When Typsy was first formed (originally called Upside) they were focused on helping hospitality businesses with their finances. Over time they built relationships with hospitality businesses and learnt that training their staff was a much more challenging problem for them.
Their idea was to pivot and to create a platform like Skillshare targeted to the specific needs of those in hospitality.
From thought to finish
Typsy had an abundance of early ideas, but were unsure how to further them. They needed guidance in a wide range of areas, specifically visualising the concept and then building it from scratch. We were engaged to see the project through from conceptualisation, design, development and deployment.
Hospitality is mobile!
Typsy has a rich background in the hospitality industry, but when faced with building a world leading learning management platform, there were a number of outstanding assumptions and areas of uncertainty. To help fill these gaps we conducted customer interviews. It was these interviews that delivered our biggest foundational learning – Hospitality is mobile! By nature, people in hospitality are always on their feet. Our research showed that 90% of our target users would use the platform on their mobiles during breaks.
Viewing the project from 2,000 feet
To collaborate on the user experience we mapped out the customer journey, identifying opportunities for lead generation and conversion, and priority user flows. This process brought a lot of clarity to the project and for the first time the whole team could see a helicopter view on the parts of the system that mattered. These ‘maps’ were constantly referred to during the design and development process to ensure there were no gaps in the user experience.
Handling novices through to experts
The unique challenge for the design of Typsy was how to balance a structure for motivated individuals taking on learning for themselves, whilst also allowing for a manager scheduling courses as a task for others.
We took a student focused approach. This saw us keep the platform simple for students focusing on engagement and enjoyment through a subtle level of gamification. As you progress your profile builds which can be shared with prospective employers or on social media.
What about the Managers?
As we began sharing prototypes it became apparent that Venue Managers were going to be a key customer segment. They wanted to invest in their staff and wanted to track the progress of their team.
We adapted the platform adding in features for managers to schedule courses and lessons for their employees. Reports were emailed so managers could track their progress.
Speed to market (or ‘Reducing risk’)
Although they had identified an opportunity in the market, Typsy recognised that they were taking a big risk. They needed to find out quickly and affordably whether the idea would be commercially viable, i.e. Would restaurants, cafes and hotels have an appetite for the challenge of upskilling their workforce via online content?
To do this we used principles of ‘rapid iteration’ to design a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) that we could get into the hands of our potential customers.
Rapid iteration involved several short design sprints, using hand sketching and basic wireframing to get ideas down and in front of the Typsy team “quick sticks” in order to make decisions and evolve our ideas. From there the winning concepts were worked up into high fidelity interfaces.
The MVP (Minimum Viable Product) we rolled out focused on getting solid leads…
Our development team worked in parallel with design to compress timeframes, yet adapt as ideas were solidified.
Upon launch Typsy learnt even more. Their initial success has come from the corporate players, such as pub groups and hotels with hundreds to thousands of employees. They struck a deep problem, as training such large numbers of hospitality workers is time consuming and difficult. Typsy saves them this pain.
Changing our whole business was risky. To be honest, I don’t know if we could have done it without Alliance
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