#OneWeekPM – Product Spec – Messaging Styled Learning App

Messaging Styled Learning App

Author Name: 
Joshua Ooi

Team Members: 

There is little differentiation between Learning Management System (LMS) providers. At the end of the day, it’s a storage space for learning content. The main problem we are facing is that employees don’t use the LMS on their own. Lots of companies talk about building a culture of self-learning in their employees, and providing them with the tools to self learn, but when an employee gets caught up in their day-to-day activities, most times, learning is not at the top of their mind. However, if employees stopped to think about it, if they learned and became more productive at their work, they would be able to finish up their work faster as they became more efficient.

This app is meant to be an interface to existing Learning Management Systems and provide companies a creative way to deliver learning to their employees. It is not meant to replace any Learning Management System that is currently out there.

The app will connect to an employees calendar and understand contextually where down times/travel times are, and with that knowledge, prompt the employee at the appropriate times to check out a short learning activity (i.e. 5 minute video, short quiz to refresh memory). The app will utilise a familiar messaging interface to minimise resistance to learning and using a new app.

With regular usage of short learning activities which pique the employee’s interest, the hope is for employees to fully utilise the Learning Management System more proactively.


The goal is to differentiate PageUp as a technology leader in the HR space through the innovative use of technology

Success Metrics:
Utilisation Rate of the Learning Management System 

  1. Increase in the total number of completed Learning Activities in the organisation
  2. Increase in the total number of active users on the Learning Management System

Target Audience:
Salespeople in the organisation. These people are always on the go and would benefit to use this app in between meetings that they are running to.

Young graduate employees that have just joined the organisation. They will be more technologically savvy and be motivated to complete learning activities as a means to develop themselves for future roles.


User Need
User Story
Launch Phase
Salesperson needs to be kept updated of any new sales tactics/research in order to close sales more effectively
As a salesperson, I want to be able to be prompted when I’m travelling with a timely update so that I will be able to receive bite sized learning content which will allow me to close sales more effectively

Please view designs at this link: https://invis.io/HM75VZPA2


Launch/Roll-Out Plan & Timeline:
Roll out the MVP to the salespeople in the organisation to allow testing to begin in 12 weeks and collect feedback

Suggested Spotify Settings Change

I recently got myself a pair of spanking new headphones and a home theatre system. With my premium Spotify subscription, I am able to stream music at 320kbps and that makes for a pretty nice listening experience.
Here’s my problem. Streaming high quality music like that consumes quite a bit of data. On my limited cellular connection, I wouldn’t mind listening to music at a lower quality (data is both limited and EXPENSIVE), however, I don’t mind consuming more data when i’m on a limitless Wifi connection at home.

I’d love to see a simple setting like the one shown below implemented in the Spotify mobile app. That would be pretty useful to me:

Standard Settings Screen on iOS
Standard Settings Screen on iOS

What i’d like to see:

Tap on Selection
Tap on Selection

When I tap on Extreme, a gray box slides out from the right with options for me to pick either Cellular or WiFi.

Wifi selected for Extreme Quality
Wifi selected for Extreme Quality

I then proceed to tap Normal and select Cellular.

Cellular selected for Normal Quality
Cellular selected for Normal Quality

This is what it would look like after setting up.

Selection Complete
Selection Complete

Upon doing some research on the web, it seems that this is also a feature that has requested for in the Spotify forums since 2013! I’m not really sure why it’s taken them so long to implement a small change like this.

Update: On hindsight, after thinking about the suggestion, I realised it didn’t make any sense whatsoever to do it that way. The easiest way I could think of doing it would be like this:

Alternative Implementation

I chose the stars because I thought it would be most familiar to users. Everyone uses on-demand apps nowadays and the stars represent quality or satisfaction.

Increasing number of accepted offers on Carousell

I’ve been a huge fan of the Carousell app since it launched. For those of you who don’t know what it is, it’s an app that allows sellers to list an item for sale just by snapping a photo and buyers can purchase items by chatting with sellers via an in-built private chat messenger:

Example of Carousell

Since launching in 2012, the peer-to-peer marketplace has listed eight million new and second-hand products in categories like fashion, beauty, furniture, and baby items. Over two million items have been sold on the app – that’s eight transactions a minute. According to the press release, the average active Carousell user spends about 21 minutes a day browsing the app, which is comparable to Instagram.

