When Typsy was first formed (originally called Upside) they were focused on helping hospitality businesses with their finances. Over time they built relationships with hospitality businesses and learnt that training their staff was a much more challenging problem for them.

Their idea was to pivot and to create a platform like Skillshare targeted to the specific needs of those in hospitality.

Hospitality is mobile!

Typsy has a rich background in the hospitality industry, but when faced with building a world leading learning management platform, there were a number of outstanding assumptions and areas of uncertainty. To help fill these gaps we conducted customer interviews. It was these interviews that delivered our biggest foundational learning – Hospitality is mobile! By nature, people in hospitality are always on their feet. Our research showed that 90% of our target users would use the platform on their mobiles during breaks.

Handling novices through to experts

The unique challenge for the design of Typsy was how to balance a structure for motivated individuals taking on learning for themselves, whilst also allowing for a manager scheduling courses as a task for others.

We took a student focused approach. This saw us keep the platform simple for students focusing on engagement and enjoyment through a subtle level of gamification. As you progress your profile builds which can be shared with prospective employers or on social media.

What about the Managers?

As we began sharing prototypes it became apparent that Venue Managers were going to be a key customer segment. They wanted to invest in their staff and wanted to track the progress of their team.

We adapted the platform adding in features for managers to schedule courses and lessons for their employees. Reports were emailed so managers could track their progress.

Speed to market (or ‘Reducing risk’)

Although they had identified an opportunity in the market, Typsy recognised that they were taking a big risk. They needed to find out quickly and affordably whether the idea would be commercially viable, i.e. Would restaurants, cafes and hotels have an appetite for the challenge of upskilling their workforce via online content?

To do this we used principles of ‘rapid iteration’ to design a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) that we could get into the hands of our potential customers.

Rapid iteration involved several short design sprints, using hand sketching and basic wireframing to get ideas down and in front of the Typsy team “quick sticks” in order to make decisions and evolve our ideas. From there the winning concepts were worked up into high fidelity interfaces.

The MVP (Minimum Viable Product) we rolled out focused on getting solid leads…

Our development team worked in parallel with design to compress timeframes, yet adapt as ideas were solidified.

Key Features

Typsy was developed from scratch and was released into market within 6 months and rolled out the following features:

Lessons and Courses

Typsy were busy producing short, sharp videos for a range of lessons. We packaged them up to be quick to find and view.

Course Quizzes

At the end of a course a student can take a quiz to gain certification. A range of interactive answer types and feedback and links on areas that need improvement help instill learnings.

Sharable User Profiles

As customers completed courses their profile would build to demonstrate the new skills they had. This can be shared on social media or with prospective employers.

Trial System

New users can get a taste of the video content with trailers to encourage sign up. Once signed up they experience the full benefits before going premium after a 10 day trial.

Manager Tools

From feedback we added a layer for management so they could monitor employee progress across one or multiple venues.

Training Schedules

Managers can create personalised schedules of the most important courses for their employees saving time training their workforce.

Take off

Upon launch Typsy learnt even more. Their initial success has come from the corporate players, such as pub groups and hotels with hundreds to thousands of employees. They struck a deep problem, as training such large numbers of hospitality workers is time consuming and difficult. Typsy saves them this pain.

Changing our whole business was risky. To be honest, I don’t know if we could have done it without Alliance

Jonathan Plowright - Founder & CEO, Typsy

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