Cengage SAM Platform Usability Study

Cengage SAM Platform Usability Study2020-03-15T12:44:57+00:00

Project Description

How usable is the newly redesigned SAM Platform?

Design, Test, Iterate, Repeat!


Like many large companies, Cengage was looking to conduct some user research for one of their products (SAM) but didn’t have the bandwidth internally.

They wanted to test a prototype of their newly designed SAM platform with real students and make quick iterations based on the tests until they felt students were able to easily use the platform and perform all of the most common tasks a student would be asked to perform during a typical class.

  • Design usability test and questions
  • Source users
  • Conduct moderated usability tests

  • Make iterative design changes

  • Make conclusive design change recommendation


We were able to source 10 total students 4 different categories. 3 of the categories were users who have already used the existing SAM platform and one category of users who have never used the platform before. Each test was approximately 30 minutes. We made design iterations along the way (3 in total), and were able to demonsterably increase the usability of platform as well as have a clear understanding of what needed to be improved before going live with this new version of SAM.

Usability Testing
User Interviews
UX Design


One of the best feelings when doing UX Design is to make clear progress and demonstrably improve the usability of an application. We were able to do that in this situation as well as create a clear roadmap for future improvements. This is certainly not the result of all usability studies, but when we are able to do this, there is clear value to both the end-users and our clients.

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