our 24/7 tutors to exploring textbook solutions and practice problems. In collaboration with the UX researchers, the student designers work to understand how students study now, and think big about how Course Hero can be a key part of our students’ study habits. Since Course Hero aims to become the optimal learning destination for every course, the student design team thinks creatively about what works best for every different type of homework challenge or assignment that our students will encounter. For example, the mobile app team recently added a math solver to the apps so that students have another option to try when they happen to be stuck on a math problem.
One of the most important aspects of designing on the student team is that the work has an outsize impact. Due to the sheer volume of Course Hero’s hundreds of millions of site visits, we have seen that even small design changes can have a big impact on our students, and we have the information we need to iterate quickly and improve our products and experiences continuously.
The Educator Design Team
Course Hero is fundamentally aligned with college educators as we share the same goals for students. The educator design team aims to help educators feel connected to and supported by Course Hero’s products and services. For example, the educator team recently launched a beta program called the Educator Exchange that empowers educators to earn extra income by sharing lecture notes, practice tests, and other study materials with both students and fellow educators. The Educator Exchange was created to recognize the value of teaching materials as additional resources for students and also to foster peer recognition among educators.
Product designer Kegeng Liu of the educator team explained that her team carries out design sprints, user research, and user testing while making sure all stakeholders—product, engineering, content strategy, and branding—are on the same page. It’s like a big puzzle that the design team puts together, she says.
“There’s a lot of freedom in creating something from scratch,” Kegeng adds. “In this environment, if you want to accomplish something, you can push for it and you can do it. You can really express what you want to do and actually experiment with it.”
The Tutor Design Team
On Course Hero, tutors are the people who answer questions submitted by students 24/7. The “tutor marketplace” serves to connect subject matter experts with students to answer their questions and help them get unstuck and understand the concepts behind their questions. The goal of the tutor team is to optimize the product for the tutors so they can earn income efficiently on Course Hero while building their careers.
Product designer Erica Lin of the tutor team has taken the lead to help the entire Course Hero design team document how all sides of our multi-sided marketplace affect each other. She also doubles as a researcher, actively interviewing tutors about what they need to make the product more effective. During a recent Course Hero hackathon, Erica brought up some of their suggestions, including a way to help tutors answer questions faster.
Like many Course Hero employees, Erica describes the ability to “really get involved at a high level of a product rather than just owning a small piece of it. At Course Hero, you really work on the whole product and get to see it from start to finish. There’s great collaboration, plus you get to work with great people!”
If you’re a mission-driven designer looking to shape the future of education, we’d love to hear from you! Please check out our open positions and apply to become a Course Hero design team member today!