Can we study and have a social life? ☀️

What's the challenge?

Studying feels like a chore. 😩📚 

I gotta study for this? Hm... maybe later.

During our 4 years studying in college, It feels inevitable to procrastinate. Post-graduation, most of us end up becoming pros at procrastination. If cramming studying to last minute feels exhausting, why do we keep repeating the same cycle? Studying just seems boring.

💡3 Striking stats!

85% of students 

in college are experiencing high stress and anxiety.

59% of student 

successfully graduates college 

89% of 1ˢᵗ gen

college students from low-income families dropout in the US. 

Existing solution


Learning Management System 

Here's a look at the homepage of a standard LMS on web browser used in colleges. It keeps track of your course progress, grades and assignments outside of class.

The design intent 

To help you manage your studying progress and communications with course instructor and peers. 

A closer look at communication

To connect with others in your courses, it's not the most convenient. The pace of communication and design layout are quite similar to the process of emailing.

Slow and static.

Does it work?

💬 According to 40 students in college.

Here are the top 3 feedback.

I get bored studying alone, especially in the same environment. I always end up on social media. 

Outside of classes, I try to study with my friends each week but it's tough to coordinate with our different schedules! So I end up hoping on social media to find them at first but then...I get distracted for hours.

- Nour (18, Freshman college student from LA)

I'm so behind in class. I want to ask for help but I'm too embarrassed. 

Working part-time, I missed a few classes and now I feel lost. I'm strugglingto catch up and I don't have a friend in this class. I'll most likely drop the course by mid-term...

- XinYi (20, Junior college student from Toronto)

I cram studying to the night before tests. 

Same with assignments, I'm pretty good at asking for last minute extensions. I know it's a bad habit and the quality of my work will be bad. I hate admitting this but I don't care anymore as long as I pass. I'm just used to procrastinating by now.

- Abi (22, Senior college student from New York)

Rediscovering Stage

After speaking with 46 current users.

We've validated that current Learning Management Systems that are widely used across colleges in Canada and US miss out on providing students with an engaging online environment to support communication and studying outside of school. 

Constantly, feeling overwhelmed by the weight of heavily written content, objective success measurements and confusing navigations on top. The current tools are creating a negative impact on the user's studying experience instead of encouraging them. In fact, it further immobilizes students from getting started and connecting outside of class.

4 feedback from users on their current experiences with the web application

Redefining Stage

Let's redefine how students would like to study.

Tuning into the voices of students, they defined their individual workflows throughout the day and emphasized on setting up an ideal environment to optimize their emotional experience while studying. Thus, providing them with a rigorous management structure that's focused on delivering objective information does not fit in with their current needs and ways of communication. 

Defining how might we restructure the studying framework according to students' intuitive workflows instead of following the inflexible steps presented on existing web-based LMS, holds the key to minimizing their urges to procrastinate on studying.

🤔 We asked 40 current and recent grad students.

How do you get in the zone to study? 

Here are the top 3 answers.


to enhance their focus


from peers to not feel alone


during and after the process

How might we?

Provide first year college students with a social accountability system to foster studying habits within the community, in order to overcome their current tendencies to procrastinate and fall behind? 

As a result, they can successfully graduate college with long lasting co-working habits that are transferable in their future work environments.

③ Assumption Stage

Based on our research and problem statement, this is our initial solution broken down into 9 areas to visualize how our business would function. One key thing to differentiate is who are our users vs. direct customers in order to define our main revenue stream.

 Developing Stage


The mobile app to enable college students to connect with study partners-in-crime in one click.

We make it easy for you to tap into studying together

Overwhelmed by assignment briefs and overthinking alone. We end up procrastinating on getting started.

This is why Beam provides you with the tool to breaking down studying into managable steps and the environment to do it.

Studying does not have to be isolating anymore 

With synced calendars, Beam helps you
create study groups in just a few taps with suggestions for times that work for both you and your pals, along with places to meet up convenient for you.

It's never too late, seriously.

With the proximity feature, Beam finds study groups happening near you to join in any time you want, just one click away!

Let's beam together and win the battle of procrastination. 🤓

💭3 Reflections

An idea is not a solution.

Problem solving goes way beyond a good idea, defining the specific problem to focus on comes first. Then you can design a solution not just an idea.

Thinking by doing.  

You can't validate a good design by thinking– sketch it out and test it. Don't overthink. While you're doing it, process and iterate.

You are not the expert!  

Embrace not being the expert in the room. Your users' are the expert of their problems! Ask questions, empathize and learn.

You made it! Thank you. Coming up...

The journey continues beneath the surface! Water your roots 🌱

Using Format