In 2022, I took a position as a Director of Studies/Lead Researcher at ExtraMile International Education > an online educational start-up that provides e-learning to students in China and the U.S.

LOGO: I was tasked with designing a logo for the company. AFter interviewing the company’s CEO and its stakeholders in China, we decided on the colors, shape and final product. This is the result:

USER PERSONA: I created 3 distinct user personas that would represent all stakeholders types, that is the company’s leadership team, parents of the students in China and the students themselves.

Site Map & Card sorting: Based on the CEO’s requirements, I created a basic site map and gave its elements to the users to card sort. 9 users (3 from each persona) took part in the card sorting test.

Final Product/Solution: 

  • Make sure your personas represent ALL possible stakeholders.
  • When creating a website for SaaS, think about business needs first.
  • Functionality and ease of use will always beat cost.


  • We have reached over 500 users within 12 months, which exceeded the original plan. 
  • The website helped hire 7 teachers as it served as point of contact. 
  • The website worked smoothly in both U.S. and China and users were satisfied with its functionality. (I conducted moderated online focus groups to elicit this data)
Karolina Achirri, Ph.D.