Visual Thinking Australia

Visual Thinking Australia

Visual Thinking Australia
Project title

Digital Learning + Drawing Platform

UX InsightsUX StrategyUI


Research analysis
User experience
UI prototypes
Usability testing

TEAMS (of UX designers)

Sionen Adijans

Adele Duan

Peter Edmunds

Kimberley Peters

Ivy Wei


VTA Online

Optimising online learning experience for solving problems and selling ideas with pictures

Visual Thinking Australia is a startup that runs workshops and seminars to teach professionals how to visualise complex ideas by using award-winning author Dan Roam’s toolkits - The Back of the Napkin, for the purpose of improving communication and solving problems in their workplaces.

With the challenges of Covid-19 and limitations of gathering face-to-face, VTA had no choice but to deliver their workshops online. As this was their first time running digital products, they were not confident that they would be able to run workshops that could be as effective and valuable as in-person ones, that traditionally leverage physical tools and face-to-face collaboration. I, as a UX designer, would be working together with my team to design an engaging digital learning platform to help our client Chris Dawson - the founder of VTA deliver online workshops with a similar learning experience to physical ones.




The challenges and goals

How might we create a similar or even better workshop experience for professionals in a digital format, to make their learning experience more engaging and collaborative?

Will a digital interactive product improve students’ visual communication skills more efficiently and effectively than face-to-face workshops?

Competitor analysis

We conducted online research on a range of competitors to see where VTA would fit into the space.


Platforms like Udemy and Skillshare offer users a wide variety of cheap courses for individuals and hobbyists. However, they’re not for educators or large organisations with talking heads. You can go at your own pace, but you can’t interact at all. People tend to get bored, distracted, or tuned out.


YouTube and other free online platforms also provide an amount of information, but it is extremely dense and unstructured. It’s relatively difficult to get a nicely structured course that progresses the student and covers all basics of a topic.


Private online colleges are probably the most similar to the type of training VTA is offering. They combine a mix of videos, required readings and also provide interactive contact with other students and teachers, with certifications that add to an individual’s resume as well as the legitimacy of the course. These courses, however, usually require attendance at set times and are quite expensive.

If VTA can slot nicely into a space where it is still reasonably priced, accessible, and interactive but also offers a proper certification and a good structure, we believe this foundation will provide the most success. So we went on to ask what kind of platform or online tools would be needed in order to provide this?

User analysis

  • Professionals think online workshops must be engaging.
  • Interactivity provides accountability, e.g. 1-to-1 sessions with mentors, post-workshop homework.
  • The learning community needs to be useful and organic - students can connect and communicate with one another outside of workshops.
  • Students desire skills that can be immediately actionable - so the key is brevity and practicality.

Ideation and MVP

We did some brainstorming sessions and wrote down any and every feature that we thought a potential platform could have. We put all the ideas into an MVP framework and then decided that the platform must include:

  • Workshop/training video (can be live or pre-recorded)
  • Drawing capability (because it’s visual thinking)
  • Post to chat function (for communication and collaboration)
  • A booking system for 1-to-1 with mentors
  • A gallery (for students to review work)



Concept design

Learning platform

  • Dual canvas and presenter mode
  • Tooltips to guide users
  • Time boxed activities
  • Preset visual language drawing kit
  • Instant post to gallery and post on timer end
  • Chat API

Book a one-to-one

  • Integrate Calendar API to book a one-on-one call with the course facilitator.
  • Allow users to review at their own pace. The facilitator can preset available slots and seamlessly integrate them with calendar apps.

Prototyping and user testing

Please explore VTA Online for an engaging and collaborative learning experience!

We genuinely welcome your feedback!

⏳ Workshop flow






🗓️ Book a session flow




We used Maze to test the functionalities of the prototype. Users were instructed to click through different tasks: Starting the live stream, Going to the classroom, Adding some drawings, Sharing your work, and Booking a 1-to-1 with Chris.

Of all users, 92.9% completed all the tasks and 76.9% provided positive feedback, which gave us the confidence that students would be able to smoothly experience traditional mediums such as drawing and face-to-face interactions in a digital setting.

Next Steps

Making revisions to the prototype based on user testing in order to improve functionalities.
developing a high fidelity prototype that incorporates the colours and logo of the brand and iterating user testing.
Meeting up with engineers and developers to discuss the viability of the platform functions.
Looking at developing a mobile app for students to access learning anytime anywhere and share the skills with their peers or colleagues.

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