Online Education

Designing a B2C Model

Reading Time: 7 minutes

The context

The challenge was to design a business model to effectively reach the end customer (B2C), achieving rapid growth in the adoption of a new digital product. In this case we were talking about a company already established in the traditional education business (face-to-face), which wanted to launch a new online product to adapt its business to the newest web technologies and compete in this niche. This product needed to position itself among the best existing online education options.

The main aim in terms of CRO was its adoption by districts and educational centers (US and Canada) of elementary and secondary education (K-4 to K-12) as well as the acquisition by individual teachers (grassroots).

The method we wanted to test in a first iteration was “try & buy”, i.e, providing a free functional demo (MVP) to later build customer engage through payment and/or direct/indirect subscription (buying licenses by themselves or through an administrator of their district or school).


  • Three Product Managers
  • Five UX/UI Designers
  • One UX Researcher
  • Eight devs (Frontend, backend, iOS, Android…)
  • One UX/UI Leader

The UX team was in charge of different tasks such as: benchmarking, research, user journeys, experience mapping, wireflows, information architecture, UX writing, prototyping, final design, testing…
Although I collaborated in almost all areas along with the team, I focused mainly on the following tasks:

Approaching the problem


First of all I conducted a detailed benchmarking of direct competitors, as well as some businesses whose B2C model could guide and inspire us.


Market research on this company revealed that its main online education product was among the top three strongest in the North American and Canadian market. The product’s website clearly highlighted the benefits for different types of target users. In addition, its usability was quite good. Its B2C model was simple and intuitive, with few pain points in the subscription process. Undoubtedly, it was a serious competitor.


This was another of our product’s major competitors. They also opted, as seen in the graph below, for a very direct access to their free demo via subscription.


Totally focused on its three main types of users (students, teachers and families). In this case, to attract new users, they used an explanatory video. A new tab opened in YouTube, which after several research studies, revealed a potential loss of engagement.


Its end user lied in schools. Its approach, both commercial and visual, was clearly aimed at younger students than the previous cases (K-2). However, its potential customers were also teachers, schools and districts. The business model followed the strategy finally chosen by us of offering a free demo (try and buy).


The educational niche is different from the cases studied above. However, this company was studied mainly to gain insights from its B2C model, since it is a highly successful business that also goes beyond the borders of the United States and Canada. It was clear once again that their Customer Journey was totally focused on a B2C model and the processes were extremely simple, visual and usable.


Although it was not an educational product, its B2C model was studied because it was a very powerful company that lead its market niche. This is an example that focuses more on obtaining new leads.

B2C strategy (solution)

Flows and Use Cases

Below are some of the user flows and use cases that I designed to accomplish the B2C business strategy:


This flow shows the different ways of accessing the product, both to its marketing page and to the trial or subscription version. Access is straightforward and loyalty processes have been simplified as much as possible to avoid losing potential customers.

These use cases focus on the adoption of free subscribers who will then potentially become premium users.

Use Case: Free tier for teachers
  • Selects that she is buying for yourself
  • Selects “I am a teacher”
  • Navigates through the subscriptions (pricing and feature options)
  • Select “free tier”
  • Provides email address (Google / Microsoft)
  • Receives email confirming free tier subscription and benefits around upgrading to paid tier
  • Within a few days of inactivity reminder email is sent
  • Website: Receives “onboarding” messages around new product features
  • Checks content repository
Use Case: Teacher buys license for the first time
  • Teacher enters the marketing page of the product
  • Selects that she is buying for herself
  • Selects “I am a teacher”
  • Teacher goes to the product’s pre-registration page
  • Navigates through the subscriptions (pricing and feature options)
  • Selects subscription
  • Creates an account and logs in
  • Receives an email to verify user data
  • Confirms purchase
  • Accepts billing frequency
  • Enters payment method
  • Confirms, pays and receives confirmation on screen
  • Receive email with payment confirmation
  • Enters the product website

Below is the flow with the steps to upgrade the subscription type, change payment methods or cancel the subscription if necessary. Again, the steps have been shortened as much as possible and the interaction, from a human-centered design point of view, always involves corresponding feedback in response to each interaction.

