Process page

Link to finished prototype!

Project Overview

"Knwlge" is a learning management website designed to deliver a personalized learning experience tailored to help make learning fun for the user.

Working collaboratively with a team of five, we utilized a design process called Goal-Directed Design (GDD) to develop this website, grounded in extensive research.


For my senior capstone project in spring of 2024, we were tasked with utilizing Goal-Directed Design (GDD)—which we read from About Face (4th Edition) by Alan Cooper—to design a prototype of our choice.

My peers and I have designed mobile prototypes, and for our capstone project, we wanted to create something that would stand out. We each pitched different ideas and ultimately came up with a online learning management website.

As a team member and assistant researcher on this project, I helped coordinate interviews, finish workflows, turn in my assigned tasks by the deadlines, and provided support to my team. In collaboration with my peers, we designed a prototype that aimed to create a learning management website that makes learning fun again!

Meet the Team!

Tyler Eckert

Team Leader

Gahyun Kim

Team Member
Researcher/ Designer

Ryan Manterola

Team Member

Olamide Latinwo

Team Member

Kristen Sitro

Team Member

Our Approach

Goal-Directed Design

To ensure our product was user-centered, we utilized the Goal-Directed Design methodology. This approach allowed us to identify our users' goals, needs, and motivations prior to creating the product, ensuring that it was designed with the user in mind. Hence, this process page outlines the different stages of GDD, how it has been adapted to fit the time constraints of our college course, and how we created this chain of evidence where our research feeds into each subsequent stage.

Stages of Goal Directed Design- GDD

Research Phase

In the Research phase of GDD, designers gather essential information about the project, including stakeholder expectations, user goals, relevant contexts, how the project will be used, environmental considerations, and similar Online learning platforms. The Research phase encompasses a Kickoff Meeting, Literature Review, Competitive Audit, Stakeholder Interviews, Subject Matter Expert (SME) Interviews, and User Interviews, ensuring a comprehensive understanding of the project. By conducting thorough research, we were able to make informed design decisions that align with the user's needs and goals.

Kick off meeting

The normal official kickoff meeting is designed to initiate a project by engaging with business stakeholders. However, since this project was for my senior capstone class, our team didn't have the chance to meet any stakeholders. To replicate a genuine kickoff meeting experience, we employed a worksheet supplied by our instructor to assume the role of stakeholders. This enabled us to formulate a problem statement along with several assumption statements, which served as the foundation for our project launch.

Problem Statement

The current state of the online learning platform domain has focused primarily on delivering course content and assessments. What existing products/services fail to address is the need for a truly collaborative and personalized learning experience. Many platforms lack robust tools for course creators to create engaging courses and for learners to actively participate in a community-driven educational environment.

Assumption Statement

Who is the user?

Where does our product fit in their work or life?
How should our product look and behave?

Literature Review

The Literature Review is an important research step in GDD, providing designers with a thorough understanding of the product's context.

It helps the team conduct effective interviews with Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) and stakeholders, and gain better knowledge throughout the design process.

Key Takeaways:

The advantages listed by the author are described later in the journal. One of the listed advantages includes having more information available to a broader audience. The students location, ethnic origins, race, and ages no longer play a large part in their access to an education. With the education being online, students can access this information from anywhere in the world, with the ability for translation. It adds a greater range of flexibility that isn’t possible with in person education. This flexibility doesn’t only benefit the students, but the instructors as well. Instructors can teach from any location they want, and have a greater ability to communicate with students virtually rather than just in an allotted class time. Another advantage of e-learning is students rely on themselves, and instructors are no longer the sole source of knowledge. This places instructors as more of a guide and resource, allowing the students to access information from a larger variety of sources giving them a deeper insight into the topics that they are studying.

Competitive Audit

During the Competitive Audit phase of GDD, we analyze and compare existing competitors in the product domain.

This process helped us identify potential competitors in the Online learning industry and allowed us to incorporate features that competing applications lacked. We reviewed four online management websites. We then compared them side-by-side in a chart that illustrated several important features. This information was taken into consideration during the design process to ensure that our product had the necessary features to stand out in the market.

Top competitors


Top competitor, offered a lot of classes and had a month free trial for new users.

2nd top competitor, offered a lot of diverse topics, languages and educators all over the world.

User Interviews

Persona Hypothesis

To begin user interviews, we needed to identify potential users and determine if they were suitable for our research. To achieve this, we developed a persona hypothesis, which involved brainstorming and identifying user types, their goals, needs, environment, and behavior.We started the process by setting up questions to define our ideal persona(s)

Conducting interviews :

Interview #1

Our persona hypothesis helped us create specific research questions and identify potential participants for our user interviews. We conducted a total of five interviews, all done virtually using teams.

