Designing an Education Digital Marketplace for the Middle-East region.
Almentor.net connects people with professional mentors by providing online courses and talks. As a start-up, Almentor approached us to help them create their vision and design the platform which would act as the core infrastructure within their business.
The Almentor team spotted a gap in the market for an educational platform that would provide the MENA region with learning content in both Arabic and English, geared towards the regions learning and development needs.
To be a truly successful marketplace, the Almentor platform needed to both provide a rich online learning experience for participants as well as a powerful management suite for Mentors to manage their day-to-day business.
Understanding the user
The Almentor platform is vast with many complex features and two very unique user groups. The focus of our work was to understand each user and define their user journeys within each part of the platform through workshops and research to ensure that all feature design had a purpose and ultimately would be useful to the end user.
To demonstrate our findings and ideas, we created wireframes and clickable prototypes of the application. This allowed us to bring the platform to life and test our ideas from a user experience perspective. Working alongside Almentor, we then designed the Graphical User Interface (GUI) for the app as fully responsive desktop and mobile versions including versions for Android & iOS. We provided documentation to support the technical development of the application to guide the development team.
Improving the online learning experience
It’s simple and fast for users to sign up to any mentor, course or talk and can access their learning resources on the go. To create a useful learning environment we designed features for the user which would compliment an interactive learning experience;
- Live questions and answers
- Simple curriculum navigation
- Announcements from the Mentors
- Detailed course overviews
- Reviews and comments from the community
The main activity when using the app is watching the course material, created by the Mentors. To aid the learning experience we created a customised video player which allows users to create custom bookmarks and notes while watching videos to help them refer back to the content later.
Designing a successful Marketplace
Almentor is aimed at providing Mentors with a source of income and exposure to the wider learning and development world. Mentors need visibility on their activity when using the platform and we focused on giving Mentors an in depth understanding of their audience, their revenue and a simple way to manage their courses and material.
The Mentor Dashboard is a rich environment of tools, which the Mentior can use to manage their day-to-day;
- Manage courses & talks, announcements, reviews and questions and answers
- Live Dashboard displaying revenue updates and reports
- Learner statistics and geographic information
The UX and design of Almentor as a full responsive web application, iOS app and Android app took 6 months in total and remained in budget. Platform has been live since September 2017 and following launch has accrued 24,000 active learner users with over 115 mentors using the app to deliver their learning content (5,000+ videos). Almentor continues to grow with the addition of new features as the user base increases with expansion into new territories across the middle-east.
Despark’s knowledge, experience, innovation and dedication were invaluable in helping us to come up with a brilliant concept to introduce a simple, yet effective, online video e-learning user experience to our people in this part of the world, the MENA region. We look forward to doing business with them for many years to come, Insh’Allah