When a company reaches unexpected levels of financial success quickly, it can be difficult to maintain. Zoom was founded in 2011 by Eric Yuang and in less than a decade reached a valuation of $1billion on their first day of public trading on March 22, 2019. The company quickly rose to be valued at over $130 billion by September 2020.
The Covid-19 pandemic put teleconferencing in high demand, and Zoom beat out their competitors due to their focus on the “ease-of-use” experience for customers. As industries such as education return to face-to-face classes, the demand for teleconferencing services will decline. Team JAC set out to create a design solution for Zoom that would bring resilience to the company in the face of changing markets.
The team conducted a literature review and SWOT analysis to determine opportunities for resilience. The team learned that while Zoom benefits from its technological products and services as well as brand recognition, it suffers from a lack of encryption, data security concerns, and financial instability due to an anticipated reduction in demand from large
Zoom has opportunities to expand its international market, tap into growing video conferencing demand, and build corporate partnerships. It must also not ignore the threats of a fiercely competitive market and third-party platform dependency.
It was determined that the greatest threat to Zoom’s ongoing success was losing affinity accounts from higher education institutions.
The team developed personas based on their research and selected key figures in the higher education affinity account experience.
Designing for Resilience
ZoomEdU taps into the technology and reach of Zoom to provide access to the most comprehensive video subscription available. All titles are peer-reviewed and exclusive to ZoomEdU. Unlike their main competition, Alexander Street, who also curates for the educational experience, ZoomEdU offers a broader range of topics searchable through the ZoomEdU LibGuide and provides free access to end-users with a library account. Downloadable transcripts are also available for every video, therefore searching, quoting, and citing from video content is easy.
This product will appeal to college students looking for academic citations for research projects and professors in need of scholarship. Academic citations will be generated and made available by download. The downloads of citations will be calculated and help professors increase their scholarship for promotion and tenure. University administrators will want their professors on the platform to promote the quality of education at the university, and potential students could sort videos by the university to learn more about their professors before attending the school.
This new service offering positions Zoom as a leader in educational content delivery and builds resilience since “demands for both video and audio resources are up strongly: the 2020 survey found that 52% of students are now looking for video-based content (up from 39% in 2018)” (Worlock, 2020).
Each group was given a strategically designed wrench for their research topic. For ZoomEdU, state governments implement legislation that dictates that state institutions standardize technology and information resources in an attempt to reduce the cost of higher education. Digital technologies such as video conferencing and information systems such as libraries become centralized. Each state determines its own mandated video conferencing platform and all library resources are moved to one location in each state. On-campus books and periodicals are moved to the state’s central location and are mailed to faculty and students when requested. A mass-digitization effort begins. Video and library resources must be digitized and transcripts provided for each source by January 1, 2022.
Based on the wrench, the team developed a new student persona to expand the reach of ZoomEdu.
The Wrench Intervention
With the advent of ZoomEdU, Zoom has established itself as a leader in educational content delivery, with its citable library of academic lectures provided by university professors. The e-learning industry is expected to triple its size between 2020 and 2025, when the market reaches $325 billion (Keegan, 2020). Since ZoomEdU has been providing citable research videos of college lectures, the move to provide college credit plus through a new product that offers asynchronous coursework for high school students who want to earn college credit while in high school but prefer to have the coursework delivered by qualified university professors.
This delivery method matches educational trends. Online learners prefer to receive educational content in small doses or microlearning. “Microlearning is a key recent trend where learners choose small-sized learning modules to interact with educational content. In 2018, microlearning accounted for more than 60.7% of e-learning” (Keegan, 2020). ZoomEdU, by expanding to provide College Credit Plus courses, continues its upward mobility while leveraging the technology in place delivering asynchronous learning beyond geographic limitations.
Students can earn grade merits when maintaining a 90% or higher in a course and can choose to have them visible on their profile. These students are then eligible to tutor other students and use this experience as a resume builder that will download with their transcripts. Students will benefit from synchronous sessions in the student lounge where they can connect with other students and earn COLLABages. This service expansion secures resilience for Zoom as synchronous use decreases.
The Design Process
The team created story boards, journey maps, and customer flow maps to guide the design process and outcomes.
Keegan, L. 79+ Staggering Online Learning Statistics! (All You Need To Know!). Skillscouter.com, May 7, 2020. Taken from: https://skillscouter.com/online-learning-statistics/
Warlock, K. Market Survey: How Permanent Is the Swing to Digital in Higher Education? Outsell Inc.