In-Product Upgrade Flows

Codecademy: In-Product Upgrade Flows (2017)

Role: Product Marketing & Design

Codecademy had been relying heavily on its email list to enroll students for its Intensives offering, but the list was nearly exhausted. I ran a design sprint with the goal of capturing inbound interest and enrollments.

The Problem

Team: Design, Product, Marketing, & Engineering

Codecademy’s existing site was centered around a free and premium subscription product. Intensives were a new offering. The business needed our sprint team to position a $200–$500, 8-week program on the site without cannibalizing revenue from a $19.99/month Pro subscription with similar features.

Our users needed the ability to confidently choose the right experience for their learning needs without digging through too much information.

I recorded dozens of users interacting with the site, presented them alongside four distinct personas, and surfaced a nearly universal user need for more real-world context around the courses we offer. I proposed that the same industry data that Intensive learners use to consider a purchase decision could help beginners choose a free course that excites them.

Catalog & Onboarding

Team: Design, Product, & Engineering

The leading solution — a redesigned catalog with onboarding for new signups — fulfilled the user experience requirements and fit within our tight engineering constraints.

The redesign included a recategorization of the catalog into programming disciplines with descriptions, salary projections, and imagery. The short onboarding experience rearranged the sections and presented Intensives to learners with an interest in building websites.

Upgrades Page

By adding an additional upgrade option to the site, we ran the risk of creating confusion. We developed a page to highlight key differences in product features that helped learners choose the offering that best fit their needs.


The new experience produced higher quality leads than those from email marketing and set the stage for more on-platform Intensives upsells. Repeatable revenue rose to 25% of total bookings. Additionally, course starts and total submits increased amongst free learners, and Pro revenue was minimally affected.