Komodo Decks

Komodo Decks is a product created by an EdTech startup, Touch App Media. It is an app that allows users to create videos and annotations over documents, such as keynote presentations.

My team and I were to adapt Komodo Decks to a new marketplace (information marketplace) and business model (C2C). Komodo Decks as it stands now is inherently interactive. Its founder wanted to leverage this characteristic to create an online learning platform that employed active learning (i.e. learning that is conversational and hands on). He hypothesized that online learners prefer active learning over passive learning practiced by platforms such as Skillshare and Udemy. We were tasked with identifying pain points that both online learners and instructors experienced using these digital learning platforms and from there, ideating if/how Komodo Decks might serve as a solution.

My Role

Scrum Master, User Researcher, UX Designer

My Team

Me + two other designers


Spring 2019


User Interviews, Affinity Mapping, Persona Development, Journey Mapping, Competitive Analysis, Design Studio, Feature Prioritization, Paper Prototyping, Wire-framing, Usability Testing


Through a screener survey and user interviews, our hypothesis that students prefer active learning was validated. We discovered the following strongest trends:

  • “My learning is limited in an online course because I am not asked to apply material to real world situations.” A lack of practice with real world application hinders material from sticking with students.
  • Online learners self-identified as not having much discipline. They reported requiring accountability in order to practice a topic.
  • Platforms like LinkedIn Learning are not conducive to dialogue between teacher and student. A lack of feedback on their work (if they ever practice the material) is a pain point for students.

When we researched trends among teachers, we determined the following as the strongest:

  • More so than additional income, online instructors teach because they are passionate about their subject.
  • It is difficult and time-consuming to make updates to published courses which is a problem for instructors when new research or technology comes out and renders parts of their material irrelevant.
  • There’s a high barrier to entry – requirements set forth by some digital learning platforms take too long to accomodate to after already putting so much work into their lesson.


With the above trends and insights in mind, we created an amalgamation of our data in the form of two personas representing our two users: Beatrice Kerr as our online learner and Diego Santos as our instructor.


Feature Prioritization

With our two personas in mind, we went through each possible feature and mapped it anywhere from must-have to won’t-have based on technical feasibility and user impact.

Prototyping and Testing

We built a number of prototypes for Komodo Decks. For each version, we usability tested it before refining our design and increasing its’ fidelity.

We designed a course framework informed by our data:

  • Need for accountability: Students who enroll in a course through Komodo Decks must submit assignments on time or else they are dropped from the course with only a partial refund (depending on how far along in the course they were).
  • Instructor-student dialogue: Instructors give students feedback in the form of recorded and annotated slides.
  • Incentive to promote interactivity: Instructors are paid per feedback they submit.

As for the designs, see the highlighted features below:

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