Kaplan Site Re-Design
2022 | Product Design
Making meaningful digital experiences more accessible to students, professional, businesses, and universities.

OVERVIEW

Kaplan is a global education provider that helps individuals achieve career and educational goals, as well as provides educational and training services to colleges, universities, and businesses. After the 2020 formation of Kaplan North America, there are 80 websites under their ownership. Kaplan sensed this ecosystem could benefit from streamlining the online customer experience and reducing management complexity. We set out to redesign their current product system and site experience, focusing on templates and modules that will positively push Kaplan and it’s sub-brands forward.

MY ROLE

Wire Framing
Experience Strategy
Design Systems
Annotations

THE TEAM

2 Interaction Designers
1 Product Manager
3 Producers
1 Experience Strategist
1 Content Strategist
3 Data Analysts,
3 Visual Designers
15+ Engineers

TIMELINE

Dec 2021 - May 2022

PROJECT GOALS

Build a new product system

Use Kaplan.com as the core pillar to show how this system can be applied throughout their ecosystem, we focus on Schweser.com.

Generate a vision for the future ecosystem

Determine which properties should exist, be consolidated, removed, etc. and recommend a technical architecture that will support the future ecosystem vision, including a new CMS.

Define a foundation and recommend a technique

Creating a roadmap for rolling that system out across all properties and design how that system is applied to Kaplan.com

Develop

Develop and launch the newly designed Kaplan.com
EXISTING CHALLENGES

Kaplan’s work and impact was unclear

Users were unaware of how they can utilize Kaplan to the fullest, and at every stage of their journey

Content and product discovery was difficult

Users had to jump through many hoops to find the right solution, may ended up missing it all together

Not optimized for conversion

From product purchase flows to lead generation for partnerships, the conversion funnel was not performing
FUTURE OPPORTUNITIES

Content and product discovery was difficult

Demonstrate that Kaplan is a full service partner at every stage for each of its audiences

User-mindset led discovery

Support both high-intent users who know what they want, and low-intent users just exploring

A modern e-commerce experience

Encourage users and add value at each stage of the conversion funnel smoothly and quickly

Kaplan has three key audiences,
each with unique needs:

Students & Professionals

Students at all levels of academia from high school, pre-college, college and beyond. This also includes professionals in industries such as finance, insurance, real estate and healthcare who are in the process of taking exams or courses to continue their education and growth.

Businesses

Employers looking to keep their workforce well trained with the latest in their industry and up to date with whatever credentials their employees need to stay competitive or ahead of the curve.

Universities

Higher education institutions that are looking for partners to help with a numbers of areas such as learning management systems, student recruiting or digital enablement, among other needs.
OVERVIEW OF THE OLD EXPERIENCE

The challenges in addressing different audiences and the current content organization impacted the digital experiences in three main ways:

Kaplan’s work and impact is unclear

Kaplan has a huge variety of offerings but the complete story wasn’t made clear and was not being told in any one place, making it difficult for audiences to understand the breadth of Kaplan’s work.

There was no one place for users to take in the entirety of Kaplan. At almost any given point in the ecosystem it was difficult for a user to see all the products or services Kaplan had that addresses their audience or the problem they were trying to solve.

Content and product discovery is difficult

Kaplan is split up among many sites creating competition amongst each other for SEO, brand confusion, and unclear journeys for users.

As Kaplan has grown through acquisition, users have had to traverse various sites in order to find the product or service that’s right for them. The IA reflects the business structure, 
and not the user’s needs.

Products are also being grouped together by sites rather than journeys, topics or audiences and those sites are largely siloed.

Not optimized for conversion

The commerce experience on Kaplan introduces a lot of friction while information that helps a user decide on a purchase is missing entirely or deeply obscured.

Throughout the ecosystem, PDPs are either missing or are not robust. These pages are essential for the research and consideration phases of the conversion funnel.

The lack of pages dedicated to a single product makes it so that product details are often hidden in modules and increases the difficulty for users to compare products.
THE NEW EXPERIENCE

We proposed creating a modular design system that would provide a scalable yet structured experience that could flex to the needs of various pages.

Templates

Templates are used for particular parts of the site experience. They are made up of numerous modules that may be unique to the screen or shared across multiple different template types.

Components

Components are used on various screens, they can be used repeatedly throughout the system unless unique toa screen. They often vary based on editorial strategy or content that is dynamically fed in.

Cards

Cards populate modules throughout the system and impact how the module looks and the information displayed.
TEMPLATES CREATED
To begin the process of consolidating Kaplan sites into Kaplan.com, we needed to illustrate how content would be grouped and organized using a site map and site navigation. The main difference between the site navigation and the site map is one provides structure for site content while the other provides paths to that content.

With a primary navigation organized by audience, and a secondary navigation organized by content categories, we communicate from the start to various user types we serve, while allowing users to self-select into an experience that will have all content that resonates with them and their interests.

With these initial elements in place we had a foundation to begin creating templates for the new Kaplan experience and it would reflect the breadth and depth of Kaplan’s categories and offerings.
HIGH FIDELITY WIREFRAMES

Homepage

Curated Hub

Category

Package PDP

Standard PDP

Bio Detail

Article Detail

Detail

Lead Gen

Search

Utility

Bio Detail

FINAL DESIGNS

Homepage

Curated Hub

Category

Package PDP

Standard PDP

Bio Detail

Article Detail

Detail

Lead Gen

Search

Utility

Bio Detail