Improving the purchase journey for digital education services


  • Redefining the purchase journey to align with customer needs
  • Ensuring the biggest revenue driver is supported by solid UX design
  • Employing atomic design principles to allow for seamless implementation


Enhancing the journey

Within the higher education sector institutions rely on external organisations to supply the subscriptions and licensing they require for academic materials. By putting education at the forefront of everything they do, it’s essential that the not-for-profit organisations who deliver these services also provide seamless user journeys, as this is one of their biggest revenue drivers.

From design hypotheses to vision

Working collectively with the client team, we drew up a set of design hypotheses that were based on stakeholders’ knowledge of the sector and audience, plus our own best practices. These hypotheses were then used to capture and qualify requirements, in the format of a user story map, to depict a journey-based view of the product we were redesigning. The ability to visually perceive the journeys that different users would take allowed for rapid advances in these initial stages. As the project was predominantly delivered remotely, communication was key and we made digital artefacts along the way, such as the evolving user story map, that helped to keep all stakeholders aligned.

Back to basics

With the flow of the site finalised it was time to begin sketching the interface designs, taking a mobile-first approach. Employing atomic design principles meant that the UX (user experience) and visual designers worked in partnership to visualise the interface, whilst simultaneously developing a component library comprising the atoms, molecules and organisms that made up the page designs. Alongside the atomic design approach we created a series of prototypes, of increasing fidelity, that allowed everyone to clearly see how the designs and user journeys worked together.

Progressing the prototypes

We used two rounds of usability testing (with a range of participants who were recruited based on a set of mindsets we had previously created) to iterate upon the prototypes, based on audience feedback. The testing allowed us to prioritise improvements that would have the biggest impact on the interface, implement them, and re-test to validate the design solution.

Influence through an interface

The atomic design process lent itself perfectly to the hierarchical nature of the digital service we were redesigning. The project’s huge success has led to us working on rolling the concept out across their suite of products to improve the overall user experience.

UX and its impact on revenue

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