Study Along - Re-imagining with a design first approach
StudyAlong, with 125+ customers and 130 000+ users, is a management system and learning platform for cultural and music schools, mainly used by municipalities. With the first version of their system built in 2016, without any proper design input, StudyAlong was in the need of a reimagined look and feel; mainly to offer a nicer user experience, but also to outpace their competitor.
With the ambition to keep the current backend and functionality, brand visuals, UI and frontend was the focus for this project. The scope was to renew every visual aspect of StudyAlong from the ground up – from the core elements of the brand profile to the pixel perfect UI handovers to the frontend team.
Working with a design first approach was both desirable and necessary, and for StudyAlong a new way of working. Since Crowd Collective’s Lead Designer Consultant functioned as a solo designer, he was as involved also in user research workshops, developer discussions and product meetings, to get the full picture.
Design first approach
StudyAlong decided on a Design First Approach, something that was lacking the first time, and the scope was given to the consultant with broad pensel strokes: “do what you do best”. After a first design idea was explored, a focus group was put together. With the feedback they got, the design was then being explored further. And further. And redone. And restarted. And this is how the fully agile work continued, all the way to pixel perfect UI handovers to the frontend team, while constantly evolving the new design system. With our consultant’s extensive experience, he also knew what could be done from a developer perspective, which made the transition from design to development very smooth.
The new StudyAlong’s three-part system (course catalogue with an e-commerce solution / learning platform / administration and CMS), is designed from a kid/parent/teacher point of view, instead of just being a result of the development. But since most of the functionality was kept intact, the users will still feel at home, only with a truly elevated user experience.
Building something that will last
A requirement from StudyAlong was to build something that will be useful not only today but in the future as well. By creating a design system based on the UI (instead of the opposite), our consultant made sure StudyAlong will be able maintain ownership of their new UI while continuing to build new features. The new joyful design combined with the future-proof technologies it rests on, finally reflects what StudyAlong has always stood for.
After the design handover, a Crowd Collective consultant started to build the new features, using the Figma designs as blueprints. We will tell you more about that soon!
The client perspective
StudyAlong is very pleased with what our consultant has accomplished. ”He is a master of his craft and the type of colleague you’d want in your team for ever.” - Fredrik, Founder & Managing Director StudyAlong
For StudyAlong, it was important to get a consultant that was a Jack of all trades - in small organisations you need to be efficient. They needed someone who had a lot of self drive and with great communication skills.
“We wanted someone who wasn’t colored by previous ideas and thoughts. Communication skills might feel like a worn out trait, but it is important to communicate efficiently and not be worried about doing something the wrong way. With him, the process was very smooth.” - Henrik, Product Owner StudyAlong
Complete ownership of the new design
A re-branding that will outpace the competition
Same functionality but with updates user flows and a completely new look and feel
New design system and styleguides to enable continued development