Someone must have insisted we fill out one of those business template things.

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University user type:

Key Assumption

How To Test


Universities are willing to pay for registration services that provide a better user experience.

Pitching our product to Registrars, Provosts, and Deans at a wide range of schools.

Many university administrators did not understand the difference in the quality of the UI of their existing registration services and ClassChef’s services; moreover, they did not understand how their UI was creating a highly stressful registration experience for their students.  

Those administrators who were more progressive and in touch with modern website UI recognized how much better our services are: “we’ve never seen anything as simple, easy to use.” These administrators were more than willing to pay for our improved registration services.

Universities are willing to use third-party services that interface with their existing enterprise software

1) Pitching our product to Registrars, Provosts, and Deans at a wide range of schools.

2) Research the existence of similar third-party (non-enterprise) registration services.

1) Many administrators were not comfortable with using a service that wasn’t provided by their Enterprise System (e.g. PeopleSoft, Banner), as they expected their IT department would be responsible for maintenance. However, the fact that our services can integrate with their existing systems is a big plus.

2) CollegeScheduler is a third-party service that has been purchased by more than 150 universities. This service provides automated scheduling (allows you to choose courses, and this service provides all possible combinations of courses).

Universities will not condemn third-party services (this assumption is only relevant if universities are not our customers)

Create our services as third-parties for other universities and doing market research on past products that are similar.

It appears as though most universities are indifferent to third-party services, unless the service is a security concern, or on occasion, presents data in a manner not desired by the university (i.e. Yale Bluebook Plus/CourseTable).

Your Customer: University Administrators (Registrars, Provosts and CIOs)

Their Demand: They demand registration services that make it easier for students to register for courses.

Your Solution: Third-party services that interface with university’s existing software that provide a slick interface for students to browse courses, plan for the upcoming semester via a weekly calendar and sign up to receive notifications when a class section’s enrollment status changes.

Their Value: Allow administrations to improve their reputation with students; have more satisfied and less disgruntled students; improve better graduation rates; foster a better academic environment in general, since students are more likely to get their ideal schedules

Student user type:

Key Assumption

How To Test


Students want services with better user interface, more functionality ( relative to their university’s services).

Survey students.

Received a positive response from ~600 surveys at 5 private/public 4-year colleges and universities, presenting features (visual scheduling, textbook price comparison). Notification service slightly more desired than course search.

Students are unhappy/frustrated with existing registration services.  

Survey students on their opinion of their registration service.

Students rate the design and ease of use of their existing registration services higher than anticipated, however when exposed to an alternative service with a modern design and improved user interface, they rated the improved system significantly higher.

Students are willing to use a third-party service in planning their schedule/browsing courses.

1) Build our services for one school (UNC)

2) Research the existence and success of similar services at other universities

1) Received great feedback from UNC. 19,000 users at UNC since July 2013. High average visit duration (>1 hour).

2) At many universities services similar to ClassChef have been built. See Duke Schedulator, Course Pickle (VTech),, CoursePad (Cornell), CourseOff (multiple schools) etc. These services are often very widely-used by students, however, because these services are often student-built, they are regularly abandoned one the developers graduate.

Your Customer: College students

Their Demand: Registration services that allow them to easily find classes that satisfy their requirements, browse gen ed courses, create multiple plans for registration and get into those courses once they close.

Your Solution: ClassChef provides modern registration services that satisfy student’s demands and that can quickly adapt to student needs.

Their Value: Instead of being a stressful, disappointing experience, make registering for classes a positive

Make registering for courses a positive experience--one in which students can truly browse a wide-range of courses, easily plan for the upcoming schedule, and actually get into those courses--instead of being stressful and often disappointing.