Source: Yahoo Finance

Based on the above quote, some of their performance metrics include:

  1. Number of listings
  2. Time spent in app
  3. No. of accepted offers

The product people at Carousell have done a terrific job so far.

If you’ve ever listed something on Carousell before, you’re going to be receiving a ton of messages asking:

“Still available?”

“Can do $ X?”

“More pics?”

Responding with the same answer to 1, or even 5 is manageable. But when you get a flood of 20 different people asking you the same questions, it can get pretty tiring.

To address that, a new feature with preset responses was introduced to reduce the effort it takes for people to respond to messages (They launched this before even Google’s Inbox released the feature called Smart Reply!) I thought that was a pretty smart move. Make it easier for your users so they don’t feel burnt out from using the app.

Smart Responses Highlighted
Templated responses allow you to faster respond to the same questions easily

I’m pretty sure this feature increased the number (if not, the velocity) of transactions happening on the app because it’s still around.

I thought to myself, what else could possibly be done to increase any one of the above mentioned metrics?

Carousell users, from my experience, have a need to negotiate. And sometimes, you find bad apples in the bunch who make ridiculously low offers for your item making every other Carousell listing look like this:

Lowballer messages in every other listing. If you don’t believe me, just open the app and search “lowballer”

Reading that in every other listing just turns me off for some reason. I’m also not the only one who finds this entire experience unpleasant. Sellers have threads in local forums talking about it:

Thread from HWZ. 35 pages and counting
Thread from HWZ. 35 pages and counting
Sample comment from thread
Sample comment from thread

There’s even a Tumblr page called Carouhell that documents screenshots of ridiculous buyers/sellers on the app.

So, how can we put measures in place to ensure people don’t lowball as much?

Here’s something that I would like to test. This is what the current “Make Offer” screen looks like now:

Current “Make Offer” screen

What if we added some options to the Make Offer screen to allow users to pre-select discounts from a list instead of using free text?

Make Offer Example
Alternate “Make Offer” screen with pre-set discount options

People are programmed to want a discount. With that in mind, let’s try controlling more tightly the types of offers a prospective buyer could make.

And just to be a little cheeky (let’s inject some personality into the app!), we’ll have some messages to deter lowballing.

Lowballer Alert
Lowballer messages. Do you think this will deter people from making unrealistic offers?

I’d love to run this as an experiment across a small group of users and see if:

  1. Number of accepted offers increased
  2. Number of listings containing the word “lowballer” decreases
  3. We can establish the average discount across products where these options are presented – This could be used for another recommended price feature that I’d be documenting soon.

Do you think this would make for a better buying and selling experience on the app?

Silence Notifications with 3D Touch

I hate the seemingly mindless notifications that some apps send to me. For example, just for the simple Qoo10 app (which happens to be one of my go-to shopping apps), I get bombarded with push notifications pretty frequently and it’s really annoying. How many different things can someone actually be interested in?! See example below:
Notification Overload

Now, you might just say, if it bothers you so much, turn it off. Sounds simple enough, doesn’t it?

I have lots of apps on my phone and here’s what it looks like to turn off the notifications:

Scrolling through apps


That whole process took more than 10 seconds. Really unnecessary, if you asked me. And that’s because I knew where to look for it, and was just trying to record it under 15 seconds.
With the 3D touch feature built into the new iPhones, this whole scenario could be sorted in less than a couple of seconds.
Mock 3D Touch Menu


“The best quick actions anticipate and accelerate a user’s interaction with your app.” – iOS Developer Library
Here’s how it could possibly be implemented:
  1. Apple makes it a rule in the developer rulebook to include 2 additional options should they adopt 3D touch in their app
  2. Apple creates a blanket rule that’s been embedded into the 3D touch API
After giving it some thought, I don’t think this could possibly be implemented. Apple is already seen as too controlling of their ecosystem. By including more roadblocks to developers, it would only frustrate them and possibly cause them to move on to develop for other platforms. A rule like this would only prevent developers from reactivating inactive users through push notifications and I don’t think it would be well received.