EF Education First.

During 2015 and 2016 I was the Design Lead for EF’s mobile apps. I worked together with the development team and two UI designers to maintain and improve their Android and iOS language learning apps in EF Labs Shanghai.

There, I learnt to show not tell, that a face-to-face coversation is worth a thousand Jira comments and that making oneself useful goes a long way in making design have an impact in an organisation.

Some of the challenges we had to tackle at the time included:

How do we make our apps less like a digitised book and more action oriented?

How do we make our apps consistent across devices and platforms, while making the most of native OS features, look and feel?

How can we reduce the friction of starting a lesson, to make study more immediate?

How can we change the way content is presented to make it less linear and more tailored?

I also worked on parts of the tablet and web experience, back-office and teacher interfaces, as well as on the integration between different products in our digital portfolio. This required working closely with academics, content editors, translators and teacher management teams.

As an example, I had to review the tech-check process which assessed browser compatibility before an online class on desktop. This was the main cause of technical calls to the Customer Support team.

After sitting down with the developers to understand the sources of errors, I ran a usability assessment and some rudimentary tests with colleagues that were unfamiliar with the tool.

After spotting the key elements that were confusing to students, we implemented new solutions for every step. These error-proofed the flow and gave clear next guidance for students when encountering a technical issue. Calls to the Support team on this error dropped by over 60%, removing a key pain-point of the virtual classroom.

After an amazing year I had the opportunity to help kickstart the newly created Designit office in London, alongside some of my most respected colleagues. And so I packed my bags again.