BrighterU Peer Tutoring

UX Research + UI Design

Providing a digital solution for UofT students to connect students as tutors and tutees and achieve academic success with quality and personalized peer tutoring


University of Toronto is famous for its challenging and rigorous academics, however, the academic support is very limited. It is hard for students for get adequate and quality help on campus.

Client: University of Toronto Innovation Hub

Sector: Education

Skills: Users interview, storytelling, empathy mapping, personas, wireframing, storyboarding, prototyping, usability testing


To understand the scope of the available tutoring services at UofT, we collected 30 survey responses and conducted interviews with 5 users. 


"I am willing to use peer tutoring if available on campus."


"I am willing to pay for affordable and quality tutoring service."


It is difficult to arrange a tutoring session at UofT.


"I always find in-person tutoring more helpful than online tutoring."


It is nearly impossible to contact the tutor before the tutoring session.


Students are mostly concerned about quality and cost when hiring a tutor.


Based on our research, we came up with Jessica, an international student who studies Sociology at UofT, did poorly in midterm exam, and now is struggling with her ECO 209 as the final is coming up. 

We created an empathy map to depict how she feels, thinks, says, and does, which helps us in the later process of ideation.

UX design empathy mapping


We came up with over 20 ideas including 6 absurd ideas. We grouped them into 6 different categories, and voted to determine which idea we should continue to proceed. Clearly the winning solution for Jessica is the one on one private tutoring.

UX design big ideas

Big ideas

Prioritization grid (yellow means impact and green means feasibility)


Looking back at our research and findings as well as the to-be scenario, we include the important features that users like but current UofT tutoring doesn't equip on our low-fi digital solution:

  • In-app chat function

  • UTORid log in option

  • Filter to personalize the finding

  • Ability to see tutor's schedule and classes he/she has taken

a. Low-fidelity wireframes


b. Iterations after usability testing on low-fi


Redesign the schedule feature to show availability of entire week


Add more payment methods


Add a page for downloading tutorial materials

c. Mid-fidelity prototypes

UX design mid-fi prototype peer tutoring app login
UX design mid-fi prototype peer tutoring app

Secure login leads you to your own global dashboard

UX design mid-fi prototype peer tutoring inbox
UX design mid-fi prototype peer tutoring files

Easy access to tutors, resources and assignments

BrighterU Logo.png

The one stop shop for all your academic needs. An app that finds quality and affordable peer tutors for students in all disciplines.

UX design mid-fi prototype peer tutoring filter


Allowing users to find the tutor based on their preference.

UX design mid-fi prototype peer tutoring result


Users can save the tutors they like by clicking the heart icon.

1. Finding

UX design mid-fi prototype peer tutoring messaging
UX design mid-fi prototype peer tutoring detail

View whole week availability

Instant messaging

2. Choosing

Users can contact the tutor prior to the booking, asking questions, make special arrangements, etc.

UX design mid-fi prototype peer tutoring booking

3. Making payment

UX design mid-fi prototype peer tutoring payment

Choose the time that works for you

Alternate payment methods

Users can make the payment the way they like. Safe and flexible.

UX design mid-fi prototype peer tutoring confirmation
UX design mid-fi prototype peer tutoring payment

Secure payment with TCard


Modify the booking and view tutorial materials in one place.



We further evaluate our mid-fi prototype with a total of three users. Things they like about:

  1. the easy login with UTORid, which synchronizes their classes and upcoming exam date

  2. the filter feature

  3. the verified tutor status

  4. the in-app chat function

However, there are still a few comments that will help us iterate the design:


Add the feature of "Become a Tutor"


Create a Forum for students to share experiences and ask questions 24/7 


Change the filter icon for better clarity

For the next steps, we will iterate the prototype and conduct another usability testing.