SANS OnDemand Mobile App
Creating a mobile and tablet training app to enable students to learn on-the-go.
The SANS Institute is the world's most trusted and largest source of information security training, security certification and research. SANS trains over 40,000 cyber security practitioners annually, its programmes now reaching more than 165,000 security professionals around the globe. This requires the organisation to be able to regularly develop and deliver the highest standard of training material across its content, product and experience, in order to keep up with the ever-changing and ever-evolving cyber security landscape.
In order to respond to the current climate and the fast-developing nature of online learning and education, SANS was keen to create a mobile and tablet training app for iOS and Android. The aim was to enable students to learn on the go, offering convenient and flexible online cyber security training and enhancing the premium experience already delivered by SANS. They approached Spinning Fox with this request, once again providing us with the opportunity to partner with this industry leader.
We wanted to be able to deliver a consistently premium on-demand course experience, extending far beyond the instructor and supporting course material. The experience needed to support students' learning in a way that suited their lifestyle and busy schedule, and delivered the kind of high-quality digital experience that they have come to expect from many other content brands, such as Netflix or YouTube Premium.
The design and build of a mobile and tablet app for iOS and Android, allowing students to enhance their cyber security training experience by being able to learn on the go.
This app solution further enhanced the premium OnDemand experience delivered by SANS and continues to reaffirm them as the most trusted resource for cyber security training, certifications and research globally.
- Client – SANS Institute - The worlds leading cyber security training provider.
- Services – Design sprints, prototyping, UI/UX design, user testing, front-end development.
- Technologies – Developed on the React Native framework and Redux for state management.
In order to ensure SANS was delivering against its high level of expectation, surveys, interviews and focus groups with over 600 SANS students were conducted. The results showed that the primary element customers felt would aid their training and overall experience was an on-the-go training option as part of the SANS OnDemand offering.
In addition, the research undertaken showed that 83% of students stated that offline content would be extremely valuable or very valuable to their learning experience and demonstrated that offline content access is the top request from students in every quantitative touchpoint. Mobile support is consistently the second highest ranking request.
We continually met with customers to run user testing sessions to iterate and further enhance the app experience to ensure it delivered for all their needs.
Following this extensive consultation and work with the client and their customers, Spinning Fox delivered the SANS OnDemand app. The solution we delivered means that students can now dive deeper into their OnDemand course anytime, anywhere on their mobile phone or tablet. Students who use the OnDemand app are able to avoid travelling to a teaching location, learn from the best in the business and study at their own pace.
SANS OnDemand offers the following:
- The best online cyber security training in the world, on a flexible schedule.
- Four months of unlimited access to courses, anytime and anywhere.
- Repeatable hands-on labs and quizzes.
- Subject-matter expert support throughout the course.
The app allows the flexibility to download entire course modules and sections for offline access throughout the duration of a course. This gives students the ability to continue learning whilst travelling or in remote locations with little to no internet connection.
Once the student is back online, the course progress syncs between SANS OnDemand Mobile and OnDemand Web, allowing for easy and seamless transition between offline and online learning.
Audio only content
We know that students learn in different ways, and this assumption was backed up by our project research. Some students prefer and respond better to auditory learning. We wanted to cater to different learning styles within the OnDemand app, making it more accessible, so audio-only playback was built in. Students can therefore listen to their chosen course and learn whilst driving or carrying out other tasks.
Once again, in the interest of building in functionality to support different learning styles and increasing accessibility, students are able to read the supporting book content whilst also listening to the audio.
Including regular course quizzes as part of the OnDemand content helps to reinforce learning. Students can test their knowledge level and consolidate learning outcomes, thereby monitoring their own progress, anytime and anywhere.
The app was launched early February 2021 and initial feedback from students has shown that the app has been extremely well received and is of huge benefit to their learnings.
Overall I really enjoyed the experience and I think the app is a much needed addition to the SANS On-Demand experience.
Noel, SANS OnDemand Student
I really did enjoy using this app... I also used the app on my Kindle Fire tablet, which worked great. I didn't think I would find the app useful on a tablet, but the ability to download sections made the app valuable.
Talya, SANS OnDemand Student
Our UX/UI design partners at Spinning Fox were essential to the successful launch of the SANS OnDemand Mobile App — a first of its kind product offering for SANS, the world's most trusted source for cyber security training. From start to finish, the team took an agile approach on all aspects of this project by deeply integrating themselves into the product and engineering team. They delivered on all key phases of a new product launch by attending daily stand-ups with the team, taking on UI layer coding tasks, moderating user discovery feedback sessions, rapidly producing prototype designs, and even assisting with the creation of marketing assets to support the official mobile app launch. The mobile app was released ahead of schedule, with great quality in January 2021. SANS OnDemand students are excited to finally be able to access their course content on the go! The overall success of this project is a prime example of what happens when UX/UI design aligns with product strategy and engineering excellence to deliver business results that truly delight users.
Jessica Powers, Director of Product at SANS
This whole project was a rewarding experience for the Spinning Fox team, creating an on-the-go cyber security training app that delivers a premium training experience for students, enabling them to continue to learn during their busy lives and ultimately improve recall for their exams. This is another example of brilliant customer-centric design from Spinning Fox.
James Marshall, Managing Director at Spinning Fox