Interview #2

To ensure the interviews were effective, we only asked open-ended and closed-ended questions, prioritizing goals over tasks, and avoiding leading questions..

Affinity Maps

After conducting the user interviews, we identified overlapping characteristics among them and created affinity maps for each interview. These maps helped us group key observations, behaviors, and thoughts while also identifying common themes and patterns across all interviews. The result was a set of clusters of sticky notes that represented the main takeaways from each participant.

Affinity Map for Interviewer #4

Affinity Map for Interviewer #5

Modeling Phase: Second Phase of GDD

In the Modeling phase, we translate significant behavior patterns from our research into a persona. This creates a narrative for our users, helps stakeholders visualize our target audience, and keeps design teams focused on designing with our users' intentions in mind.

Mapping Interview Subjects to Behavioral Variables

Behavioral variables are witnessed during observation. My team decided on these variables after discussion (and affinity mapping). There's an art to it (i.e., judging and interpreting) and the more teammates that paid attention/were at interviews, the easier this process was

Identify Significant Behavior Variables

We circled correlations that we found and used them as variables.

Our personas

Alex Mercer

“Primary Persona” - Young Professional
Age - 26
Occupation - Office Supervisor
Location - Marietta, Georgia

Ollie Woods

“Secondary Persona” - University Student
Age - 21
Occupation - Retail Worker
Location - Kennesaw, Georgia

Requirements Phase: Third Phase of GDD ✅

In the Requirements phase, we created a context scenario and a list of requirements to determine what our primary persona, Alex Mercer, needs to successfully meet his goals

Vision Statements

Our product, .knwlge, will address this gap by revolutionizing online learning through a vision that emphasizes collaboration, personalization, and interactive engagement. Unlike traditional platforms, we envision a space where course creators have powerful creation tools, enabling them to craft immersive learning experiences with multimedia content, discussions, and real-time analytics. Simultaneously, learners will benefit from customizable learning paths, collaborative projects, and a sense of community through features like discussion forums.

.knwlge aims to transform online education by providing a dynamic, interactive, and collaborative environment where both course creators and learners thrive. Our strategy is to empower creators with robust tools and learners with personalized learning journeys, fostering a community that goes beyond mere content delivery. Together, we aspire to redefine the online learning landscape, making education more engaging, meaningful, and accessible for all.

Some requirements

After putting ourselves in our users' shoes, we identified requirements that our primary user, Alex, would need for our kwldge website. We used our context scenario and requirements list as the foundation for our prototype framework.

Data needs

To understand mental models, we "formally record" expectations (About Face, 112). These expectations are the building blocks for the context scenario and requirements.
Expectations for primary/secondary personas are build from: attitudes, experiences, aspirations, how users think of basic units of data

Framework Phase: Fourth Phase of GDD

Once the requirements for our persona were established, we moved on to the Frameworks phase of our project. Here, we created pathways to help our persona achieve their goals, using a low-fidelity prototype. Once we determined the layout of the app, we then created a high-fidelity prototype of our wireframe.

Low fidelity wireframes

Home page

Login screen

My courses

Browse courses

Add course

Begin course

Our Prototype

After completing our wireframe, we moved on to building our prototype in Figma. Our plan included dividing the prototype into sections, assigning each team member a specific part to work on, establishing a design system. After this phase, we moved into Refinement, where we conduct usability tests to further enhance the prototype.

Link to Figma File

Screens I designed

Profile/ Progress tracker

We wanted a 'Gamification' aspect to our online learning management site.

Awards & Badges

letting the users' are able to earn awards and badges as they move through courses.

Refinement Phase: Fifth Phase of GDD

After creating our prototype, we conducted some usability tests. To ensure optimal results, we followed Jakob Nielsen's recommendation that 5 users provide an 85% return of the findings to be uncovered.

Usability Test Findings

Pain points/ Problems

User Desires/ Suggestions


After recording and analyzing the users' suggestions and solving all the problems that occurred during our usability testing phase. My team and I were able to create a beautiful final product we were proud of. Being a part of this team, I learned the value of effective communication, and built relationships with my team members. This project experience highlighted the importance of thorough research in creating a product that delivers an enjoyable and learnable user experience. It felt refreshing to work with an amazing team that took our product from the research phase all the way to the prototype phase. Overall, this project was a great experience, and a wonderful way to end my senior year!

Senior Showcase

My team and I presenting our project at the 2024 senior showcase. It was a great experience.