UX Research, Interaction Design, Product Design

The Challenge

KenshoTree is a company that matches clients with leadership, management, and wellness coaches.

The challenge was to redesign and improve the on-boarding process to generate highly compatible matches.


Our aim was to understand the current process for organizations around identifying, vetting and hiring an external leadership and management coach.

Domain & Competitive Analysis

As a part of our research, we evaluated similar processes of organizations for matching clients with coaches. That evaluation included coaching firms and consultant directories. Many of these are free services and do not require a membership.

To assess the process of how compatibility between two people is determined and what are the key factors, we also evaluated algorithm-based online dating services.

User Interviews 

Both coaches and clients, were interviewed in order to gain an understanding on the process from beginning to end, the initial search and the actual engagement.

We interviewed men and women ranging in ages from 30’s-60’s.


Clients prefer a coach who once worked within their own industry. False

Clients often seek out a coach on their own, not found for them.  False

In-person meetings are desired (location is key). True

Certification in coaching was a must. False

Coaches were always just that as a profession, coaches. False

Coaches are only needed for C-level executives. False



  • Feeling of compatibility was the most desired factor when choosing a coach
  • Location, certification, and experience in same industry were the main ‘measurable’ factors when choosing a coach
  • HR or office assistant is often in charge of finding a coach for a client



  • It is just as important for the coach to feel compatible with the client in order to help them reach their goals
  • Coaches are often retired professionals or working professionals who offer their services on top of their full-time job
  • Coaches are sought out by professionals in many different stages, career change, looking for career advancement, or adjusting back into the professional world


User Personas

We created personas to compile our findings from our research and user interviews in order to help visualize our insights. These profiles generated are who we feel are our main users.


Design Principles

Now with our users in mind we came up with our design principles to guide us through our ideation phase.

Evoke Emotion

  • Design will create feelings of compatibility and trust in the process


Completed in One Sitting

  • Design will be instinctual, requiring little reflection


No time for games

  • Design will be straight to the point, these are busy professionals


Multiple ideation sessions were held keeping our design principles in mind. Determining primary vs secondary questions was key.

Primary questions:

  • Location
  • Certification
  • Industry experience

Secondary (filters) questions:

  • Price (per hour)
  • Experience (years)
  • Location (miles from your zip code)
  • Language
  • Skill Search (tags or buzzwords)

Final Wireframes

These sessions resulted in a low-fidelity prototype that we set out to test.  During our usability testing we found a few common pain points amongst our subjects. The tests determined the language needed to be clarified to eliminate confusion and slight modifications to the search page.

The final wireframes begin by asking a few simple questions with criteria that was deemed most important. Clients can then go in and refine their search using the filters while seeing their results dynamically change. Special skills can be searched for as well using tags or buzzwords. Further included in the process, there is an option to tag ‘favorites’ that can then be reached by a two-way email relay system which protects the email address of the coach. On the coaches page we included videos made by the coaches to further assess compatibility.