Skilljar’s monthly Coffee Chats, hosted by Skilljar’s Customer Training Designer, Cutler Bleecker, showcase different ways customers are using our platform, including demos with special guests. This month’s Customer Education Coffee Chat featured a conversation with Greg Mead, Sr. Instructional Designer, and Robin Wisner, LMS Administrator, for ClickUp. ClickUp is a productivity tool that helps people better manage their work. Greg and Robin shared how they built ClickUp University and how they use their own product to help keep their work organized and consistent, and save time.
Why Build ClickUp University?
Like many growing software companies, the need for a better way to onboard new users and help scale ClickUp customer learning soon became apparent. ClickUp founders knew they needed a way for the large number of users that were coming to the product through advertising to use self-paced training to learn about the product. They had a lot of requests for a guided onboarding curriculum, both internally and from external clients.
They also wanted to:
- Reduce the number of support tickets and issues that people were having with the system
- Increase product adoption across all types of plans and features
- Reduce the churn rate and create a sticky platform with lots of engagement
When Greg came on as the first member of the Customer Enablement team, he had four months to build a university from scratch. Initially, the company wanted to launch the training platform with five videos, created by their internal creative team, but Greg felt that wasn’t enough. He knew they needed to do more to get up to speed, scale, and make updates in the future. Like many Skilljar customers, they used a crawl, walk, run approach to launching their LMS.
Crawl: Get Your Tools Together
Greg recommended Skilljar as the LMS to build ClickUp University. To get the job done, they used a number of content authoring and other tools that integrate with Skilljar, including:
- Rise (from Articulate 360)
- Storyline (from Articulate 360)
- Camtasia (from TechSmith)
- Credly (for a digital badging program)
- Stripe (for payments, pending)
They started with five foundational courses and three pathways for members, guests, and admins. However, this setup didn’t allow users the flexibility to grab courses on the go for just-in-time learning.
Robin came on board at the end of January 2022. When she started, she noticed that the completion rate of courses was 30% and they wanted to increase this to 50% or higher. She also noticed they had a high active user rate, about 5,000 or more every month, so there was a consistent flow of new users coming into the product.
“We needed Skilljar because of the customizability, how beautiful it looks, and how easy it is to house, view, and update all of your content.”
–Greg Mead, Sr. Instructional Designer, ClickUp
Robin decided they needed to document the process from ideation to delivery, including a certification program, and have a system for organizing everything she needed to get courses into Skilljar in a way that was systematized and long-lasting. She also split up the current courses into more bite-size, consumable chunks and set up a course library so that their learners could see everything that was available in an “All Courses” catalog page. Doing this gave learners the freedom to pick and choose courses as needed.
Another thing Robin identified was the need for a better filtering system so users could search for the material they needed. They created a taxonomy for keywords and filter tags for their course library, and used an HTML CSS developer to customize every page of ClickUp University.
Walk: Optimize Homepage for New Users Looking for Onboarding
ClickUp University launched in November of 2021. Since that time, the team has taken steps to improve the new user experience, including:
- Revamping the homepage
- Eliminating pathways as entry points (since most of their users were new and there for onboarding)
- Displaying beginner courses prominently so users could easily find them
- Splitting longer courses up into smaller ones
- Categorizing courses by difficulty, moving from a role-based to level-based approach with beginner, advanced, and admin levels, along with a pro-level featuring use cases coming soon
- Creating an “All Courses” page to display their full content library where users can use filter tags to search among all of their offerings, by role, level, product feature, or topic
- Developing a standardized workflow process
“We love Skilljar because you can classify courses by how you tag them; the logic and the filtering is incredible.” –Greg Mead, Sr. Instructional Designer, ClickUp
Run: From Ideation to Implementation
Naturally, ClickUp used their own tool to organize the workflow for building ClickUp University.
In ClickUp parlance, they use three “Lists” (projects) for the content development workflow: a backlog List, a development List, and a management List. Each course is a “task” and each lesson is a “sub-task” with different statuses, depending on the type of content and tool used to create. They’ve created custom statuses to represent the content development stages and they’ve even built-in automation workflows that trigger behind the scenes to streamline both the review and final uploading processes for Skilljar.
They also use their own collaboration tool called ClickUp Docs to record standard operating procedures and define steps for people to go through when working together with other teams. Lastly, they use their “backlog” List to house all the course ideas people come up with for future consideration. Eventually, when an idea is chosen, it moves into the development List and the creation process begins.
In just seven months since launching ClickUp University, Greg’s Customer Education team has increased to 16 people with plans to address multiple modalities of learning such as self-paced eLearning, technical documentation, one-to-many virtual Instructor-Led Training workshops, and one-to-one custom paid live training. Greg’s Instructional Design team has developed over 25 courses using this system.
Going forward, ClickUp plans to add paid live training with a Stripe integration to handle payments, launch a digital badging program, and add more use case courses and some “click tips,” which are mini/micro learning courses.
“Click Tips” for Getting the Most of Your Time:
Having set their program up in only a matter of months, Greg and Robin had some heady tips to share with fellow coffee chat attendees:
- Get your CEO to buy into the value of customer education
- Use a crawl, walk, run approach (Skilljar recommends this to all customers as well, when creating a learning management platform for the first time.)
- Having a CSS developer in-house is very helpful for customizing and branding an LMS website with your content
- Use subject matter experts on different features to help draft content about the product based on their areas of specialization
- Have regular meetings with colleagues across teams including enablement, technical writing, product operations, engineering, and product marketing to discuss product release updates, as it’s important to update content to reflect product updates
- Use an intake form for internal team members to record errors or things that need to be changed in the courses
- Track how long it takes to develop courses–from ideation to production–and use this data to make hiring decisions. Once you estimate how many courses you need over a certain amount of time, it can help you understand what headcount will be required to make it happen.
- In addition to filters and course detail pages, use course tiles to help users understand more about each course, including how long it will take and what level it’s for.
Skilljar customers often learn a lot from seeing other people’s programs and hearing what their goals and objectives are–and then use that information to reflect on and improve their own programs. Find out how it works and join our next coffee chat or share these recaps with your teams!
If you are a Skilljar customer and would like to share what you’re working on in one of our monthly coffee chats, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.