Creating something for women is a challenge and it is not a sexist joke. Historically, most systems are designed by men for men. Banking, transportation, education, for centuries were male-driven (and that did not change much, frankly). So creating an online learning experience for women was a total rethink of how it works for them.
Marina, happily married, with kids. She gets all the support and help from her partner but leaving a job for two years with each child, putting her carrier to halt each time, repeatedly regaining the respect of the coworkers completely drained her confidence out. She would like to learn new stuff, but how do you compete, when everybody else seems to have a head-start?
Create a new context, a safe place, let her escape this darkness.
While ethnographic interviews helped to create the Persona, we still have to create a new user journey to make our findings work. Whatever the subject they learn, time was the main issue, so we introduced a very rigid schedule (counterintuitive, I know) – they had to dedicate time, with small tasks to be completed every day. We wanted them to stop trying to control their situation and trust us, in return giving the sense of achievement and progress.
Next, as we knew from previous researches, most men are more reliant on a wide network for support, while most women seek personal and deeper contact. Inspired by Agile principles, we created that contact. We split all students into teams of four, with assignments to be completed every week. This not only gave time and space where they can safely reflect on what they’ve learned but introduced important social dynamics with students covering for each other and helping to complete tasks. It made them comrades, friends, partners, that rely on each other. Truly, safe place to learn. A safe place to grow.
Over 90% of students completes the course (compared to ~50% of PAYING Coursera students). Moreover, some of the students reapplied to the course just for the experience alone (at a huge discount of course, but the trick does not work if there is no value in it). I think we need to make it for men too.
Research, business model, strategy, naming, CX, UX, comm/digital strategy, GTM concept, web information architecture, copywriting
Updated November, 2021.