PROJECT TYPE
UX Case Study
TOOLS
Figma, Miro, Zoom
CLIENT WEBSITE
ROLE
UX Design Researcher, Study Administrator, Client Liaison
TEAMMATES
Jason Chung, Helen Nguyen, David Mai, Chantal Huang
Unity Learn
Unity Learn is the official learning platform for the Unity software engine. They offer a variety of free, long-term courses called Pathways (up to 12+ weeks long), which encompasses projects, tutorials, quizzes, and more. Users can also access more specialized tutorials and mini-courses, track their progress, and attend live-learning sessions. We approached this client through my personal connection to Unity, and my previous experience completing a course through the Unity Learn platform.
Client Goals
The client defined their main goal to be long-term engagement through one of the many Pathways programs, where they would gain expertise in a variety of topics. To complement this, users should also be able to a) easily find what they are looking for (courses, tutorials, live-learning) while b) tracking their progress, and c) discover a new topic to learn.
Value Proposition
The ultimate value proposition is to help users develop employable Unity skills with a broad understanding of what Unity has to offer, and the means to develop specialized skills as needed. The platform should feel welcoming to both novice and experienced users, as their first stop to finding all Unity tutorials.
Study Goals
Based on the goals and value proposition from our client, we developed three main study goals:
SITE NAVIGATION
As the call-to-action (CTA) for user engagement is to navigate to and engage in a Pathway, we want to understand users’ perspective of the existing site navigation and how they use information on the site to navigate through the various learning offerings.
SELF-LEARNING PROCESS
With a large emphasis on users’ professional development, we want to explore how users evaluate their degree of skill development through Unity Learn and how they would utilize the progress tracking features available.
FRIENDLINESS TO BOTH NOVICE/EXPERIENCED USERS
Lastly, as Pathways cater to both novice and returning/experienced users of Unity, we want to explore their respective needs, and how they interact with the platform at different states of their learning journey.
Study Plan
Based on the identified study goals, we crafted a study that would span approximately 3 weeks for user testing, analysis, and recommendations to Unity.
Participants
We evaluated 3 potential study groups based on the client’s identified target markets:
- Senior students or early-career professionals with basic knowledge of Unity
- Intermediate users looking to develop a specific, specialized understanding of Unity
- Young professionals looking to leverage Unity to build a career
We ultimately selected the senior students/early-career professionals for our study, as the group would allow for overlap into the other categories in terms of insights.
Methodology
Each session would be completed in three parts, with one participant and at least one test administrator over an hour-long Zoom video call.
PRE-TEST
We discussed and recorded the participant’s experience level with Unity, how they use Unity, their demographic, and other background questions to understand how they could affect results.
THINK-ALOUD USABILITY TEST
Participants were told to think-aloud while completing tasks on various Unity Learn webpages, including onboarding and Pathways offerings. We heavily focused on qualitative feedback on the web experience.
POST-TEST
We encouraged participants’ to evaluate their overall experience on the site navigation and learning experience through a series of questions, while drawing comparisons between Unity Learn and other learning platforms.
Pilot Study
Our initial pilot study showed that our study took a lot longer than expected, which could contribute to fatigue and disinterest from the participants. Thus, we removed some tasks and questions such as our post-test Likert Scale questionnaire, which provided information less relevant to our study goals.
Limitations
Due to the limited length of our study period, long-term effects are harder to study. They are also unable to complete a wide variety of courses during the limited session time. Thus, the scope of our study focused primarily on site navigation, content organization, and general information across the platform.
Test Procedure
The tasks performed during the Think-Aloud session were accessed after the user logged into a test account (no personal data recorded). The tasks were split into four categories, in order:
PATHWAYS
The user was instructed to navigate to the Pathways overview page, select a Pathway and complete two tutorials from the course. They were asked questions throughout the process, such as their first impressions, how they interpreted their course options, and how they felt about Pathways’ content offerings.
BROWSE
Using the browsing feature, the user was told to find a topic they were interested in, and use filters to find a specific tutorial they were interested in, while explaining their thought process.
