Personalising learning pathways

Helping job seekers improve their digital literacy for the future of work

According to the World Economic Forum, many jobs have yet to be transformed by simpler digital tools such as email, spreadsheets, and databases. Formerly analog roles such as manufacturing or personal care workers will become increasingly see a reliance on digital tools. For these workers, they likely will face barriers to future employability as their industries become digitally disrupted.

In partnership with the Victoria State Government, our team was tasked with developing innovative training solutions to improve opportunities for Victorian workers around digitally upskilling.

Year: 2021

Design research
Product design

The challenge

Our challenge was to design an application that helps people identify their digital skills gaps and find suitable learning pathways to level up.

Girl holding the AR app on a tablet device

A human centred approach

With the scope of the first release established, I commenced two user research studies to gain insights into the problem. In the first study, I conducted contextual interviews with 10 users looking to enter the workforce, upskill for a promotion or pivot careers. My goal was to uncover the steps they took to learn new work skills, their pain points and workarounds.

I conducted contextual inquiry, facilitated co-design sessions, used desktop research and guerilla user testing. This approach was necessary to fully understand the problem space, the various spectrum of use cases, mental models related to this technology and for inclusive design.


Co-design workshop participants


User testing participants


Months from research to release


Worker interviews

Girl holding the AR app on a tablet device

Mapping common themes

To define the opportunities, I synthesised the results by affinity mapping the data into common themes and insights. This allowed me to tackle the design more effectively and ensure I was solving the right user problems.

Setting the stage for solutions

To move forward user problem statements informed the ideation stage. Child statements where scaffolded to aligned with each archetypes.

People are always weighing the cost of effort vs the benefit.

Trust through authority

Users reported that they often referred to a colleague, friend or family member with expertise to guide them through a new digital skill.

Personalisation to drive adoption and engagement

Learners want self-directed and independent learning opportunities that are unique to their needs. Personalisation features would also ensure we could meet the needs of a greater range of users.

Early work

In order to ensure the product would be useful and help meet our users goals, I explored users flows which integrated teaching frameworks, psychological reward and efficiencies for task completion.

Girl holding the AR app on a tablet device
Girl holding the AR app on a tablet device
Girl holding the AR app on a tablet device
Girl holding the AR app on a tablet device

Validating designs

After working through the concepts for the features, I created a hi-fidelity interactive prototype in Figma to test the flow, visuals, engagement and overall usability. This approach allowed me to get detailed feedback on certain elements of the design that would not be possible with pen and paper.

Introducing the Smart Skills

A platform that provides learning pathways for improving digital skills at work. The following sections break-downs my key UX solutions and how I translated the opportunities from the research into valuable features.

Girl holding the AR app on a tablet device

You'll see your digital skills benchmark

The skills gap overview lets you see exactly where you need to level up.

Enjoy learning the way you like it.

You might prefer entire online courses, or maybe you’re short on time and want a quick video. Filters let you quickly surface the media you want.

Eliminating the guesswork

You'll have confidence knowing your learning is relevant and organised.

Ensuring consistency between design and code

Throughout the prototyping phase, I simultaneously developed and maintained an atomic UI library of patterns and style guide by using the global components feature in Figma. This ensured consistency between design and coding. This workflow also enabled me to update any UI elements globally when needed.

Lean UX

Rather than prototyping what we knew would be ok, I decided to prototype the features that were high risks such as the feedback page and dashboard. This allowed us to learn more with less. I knew these would be the most challenging given the complexity of information we were trying to provide.

The project had many challenges but the hardest was having the courage to pivot continuously from the initial concept through several iterations. Using a test and learn approach enabled me to steer the project towards a viable value proposition for users, university government stakeholders.

Despite the complexities, I especially enjoyed delving into user research. The regular testing and feedback loop helped me to iterate very quickly, enabling us to exceed our initial expectations for the MVP.

Upon release, the platform was adopted by the Queensland government as a statewide initiative to provide digital literacy training for its residents.