Fox Tutors was specifically created to connect tutors with students. It offers a fantastic portal that students and parents can use to find the right tutor for their needs.
A2 designed and built this web-based application from the ground up. It contains a range of different features including marketing tools, a private message application, fraud detection functionality, paid subscription billing, rating system, and geographic search.
Initially, the client had a very clear idea of what they wanted to achieve. CityLunchClub was to become a subscription-based lunch delivery service targeted at those who lived and/or worked in Manhattan.
CityLunchClub’s policy aimed to offer new food options every day, and A2 Design faced the challenge of making this possible. The site needed to incorporate the functionality to offer delivery five days a week, on business days only and, as such, there was a requirement for at least 20 restaurants to be active at any given point. We created the socalled “Restaurant Randomizer” that automatically allocated the restaurant to different customers on a daily basis.
The Restaurant Randomizer system incorporated two more functions: it ensured the registered restaurants received an equal amount of orders every day (to ensure the participating restaurants enjoyed consistent business), and it also incorporated intelligent clustering of customers per restaurant based on their address. This helped to ensure that deliveries were efficient.
With this approach, all phases are implemented sequentially:
The traditional approach has both its advantages and disadvantages. One of the best things about this approach is that it allows you to plan everything in advance and provides a mechanism by which you can predict the results. However, proper planning takes time; as such, the momentum for the launch can be lost and your competitors may beat you to it. A few years ago, when competition wasn’t particularly aggressive, the waterfall approach was a very good solution. Nowadays, there are some more progressive methodologies that can be employed. One of these is the Agile approach.
We believe in the importance of using people who have specialised skill sets. That’s why we created a dedicated team for the project that consisted of the following roles:
The system has two groups of users: tutors and students. Each user type has different rights, permissions and dashboards.
Tutor’s have their own profile that they can edit. Full CRUD functionality has been implemented. The tutor’s profile is only visible for search purposes once it has been completed in full.
The data the tutor is required to provide correlates with the extensive search/ filtering system.
Students and tutors can exchange personal messages using a system that resembles those in use on many other social networks.
However, users can’t provide their contact information during these communications because to do so would be against the platform’s rules. A integrated fraud protection system has been incorporated into the private messaging system to prevent users from exchanging contact information.
The system incorporates an easy to use and navigable dashboard that allows tutors to get to where they need to be in just a few clicks.
The dashboard also displays any important information the tutor needs to be aware of.
Students are able to write reviews on the tutors they have contacted and worked with.
The tutor’s rank and their position in the search results is determined by many factors, such as students reviews (positive or negative), points earned (for different activities, such as the amount of questions answered, phone numbers released by students, backlinks submitted, promptness in replying to an email, etc).
Fox Tutors caters to the needs of various tutors, from those who wish to work on a regular basis through to those who are looking for one-time opportunities. As such, the system incorporates both recurring and onetime payment functionality.
Tutors are free to use specially built marketing tools to create fancy looking flyers that they can download in PDF format, print out and use to market their services offline.
The web application was based on HTML5based responsive device to work on regular desktop browsers like Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Safari, and Google Chrome. Special tweaks were made in the app to make it compatible with the iPhone and iPad.
Tutors can use built-in free marketing tools to get more students online by embedding specially created cute button widgets into their website; or offline, by designing posters, saving them in PDF format and printing out flyers and classified ads.
Tutors can be searched by location. Search results will be ordered in terms of the tutor’s proximity to the student.
Fox Tutors, unlike other studenttutoring platforms, doesn’t take commission from the tutor’s earnings. The monetization of the platform is achieved through contact exchange. That’s why it was very important to protect the owner from unauthorized usage and, to achieve this, we developed a comprehensive fraud protection system that prevents users from exchanging contact information.
In order to make the platform successful and to drive attention to it, the marketing team developed many interesting referral programs, which A2 Design implemented.
One program involved increasing backlinks. By posting backlinks to his or her Fox Tutor profile on different websites, the tutor earns points that increase his or her final rankings in the search results.
This is a perfect example of symbiosis: by promoting themselves, users promote the website.
Through filtering search results, users can separate the wheat from the chaff and find exactly what they’re looking for without the need to review large numbers of tutor profiles.
To make the website intuitive and enjoyable, we integrated popular gamification elements and created an electronic currency called “Credits.” When a tutor purchases the subscription or tops up his account, he gets a number of “credits” that he can spend. Tutors can also earn credits by participating in referral programs, promoting the platform via backlinks, receiving positive feedback and by using the system on a regular basis.
Modern web applications operate on the assumption that users will be willing to register without trying the platform first and sampling it for themselves.
Fox Tutors, encourages students to use the platform before purchasing so that they can see how powerful it is for themselves. If they find what they’re looking for and, thereafter, provide their email, they are automatically registered on the platform.
From the very onset of the project, a key goal of the project was to include as many subjects as possible in order to capture a large target market.