PERSONAL HOMEPAGE
Navigating to the homepage (logged-in), the user was asked to explain their thoughts on the features available on the homepage. They were then told to navigate to the My Learning page, and do the same. They were then asked about what differences there were between the two pages, and what page they would use while looking for specific information.
LIVE CONTENT
Lastly, the user was told to navigate to the Live portion of the site, where they could find live lesson offerings. They were asked to think-aloud about the information provided, and the ease of the sign-up process.
Analysis
We analyzed our findings with an affinity diagram created in Miro, which detailed each of the answers or experiences each participant had on the website into sticky notes. Based on this data, we organized the affinity diagram into two main categories: platform features (content, information, offerings) and interface design (site navigation, content organization). With the significant data collected, they were further split into subcategories: features, language, excessive/missing information, site navigation, content organization, etc.
Results
Content
FEATURES
Participants provided positive feedback on the comprehensive Pathways programs, which were organized in a hierarchical fashion with projects, missions, steps and simple navigation. They also liked being able to track their personal development progress, and the gamification of earning XP (experience points) for completing lessons.
LANGUAGE/CONTENT
Unity-specific language made navigation a bit more difficult for novice users, as essential terms to the platform regarding the gamified features, expertise level, and other industry jargon left the user to interpret their meanings themselves. This was especially evident where participants were using complex filters to look for courses under the ‘Browse’ area, as well as trying to understand the XP system. There is also media content throughout the site that is not directly relevant to the content it is coupled with.
Interface Design
SITE NAVIGATION
We found that the site architecture on the homepage and My Learning pages were confusing for users, as they have overlapping content and features. For some pages, there were mismatched expectations when users interacted with buttons and menus. For example, some buttons lead the user to believe they would find more information on a specific feature, but instead lead to a generic web page on finding new tutorials.
CONTENT ORGANIZATION
Participants found a hierarchical problem on the homepage where information blocks were organized in an unnatural way, where user-catered recommendations were mixed with non-catered sections (Feature banners, newest tutorials), which was a stark contrast to the content on the page for their personal learning progress. On the browse page, users found that if they were to use too many filters and result in no results, they were unable to easily reset/remove all filters. In the Live Learning section, there was a consensus amongst participants that there were too many live offerings with similar visual designs and language that made it hard to differentiate whether they were different lessons of a series or multiple sessions for the same lesson.
Recommendations
FEATURES & CONTENT
Unity Learn's content utilizes industry and platform-specific lingo, which can be daunting to newer users. They can be provided with additional help through easier language and/or contextual support. The use of pop-ups, tooltips, and reminder descriptions throughout the platform can allow users to gain a better understanding of the language used, and feel more inclined to stay on the platform.
SITE NAVIGATION & ORGANIZATION
With the confusion in overlapping or similarly styled features between the personal homepage and My Learning pages, we propose a reorganization of information architecture for the two pages. In our new site architecture, we recommend keeping less catered offerings strictly on the homepage, with minimal personal progress statistics at the top of the page with a large call-to-action to visit the learning dashboard, while focusing on new featured courses, popular offerings, then recommendations/followed categories. The My Learning page is changed to focus solely on progress and understanding the skills users have developed, alongside tooltip definitions that help the user navigate what each part of their personal progress tracker means.​​​​​​​ Other recommendations given to our client include organizing the Browse/Search Results pages' filters to be more intuitive and allowing for a 'reset all filters' option, and creating more visual hierarchy in the Live Learning page to separate sessions and series-based courses into easily-identifiable groups.
Closing Thoughts

While we had a few hiccups along the way, having changed clients late into the process, then rushing to find suitable candidates, and also working against time due to an upcoming revamp to the website that was set to be released a few weeks after our case study, it was an amazing experience working with Unity. Having worked closely in the past with some members of the Unity Learn team, working with them was a breeze, and they were very supportive and transparent throughout the process. They helped us understand the process in which their platform undergoes changes and updates, how lesson materials are gathered, and how their team adapts to feedback. As I am keeping in touch with the team, I was also told that many of our study outcomes were taken into consideration and changed in recent iterations of their platform! It feels super fulfilling and I am so glad I had the chance to work on this project with my wonderful teammates and Unity.

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