Designing a new subscription business model for Future Learn 

FutureLearn is an online education platform founded in 2012 by The Open University. The platform offers short courses, programs, and university degrees on a wide range of topics.

The challenge

FutureLearn wanted to change the way learners pay for some of its online courses. Instead of one-off payments, learners would pay a recurring monthly fee, and keep regular and unlimited access to the courses. In addition, they would be able to enjoy a 7-day free trial


Understand the pain points of the existing subscription service

During the discovery phase, I worked closely with multiple stakeholders to analyse Unlimited, the existing subscription service provided by FutureLearn. By carrying a customer experience mapping workshop we were able to identify some of the learner's pain points and opportunities for improvement,


Ideating innovative subscription services

After identifying a few opportunities for improvement, we have decided to carry a Mashup ideation workshop. The aim was to bring odd and unexpected things together to spark fresh ideas and help to shape a new business model.

  • How might we provide better ways of paying for courses?
  • How might we bundle courses in a way that benefits learners?
  • How might we persuade learners to pay for our products?
  • How might we establish a long-term relationship with learners?
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Competitor analysis

At the same time, we analysed the competitive landscape across multiple sectors: education, arts & entertainment, media, etc

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The solution: ExpertTracks

A business decision was made, based on user research and market insights, to create an upskilling service for professionals looking to boost their employability. ExpertTracks are carefully curated series of online courses that focus on specific areas of learning.

value propositionvalue proposition

Subscription flow

The user experience was devised taking into consideration 3 different periods:

  • before the subscription.
  • during the subscription.
  • after the subscription. 
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Subscription management

As part of the Purchases team, my main focus was subscription management. This includes functionalities such as: 

  • canceling subscription.
  • adding payment methods.
  • set favourite payments methods.
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Visuals – Subscription Management 

Finally, visuals were created employing FutureLearn’s design system