Case Study: acada - A Technological Lifeline for Africa's Emerging Creatives
The Genesis: Bridging the Digital Divide through User-Centric Design
Acada was conceived to be a user-centric bridge that connects students like Tolu in Lagos with the high-quality tech education they deserve. The core UX challenge was designing an accessible, engaging, and empowering learning experience tailored to the African context.
Duration: April 2022 - December 2022 (9 months)
Role: Lead UX/UI Designer
Team Size: 2 UX Designers, 1 UI Engineer, 12 Engineers
Users Onboarded: 5,000+ across Nigeria, Ghana, and Kenya
Funding: $2 million seed funding
Tech Stack: React Native, Node.js, MongoDB, AWS (Lambda, DynamoDB)
UX Challenge: Making Learning Accessible & Engaging
Our research revealed core UX obstacles:
- Limited access to high-end devices and reliable connectivity.
- Low motivation and confidence among first-time digital learners.
- Contextual content was key to engagement and retention.
UX Solution: A Mobile-First, Localized Experience
We designed the platform around three key pillars:
Accessible Mobile Learning
- Progressive web app optimized for low-end Android devices with limited storage.
- Offline-first architecture with content syncing and caching.
- Data-saving features like toggleable media and downloads.
- Courses split into manageable 5-10 minute micro lessons.
- Short videos and interactive exercises keep learners engaged on small screens.
- Quizzes and incentives make the learning process fun and addictive.
- Real-world projects and unlockable career-based side quests provide motivation.
- Study groups and leaderboards leverage peer accountability.
- Assessments gauge proficiency and tailor curriculum to student's level.
- Flashcard review and practice questions reinforce retention.
- Analysing user data informs iterative improvements.
- African examples, case studies and instructors provide cultural relevance.
- Narratives and illustration styles designed to resonate with learners.
Impact: Unlocking New Possibilities
User feedback indicates the UX design achieved its aims:
- App rated 4.8/5 stars for engagement and ease of use.
- 87% course completion rate.
- 62% job placement rate for early nanodegree graduates.
The high user rating reflects the success of the platform's design in engaging and accommodating learners.
The impressive course completion rate demonstrates the platform's ability to keep learners engaged and motivated.
Early nanodegree graduates' high job placement rate underscores the platform's effectiveness in preparing students for real-world careers.
By emphasizing inclusive design, acada has created new pathways to education and employment for thousands of young Africans, connecting them to a world of possibilities in tech. The platform continues to evolve, ensuring that the journey towards accessible and engaging education remains ongoing and transformative.