Jun 2018 - Aug 2018
Medical students primarily use SketchyMedical to watch videos, then leave the platform to continue their studies elsewhere. I designed a question bank to accompany the company's content and incentivize students to continue testing their knowledge recall on SketchyMedical.
More incentive for users to engage with platform
Although medical students are opting out of in-person lecture for online learning, our average session duration for the previous quarters was less than 10 minutes. As a subscription service, SketchyMedical needed to increase user engagement as a subset of user retention.
Creating a tool that 1) enables students to test their information recall and 2) is unique to SketchyMedical as a platform will drive user engagement and encourage membership
It is possible that we can get users to use the platform more if we provide account personalization and more content for testing knowledge. So far, SketchyMedical has proven to be a great resource for learning, but we wanted to take it to the next step, where students start to encode and recall stored information over time.
I interviewed 5 medical students in their first two years of school for 30 minutes each. Most of them studied independently, even if they were with a group of friends. Usually after studying material, they will take practice questions to see if they've mastered concepts.
Faculty usually suggest or require medical students to subscribe to an online question bank to begin preparing for the USMLE Step 1. I audited the most recommended question banks to understand what features were common in preparing a student for the board exam, including UWorld, Amboss, and Kaplan. Commonalities included:
Alongside a brief, I outlined the needs, stakeholders, feature list, requirements, and estimated timeline for the design system. We prioritized the MVP and broke the feature list into manageable chunks for our product roadmap, aiming to release around 3 months.
Based on the audit, I created 5 major sections that represented the most important tools for students: Create, Take, Review, Performance, and Notes. Create, Take, and Review are highlighted because they represent the core functionalities of a question bank.
I designed high fidelity screens in Sketch, using the dark interface theme of the redesigned website. Some of the components followed styling from UIKit.
Through marketing, I recruited participants for in-house user testing. We recorded task completion and user interactions for 5 participants, 45 minutes to an hour each. Participants already relied on our videos for their study routine (regardless of how they attained access) and said that they'd be more likely to use the platform because of the question bank.
"I think it's a great way to learn the sketches better. Because currently what I do is watch the Sketchy, then do the Anki [flashcards] for it to make sure that I know everything in the sketch. Now I have another way to review material."
— Lucas F. (Stritch School of Medicine, Class of 2022)
After reviewing transcripts and screen recordings from user testing, I identified UI changes that we could address with the next iteration. These included updates to how a user could navigate through creating a quiz and taking a quiz.
Our solution gave students the opportunity to test themselves through another effective method of recall. The final solution of the question bank allowed users to:
A few months after the release of SketchyMedical's question bank, we saw an increase in average session duration from 10-22 minutes. We also addressed feedback about latency and interaction with subsequent updates to the platform, contributing to an increase in the number of quizzes generated.
Increase in average session duration
Increase in quizzes created after optimization
Ambiguity can be navigated by asking meaningful questions that introduce different angles. This showed my team how a design perspective could help us move in a more clear direction.
I encouraged teams to step out of their silos so that all stakeholders could actively participate in the conversation. They found that this improved our communication and understanding.
Our company had little to no experience in collecting and analyzing user feedback. I voiced my concerns as a designer, convincing senior leadership that we needed to keep our ears open.