Udemy, November 2018
Udemy is an online education global marketplace catering to two main personas: students and instructors. Udemy believes in improving lives through learning, and that the best education doesn’t always happen in a formal classroom. The Teaching Center (formerly known as the Teach Hub), is a library of resources to help new and existing instructors find success in creating their online courses.
an on-brand resource
responsive + localized
At a Glance
Product designers (x2), content strategist, instructor communications, WordPress engineer
November 2018 (time-boxed to 2 weeks)
understanding the problem
On the left-hand side of the image below is the Teach Hub, which hadn’t changed for nearly 3 years (save for a quick refresh of the logo). To the right are screenshots of the existing Udemy site and its community. The Teach Hub, living in its own island on WordPress, missed the rebranding makeover. It was also incredibly difficult to navigate, since no information architecture was implemented, and it lacked a search bar. Lastly, it was not set up for localization and internationalization (not pictured).
I had been with Udemy for nearly 5 years by this point, so I was in the unique position of being able to do scrappy work (I had a lot of background knowledge and had worked as the instructor community manager), significantly cutting down my research time.
To ensure I wasn’t biased, I did my due diligence by interviewing the instructor support team, as they interfaced with the instructors every single day. I also ducked into the instructor community to understand which questions were frequently asked, working closely with the instructor communications team as well as the content strategist. With this information in hand, we were able to tackle the information architecture accordingly.
Ideating with localization in mind
a language text check
There are Udemy instructors all over the world. The main site supports several different languages, and the Teaching Center needed to be as multilingual as it could be.
Since I can speak Japanese well and German passably, I pushed for a text check to account for the +/- 30% length of text so the design wouldn’t break.
That’s one less thing for the internationalization team to worry about during their audits.
Did you know that a majority of India uses Android devices? I’ll admit bias in hearsay, but this article shares some interesting insights from 2018. Armed with this information, responsive design had become especially important.
Udemy is home to many Indian instructors who often teach in English. The language localization wouldn’t be as important as responsive design, as the hypothesis was that mobile web was used much more than desktop in India.
I’d left before the Teaching Center was implemented (which happened in February 2019), however we had intended to measure these aspects:
Decrease in # of support tickets related to Teach Hub topics
Increase in links shared organically from Instructor Marketing emails, Community, etc.
An increase in new instructors creating courses
Our small team was a well-oiled machine: we had time-boxed the project, and ensured that we were all as available as possible. Note that this was during the brink of the holiday season (it was November), so this was no easy feat, but we managed to get this done just before everyone left for the Thanksgiving holiday. Being able to know exactly where to go for just enough research to launch was invaluable, and also ensured that instructor-facing teams had a say in the content strategy.
I’m also a self-proclaimed polyglot, so it was excellent to be able to work on a feature that would be seen worldwide that had incorporated consideration for different languages. This was also one of the first projects in our team to get design critique time with regards to our localization team. I’d love to be able to work on a project like this again in the future!