Growing Highly-engaging User Pool through User Research & Revising UI/UX design for Knowunity (iOS App)




User Research, UI/UX Design


4 weeks


Client Contact
User Researcher
User Experience Designer


Magdalena Fraga
Tiantian Shao
Qing Yang


Figma, Figjam, Dovetail,
Google Forms, Google Sheet, Calendly


Knounity: EdTech App that Facilitates Academic Content & Perspectives Sharing

Knowunity, Europe’s fastest-growing EdTech app, boasts 9 million users across Europe and the US. The platform facilitates students in sharing notes, summaries, flashcards, and quizzes, fostering a genuine peer-to-peer perspective on academic content. It daily connects millions of users, aiding them in comprehending various subjects while preparing for exams or working on assignments.


Missed Opportunity: Inadequate top content creators (aka Lighthouse Knowers,) causing Losses in Existed User Engagement and New User Acquisition

Currently, Knowunity operates under the hypothesis that by increasing engagement and promoting growth within the top content creator groups, known as Lighthouse Knowers, it will naturally boost involvement among existing regular users and attract new users.

Therefore, they hope to increase the Lighthouse Knowers base.


Provide recommendations for the Lighthouse Knowers growth strategy and enhance their connection with regular users


Define Project Focus & Methodologies

Upon discovering Knowunity’s desire to increase the number of Lighthouse Knowers, we first clarify their internal standards for defining Lighthouse Knowers. In essence, we sought to understand the “criteria” a regular user must meet to be recognized as a valuable and highly engaging content creator.

The 3 criteria Knowunity defined:

  1. Create 15 notes
  2. Gain 100 members in a self-created group chat
  3. Gain 100 followers

Since Knowunity already has a thorough understanding of how to assess note quality backed by sufficient data, and based on their previous user research indicating that content creators find it relatively easy to create high-quality notes: We have decided to focus on two criteria during this limited-time project: assisting Lighthouse Knowers in gaining more group members and followers.

We decided to focus on assisting Lighthouse Knowers in gaining more group members and followers.

Define Methodologies: Study 2 Types User Types, then Opted for an Approach that Combines Interview & Usability Testing

Next, as we contemplated how to help users achieve these two criteria, we realized the need to study two distinct target audiences: regular users and experienced Lighthouse Knowers.

Because regular users serve as the source of group members and followers for Lighthouse Knowers.

What we expect from regular user

We need to understand their motivations for joining group chats and following someone on Knowunity, as well as any challenges they may encounter.

What we expect from Lighthouse Knower

By interviewing individuals who have already successfully met the Lighthouse Knower criteria, we can gain insights into why they were able to achieve it, the motivations driving their actions, and their current thoughts on the usability of the product.

Based on the above considerations, we identified the need to study two user types and opted for a combined user interview and usability testing approach.

Use User Interview to Know Our Users’ Minds, & Usability Testing to Discover Usability Issues

User Interview

We conducted online conversations with users to gain comprehensive insights into their needs, perspectives, experiences, and feedback.

In user interviews, we ask questions to gather opinions, expectations, and challenges related to our product, Knowunity. This includes their usage habits, preferences, encountered difficulties, and suggestions for product improvement.

Usability Testing

We conducted usability test to assess Knowunity’s usability. Its main goal is to ensure users can easily and effectively interact with the product, providing a positive user experience.

During usability testing, participants perform specific tasks while being observed and evaluated. This involves tasks like locating features, completing designated tasks, or navigating the application or website. We concurrently document participants’ reactions or challenges encountered.

Define User Profile

Prepare & Conduct User Interviews/ Usability Testings

After defining the two types of users, we established research goals for each user category.

Next, we crafted interview questions and usability testing tasks specific to each user category.

User Interview Question Brief

Regular User
  • Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
  • Can you talk about a recent experience of following a person who has many followers on Knowunity? You can open your following list in the App if you can’t recall anyone or want to explain more details.
  • Overall, what benefits have you received from following this person?
  • Apart from this person, usually, What makes you want to follow someone?
  • What benefits have you received from following others?
Lighthouse Knowers
  • To understand their background:
    • Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
  • To understand content creation motivation:
    • What motivates you to post content on Knowunity?
    • Can you walk me through different ways you promote your content? 
  • To understand their engagement with other users:
    • In what ways do you engage with other regular users in the Knowunity App? 
    • What do you enjoy about interacting with other regular users in the Knowunity App?

Usability Test Scenario & Tasks

Regular User
  • Scenario 1: Imagine you’re studying XXXXX this semester and you want to find a group where you can discuss with others. Please walk me through what you would do?
  • Scenario 2: Imagine you’re studying XXXXX this semester and you want to find some high-quality notes to learn from. Please walk me through what you would do.
  • Scenario 3: Imagine you feel interested in one person and you would like to view his/her profile to learn more about this person. Can you go to his/her profile and walk me through what you’ll do when checking this page?

Rewards for participants: $10 dollars Amazon gift card


We Provide Recommendations Based on Findings Falls Below the 3 Major Topics

Note Discovery

One of the primary motivation for users on Knowunity is notes, yet there exists a gap in Lighthouse Knowers’ notes reaching regular users.

Subject Focus

App engagement is subject focused, rooted on user’s specific class needs, personal needs and interests. (10/10)

Group Chat

There is a disconnect between highly engaged Lighthouse Knowers who use group chats as their primary way of engaging (4/5), and regular users who mainly use it for questions (5/5)


Note Discovery: a Gap Exist in Lighthouse Knowers’ Notes Reaching Regular users

Lighthouse users don’t know how to increase content visibility, but they don’t actively aim to promote it. While regular users don’t find intuitive way to discover notes from lighthouse knowers before and after following them.

Subject Focus: Weak Connection Between Subjects and Creator.

In-app engagement is tied to specific subjects, yet there is little visibility of subject expertise in content creator’s profile.

Group Chat: Lighthouse & Regular Users Have Distinct Purposes for Using Group Chat.

Disparity in the group chat usage patterns: Lighthouse Users predominantly participating in group chats to build connection, whereas regular users show less emphasis on individual connection through this channel.


We Suggest 3 Ways to Grow the Pool of Lighthouse Knowers

Our study targeted user activation for creator following and group chat joining, key criteria for becoming a Lighthouse Knower. Through user testing with 10 participants, we identified three major flow hindrances for both Lighthouse Knowers and regular users. Our team generated 7 recommendations to improve user engagement.

Note Discovery
  • Add “following” & “explore” filter on Search
  • Optimize algorithm of scrolling discovery
Subject Focus
  • Create “subject leader” badge for creators
  • Add subject tag filter to profile’s content
  • Add “Ask” section in subject leader’s profile
Group Chat
  • Add group links to the creator’s folders
  • Make reaction visible in group chat Q&A

The Clients were Impressed

Our clients said it was a really nice presentation, and they are all talking about how they’re going to use the recommendations provided.