Anisha Varghese
UX designer
Made with

Solving retention

Creating a framework to increase user engagement
within a system with three independent stakeholders
as a possible tool to solve for retention.

Timeline: 04/2018 - 06/2018

Team: Product Manager, Full-stack Developer, Product Designer

My role: Research, user flow mapping, wireframing, visual design, prototyping, supervising the user interaction dev and testing

About the Product

Cuemath is an after-school math learning program for students from K-8, designed with the aim of changing the way math is taught to children across India. It's a self-paced and personalized learning methodology delivered using an offline one-on-one setup facilitated by trained teachers as well as online engagements in the form of assessments on tablet and browser exercise. 

There are three digital products one each for the parent, teacher an student to interface with the program and access relevant information. 

The Problem

  • Even though the primary consumer is the student the decision of renewal which impacts retention is primarily taken by the parent.
  • Parents rely on school results to judge impact which is a false indicator at an early stage of engagement with our program.

  • The parent facing app only provides with information about progress in current grade curriculum.
  • Very few parents interact with the teacher for updates or show interest.
  • Very few parents understand the achievements/growth of their child on a regular basis to see the impact of the product.

"How to make parents feel that Cuemath is making a huge difference?"

Solving retention

We came to a hypothesis that if we showcase the student's unique achievements to the parent we would be able to tap into their motivation and increase engagement.


We tested this hypothesis by sending out rich notifications to the parents of unique or first-time achievements of the student. 

Result: Within a week there was a 10% increase in views and clicks on push notifications.

Solving retention

The Solution

To create more opportunities for parents to acknowledge student progress and growth.

For elevating parent engagement from consuming content to "participants" we devised a communication channel between parents and their child to emulate one-on-one talks.  

This decision was backed by research that showed that it is very crucial for tapping into a child's intrinsic motivation as well as enhancing parents awareness and interest in the child's progress with the product.

Existing parent app (below)

Existing parent app (below)

Solving retention

Pilot Phase 

We triggered event based push notifications to parents on high impact achievements by the students with:

  • Unique achievement 
  • CTA for feedback from parent
  • Score in that topic
  • Learning objectives of that topic

Design Decisions:

  • We wanted to land the user on a dedicated page with a single CTA.
  • This would reduce distraction as well as help us understand the reasons for drop and improve the flow.
  • The information had to be snackable.
  • For the parent app, the existing design language of the app was adopted, which was minimal, clean and crisp.
  • The kid's app adopted the existing gamified, illustrative visual language.
  • The design could accommodate the inclusion and removal of information hence inclusive of immediate iterations.

Student App Grade 5 notification experience showcasing the parent acknowledgement

Student App Grade 5 notification experience showcasing the parent acknowledgement

Future Iteration

  • We had identified events to acknowledge a teacher's contributions and wanted to introduce an acknowledgment channel between a parent and teacher.
  • Introduction of a section for activities that can be done at home with the child to validate the said achievement in the "read more" section.
  • Share the child's achievement on Facebook.
  • Allow parents to set goals for the kids to achieve. 
  • Reveal points of concern to the parents with the actionable points to aid improvement.

My Learnings

  • When designing for aiding human interactions especially with children it is very important to research a lot on the nuances of behavioral sciences. I learned important insights, such as:
    • Encouragement works better and is healthier than rewards.
  • Validate achievements to parents with objective examples(learning objectives, practical application activities, etc.) rather than showcasing scores and grades. 
  • Test feature hypothesis by breaking them into small chunks to identify factors of impact.