The Online Academy

A collaborative online education platform for students to learn how to make iPhone games.

The idea was to create an online framework that mirrored the company's in-person learning experience. I worked with one developer and we had only 4 weeks!


The Product was basically a refactored way to consume the content that we already provided for free online, but with one main feature: we split up students into groups and gave them a chat room.

UX and Features

Students would typically have the tutorials open next to Xcode, so I built the UI to work well in a narrow browser window.

Members of each group ("Pod") could see each other's progress, and they could group chat. You might be thinking, why not use Slack? There was no Slack at this time.

Responsive Chat

Out of 302 paying students, 71 (~24%) completed all of the tutorials and 18 (6%) pushed a game to the Game Showcase page. The average completion rates of online courses industry-wide was and probably still is hovering around 10%.


I think the chat room did make students feel like they were part of a community. Many student's questions were answered and conversations were had. I think we were on the right track by splitting the students up into groups, but we fell short on mentorship/guidance. Students reported that they wanted more structure, perhaps a weekly Pod meeting with a Make School instructor.