Top Hat Textbook

Top Hat offers interactive textbooks featuring skill testing questions that collect live responses from students. But students weren't the only ones looking for guidance.

Problem #1: Trouble finding value

Professors loved that questions are embedded directly in the text, but scrolling through the text to see student answers was a cumbersome manual process.

Problem #2: Trouble finding anything

With the layering on of various features over the years the UI had become cluttered and confusing. In our user tests and recordings, professors were clearly struggling to perform the most essential tasks.

A tidy UI saves time and effort

Using information gathered from professors and our customer service team, I redesigned the UI to eliminate confusing visuals and unneccessary information. I also introduced a new feature: the ability to see all responses to all questions in one place.

Within a week of launch, hundreds of professors discovered and clicked on the responses!

Consistency matters

The textbook is not the only product in Top Hat's suite, and we wanted to maintain a consistent experience. The engineering team and I broke the design into reusable components that we applied across the product.

Discovering and empowering user behaviour

Professors use student responses to evaluate how well students understand the material. Now that responses were easier to get, I began studying what course of action profs would want to take next. This was accomplished through a combination of user interviews and data analysis.

Responses and reports

To expand on our success with the responses, I designed a summary report with built in follow up actions. Now it's easier for profs to catch mistakes and address difficult topics in class.

Why stop now?

Leveraging backend tagging and machine learning, we may be able to identify which questions cover which topics and serve up a contextual report. We're also experimenting with different approaches like email and notifications to draw more eyes to the value of this product.