LearnDash


LearnDash is the leading learning management system (LMS) for WordPress and other platforms. The company has a culture that always pushes the boundaries of what’s possible in the eLearning industry.

LearnDash reached out to us during the initial stages of planning the next major update of their platform, LearnDash 3.0. Prior to 3.0, the user interface of the application remained largely unchanged for four years. It had become dated and no longer delivered the best possible user experience.


We started by researching all learning management systems – ranging from small, free options to large enterprise solutions. We wanted to see what design problems had already been solved, what conventions existed, and where most LMS suffered from design issues.

Our findings drove several paper prototyping workshops, where we explored a wide range of possibilities and approaches. What if we threw away all the conventions and reimagined what an online course looks like? What if we just iterated on – or evolved – the current LearnDash interface?

We teased out what conventions and expectations remained and found several areas of exciting new territory to explore. As an LMS is ultimately used to facilitate online learning, we based all design decisions on how it would impact “cognitive load,” a term meaning – in more common language – “mental effort.”

Even a small reduction in required mental effort increases the success of online learning. Our focus became making sure each learner would know exactly where he or she was in a course, what to expect, and what would be coming next.

The updated LearnDash 3.0 application now conveys more information to the end-user in an easily understood manner, while also significating reducing the amount of mental effort required to move through a course. As a result, users can focus more of their energy on learning and retention and less on navigation and logistics. It’s a streamlined, more graceful experience, delivering stronger benefits for each individual using the LearnDash 3.0 platform today.

High School Sports Video

NJ.com is a digital news content provider and website focused on the entire state of New Jersey in a hyper-local manner. News, weather, sports, entertainment, politics and other aspects of life in the state receive extensive coverage. A key focus for NJ.com is high school sports.

The NJ.com parent company, Advance Publications, wanted to explore new revenue generating opportunities and highlight local sports videos. An agreement was in place with a video provider for high school sports footage.

So NJ.com needed a custom application with a user-friendly design and interface that would work on multiple devices and smoothly integrate with third-party APIs, such as Gigya and Piano.

We developed a custom PHP application from scratch, with Javascript layered on top. (Translation: we made sure all visuals, photos, graphics and text worked beautifully everywhere.)

We then closely integrated this with LocalLive for video delivery, Gigya for user management, and Piano for handling subscriptions. We used the LL API to build a custom video clip editor tool. This allowed users to easily save and share clips of videos they selected.

To promote all the new high school sports video capabilities, we created a custom visual layer – based on NJ.com branding and design research – to best appeal to the target audience of parents, family members, friends, coaches, and the players themselves.

Project Panorama


At 3.7 Designs, sometimes we are our own client. (Thankfully, we tend to get along with ourselves quite well.) And around 2010, we decided to improve on the ways in which we communicated with clients.

While the project management software we used was adequate, it did a poor job conveying project progress. Clients often struggled to where we were in terms of completion. 40%? 75%? It was difficult for them, and us, to know for sure.

So we set out to design and build our own project management system. One that would help track and visualize project progress and status in a crisp, easy-to-understand, highly visual manner.


We handled this project exactly as we’d tackle a client initiative, creating user personas, user journey maps, and clearly defining goals and objectives.

Research gave us input for sketches. Sketches led to wireframes, and wireframes informed prototypes. Soon we were excited about creating the perfect dashboard that would quickly communicate –

  • What’s been accomplished to date
  • Where we’re at today
  • And what’s coming next.

Then we applied a graceful, graphic, and calming visual layer to our logistical foundation.

Not only did we design this platform, we built it. This tool revolutionized the way we work with clients. It was so useful that we started selling it as a product offering: Project Panorama.

Today, there are thousands of people using Project Panorama for many different types of use cases. Not only ad agencies and design firms, but swim schools, body shops, internal marketing teams, higher education institutions, and even multinational banks. In other words, we’re proud to have created an innovative, practical tracking system that’s already achieved a great track record!

Viewpoint


The Inovo Group is a strategic innovation consulting firm that connects technologies and people to drive accelerated growth. Their clients include many large multinational companies, and everything they do is focused on innovation. From digital transformation innovation to operational innovation and beyond. Through their proprietary methodology and approach, they help big brands identify promising opportunities for disruptive growth.

Years ago, The Inovo Group build a software platform to manage their opportunity discovery process. While innovative at the time, as their firm grew, the limitations of the existing platform became increasingly apparent.

The Inovo Group reached out to us to help redesign the entire experience of this application, including both the back-end (server side//data access) and front-end (presentation/customer-facing) aspects.


We began with our rigorous design discovery process, then developed personas for core customers, and mapped out the journey through the application from both customer and project manager points of view.

To quickly explore design directions and different workflows, we held a paper prototyping workshop with key employees from The Inovo Group.

The strongest concepts emerging from the workshop were transformed into detailed wireframes. We next worked closely with the Inovo team to fine tune details, hone visuals, and arrive at the final design approach.

The icing on the cake was a layer of smart visual design, which turned a formerly bland appearance into an easy to use, visually appealing interface. And just like The Inovo Group, we continue to innovate on their constantly evolving platform, adding new design features, enhancing existing elements, and continually improving the overall experience for clients and Inovo personnel.

HealPay


HealPay is the leading digital payment platform for the debt collection industry. This innovative company has revolutionized the way companies and people manage debts and payments. They offer consumers valuable incentives and payment options that effortlessly increase collections for clients through smarter technology.

HealPay contacted us because they wanted to further advance the ease and simplicity they provide for consumers wishing to pay off debts. Traditionally, this has been an unpleasant process, filled with negative phone calls, receiving warning letters in the mail, and requiring manual payments via check or money order.

HealPay changes all that by providing simplified, streamlined online tools for consumers to track and pay their balances. But before they came to us, their old interface wasn’t living up to this vision of ease and friendliness. They wanted to create a user experience that was non-threatening, seamless, and even enjoyable to use. HealPay viewed this transformation as a critical advance in online collections; a way of shining a much more pleasant light on what was usually considered a challenging situation.


We started with our rigorous design discovery process where we researched the HealPay brand and their user base, and came to understand established conventions within the industry.

To quickly explore design directions and different workflows, we held a paper prototyping workshop with core HealPay stakeholders. The strongest initial concepts were turned into detailed wireframes. These were then tested and, in conjunction with HealPay experts, we fine tuned logistics and content before incorporating all elements into a new interface.


Finally, through smarter design thinking, we crafted a very pleasing-yet-practical graphics layer that made interacting with HealPay much more enjoyable, along with adding greatly improved functionality. Results included significantly reduced “help” requests from consumers, increases in transaction volumes, and improved payment compliance.