Again, some use cases to define the actions related to editing a teacher’s subscription:

Use Case: Teacher downgrading her personal account
  • She goes to the B2C portal site and logs in
  • Selects “Change” subscription
  • The teacher navigates through the subscription levels
  • Selects a lower tier
  • Selects the subscription duration
  • Confirms subscription details
  • Receives an email confirmation of the subscription downgrade
Use Case: Teacher updating (upgrading) her personal account
  • Teacher goes to the B2C portal site and logs in
  • Selects “Change” subscription
  • Navigates through the subscription tiers
  • Selects a higher tier
  • Selects the billing frequency of the subscription
  • Confirms the subscription details and pays the difference
  • Receives an email confirmation around her subscription
  • Receive payment confirmation
Use Case: Teacher canceling subscription
  • The teacher goes to the B2C portal site and logs in
  • Edits the subscription to cancel it
  • Sees a message around required refund or penalty
  • Confirms the changes
  • Receives notification around changes

As seen in the next user flow, administrators have full control to manage the subscriptions and users that depend on them. The biggest challenge, as seen below in the wireframes, is to accomplish all these tasks through a simple, unified way that works properly across any type of device.

These are some of the use cases designed to accomplish tasks related to the management of paid subscriptions by an administrator:

Use Case: Administrator increases the number of licenses for his users
  • The administrator logs in
  • Goes to the administrator account portal view
  • Selects the organization on which he wants to increase the number of licenses
  • Increases the number of licenses
  • Receives a message around price and amount change
  • Confirms the changes
  • Receives an email confirming the subscription change
  • Receives payment receipt
Use Case: Administrator decreases the number of licenses for his users
  • The administrator logs in
  • Goes to the administrator’s account portal view
  • Selects the organization on which he wants to decrease the number of licenses
  • Decreases the number of licenses
  • Gets a message around the plan price change
  • Confirms the changes
  • Receives email confirmation of the subscription change
Use Case: Administrator can view invoices
  • The administrator logs in
  • Goes to his home page
  • Selects the organization for which he wants to view the invoices
  • Selects “Invoices”
  • Reviews the invoices
  • Downloads invoices

In this flow, the number of options at the first level is kept small to facilitate usability and prevent the cognitive effort from increasing.

The administrator role is crucial in the implementation of our B2C (and also B2B) model. We want to make the management tasks they will have to perform as straightforward as possible. Let’s highlight the following Use Case:

Use Case: Moving users from one subscription tier to another
  • Administrator logs in
  • Goes to the portal view of the administrator’s account
  • Selects Org
  • Selects the desired subscription
  • Views the list of enabled users within a subscription
  • Selects the users to be “Moved” to a different subscription
  • Confirms “Move” selection
  • Sees the subscription tier with the newly added users

This section shows some of the wireframes designed. The previous user flows and use cases were taken into account, as well as other UX artifacts such as user stories, user scenarios, personas, etc. All this was developed under our customized Design Thinking model.


From the analysis and validation of the data collected and always from a human-centered point of view (HCD), I designed the wireframes for the different user journeys. In the examples below, for the sake of simplicity, only the teacher’s point of view is shown. The following graphic shows the path a teacher will take to access the new product.


For this first iteration I am showing the process that a teacher would go through to purchase the product for herself (without the need for an administrator or vendor to participate). The process is simple and straightforward. A payment experience similar to that provided in tools such as Stripe is proposed.


The following graphic contains the wireframes of a teacher editing her subscription without the need for intermediaries. As you can see, the essential needs for an MVP product of these characteristics are covered: renewal, payment methods, upgrades or invoices. A good implementation on the Front and Backend side will be crucial for the data and statuses displayed to make the system status perfectly clear.


I can say that the project far exceeded all the main KPIs that the company set. For privacy reasons I cannot publish this data.

Thanks for reading!

© 2023 Oscar Manzano