e-Learning platform

Rethinking the student experience

A transformed vision of a learning platform student experience to increase engagement.

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The challenge

Over recent years the market for online education has been rapidly growing.  Students seeking courses have an extensive choice where they wish to invest their time and money, which has lead to increased expectations for online training platforms.  During the pandemic our client, who predominantly ran in-person training events had to improve their online presence to meet the needs of this growing demand and keep up with the competition. Their current training experience was clunky, creating support tickets, and in need of a brand refresh. We were tasked with creating a vision for how the student experience could be enhanced from a usability and brand perspective to keep up to date with the competition.

The value

A platform with a well designed UX greatly supports positive learning outcomes. If the platform is intuitive and easy to navigate this allows students to concentrate on the content and learning entirely. Students need a clean interface that presents the right information at the right time, and provides visual cues that keep them motivated to stay engaged. Taking our experience of e-learning design, we understood the client was missing potential to provide students with a great user experience that would simultaneously create future streams of revenue.


A fully tested, user focused vision and brand update of the student experience. The design focused on offering a personalised and optimised experience, that promoted increased conversion. We built out a design system for the client that followed principles and guidelines that are scalable across their full suite of products to create a cohesive and consistent student experience.

Spinning Fox has been a great partner to SANS, helping us execute on our design and UX development initiatives across many of our product teams. They bring high level talent coupled with a pragmatic approach to delivering on time with solid execution focused on modern UI best practices.

Matthew Levy
Senior Engineering Manager, SANS Institute


Research & discovery

To design a great user experience, we had to learn more about the needs of those who would be using the platform. We interviewed stakeholders and students to understand their frustrations with the current experience and what features they would like to see in the future. The research uncovered clear pain points that we needed to address with our design. We needed to make it simple and intuitive for students to access information. We were also required to make the experience more personalised and specific to the student and their learning journey to keep them engaged.

Understanding the industry

We reviewed competitors in the market and benchmarked the student experience against a number of different factors such as usability, UI design, marketing tone and key features.


  • Clean, modern aesthetic that pushes the boundaries in comparison to typical e-learning platforms

  • Simple navigation

  • Courses are displayed as handbooks with the number with the number of tutorials and time of each video clearly outlined


  • Doted UI that is difficult to use and not responsive to smaller devices sizes

  • ’Infosec skills’ and ’Infosec iq’ are the two main products.

  • Marketing tone isn't very engaging to students

Key features

  • Personalised course recommendations based on skill level

  • Free courses

  • Recently viewed courses and specialisationsTop rated courses

Navigation &
information architecture

We considered the full scope of the student journey — from buying a course through to logging into their account and starting their training. We created a sitemap of the screens that currently existed, and identified ways to streamline the navigation through the system.

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Experience design

We transformed the experience by organising information in a clear, logical way that aimed to guide students to the content they needed. We worked closely with different business units to understand key features and translated the requirements from user flows into low fidelity wireframes which we presented back.


Meaningful recommendations through personalisation

Through personalisation, we created an experience that could follow students along their learning journey. We added customisation that would allow students to set their skill level and learning objectives, and they would be provided with recommended content to promote engagement and conversion. Over time, the platform would use use the insights based on previous purchases and behaviours to inspire future students.


Creating the brand

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For our visual approach we presented the client with 3 design styles. Our goal was to push the boundaries and make the student experience modern, engaging and interactive. We focused on creating a strong hierarchy through the use of colour, and used white space to simplify the learning experience and group relevant content together. Once we had finalised the look and feel, we created a design library for the client that spoke to their business and brand aspirations, and would add a coherent user experience across
their products.

Usability testing

We prototyped useful interactions to stimulate key journeys through the product which we tested with students based on different personas. Doing so allowed us to understand if they could achieve their goals interacting with the reimagined design. The testing identified ways to iterate and areas we could help the business research further to meet the needs of students.

student portal

Design system

Tightly integrated with the clients workflow, we built out a scalable component library based on the design system. We delivered a strong foundation with scaleability in mind for the client to use for years to come.

design system


Research & discovery

Requirements gathering workshops, interviews, sitemap, competitor analysis

Design phase

User flows, Wireframes, Clickable Prototypes, Brand Options, Design System


Component Library

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