What is Swing Education?

Swing is a marketplace that matches schools with substitute teachers

Swing’s mission is to enable schools to make learning free of interruptions.

  • Swing’s customers include private, charter, and public schools. They also serve districts and charter networks.
  • Swing currently operates in California, Arizona, Texas, New Jersey, New York, and Washington DC.
  • Swing's substitute teacher experience functions on desktop web, mobile web, and mobile app.
  • Swing’s school administrator experience is optimized for desktop web.

My Role

I joined Swing in 2018 as the first in-house designer and design team leader. I continued in this role until 2022.

  • I worked with the product and engineering teams to incorporate research & design into the development process.
  • I created and executed design hiring practices.
  • I managed 1 or 2 designers and mentored entry-level PM’s.
  • I continued to contribute as an IC, and managed the work of other designers.



User Research

I brought User Research to Swing Education.

  • Created process & best practices for user research.

  • Integrated into development.

  • Facilitated cultural shifts around how to do it, when to do it, why to do it.

  • Incorporated quantitative data.


UX Strategy

I partnered with the Product Team to set the roadmap and define the product vision.

  • Helped the product team distill complex ideas into chunkable pieces.

  • Built team-wide understanding of the complex interplay between the "two" sides of our marketplace.


Hiring & Mentorship

I created & executed hiring plan and process to build out our small, but scrappy team!

  • Designers who went through the interview process derived value from it, even if not hired.

  • Homegrown talent: coached a designer from entry level to senior level.

  • Helped to train new PM's who transferred from other teams.



I worked with PDE and customer facing teams to build a relationship and create better products.

  • Kept up with HR, Customer Success, and Customer Support to understand day to day interactions with users.
  • Created the skeleton of a design system and component library to expedite build process.

Swing's Struggles with COVID

An abridged case study.



  • Schools went remote.
  • Everyone thought this would blow over quickly.
  • No specific expectation about instructional hours existed.
  • Teachers who were sick, could still teach remotely, or class would just be canceled.
  • Swing's revenue plummeted 10x.
  • Swing created an MVP Distance Learning product. This UI was crafted hastily by the product team while I was on leave.

Hybrid Learning


  • School side: Schools reopened in Sept 2020 with a variety of distance, hybrid, and in person configurations.
  • School side: The Distance Learning MVP toggle did not adequately reflect the learning environments at schools.
  • School side: Administrators had to choose incorrect options, then explain the actual class configuration in the notes.

  • Sub side: No indication on the product of what protections are in place for subs.
  • Sub side: No way for schools to clearly communicate expectations.
  • Sub side: Subs were not accepting On Campus requests.

Research: Goals and Methods

  • School side goal: Understand different COVID learning configurations.
  • School side goal: Understand how COVID protocols were enforced.
  • School side goal: Understand how exposure was being limited.
  • Sub side goal: Understand attitudes about teaching in the time of COVID.
  • Sub side goal: Understand sub comfort levels.
  • Sub side goal: Learn about sub safety awareness
  • Sub side goal: Learn about sub comfort with Distance Learning.


  • Recruited administrators based on the notes they left on their sub requests.

  • Recruited active subs via screener.

  • Conducted interviews.

  • Conducted light usability tests by showing mocks and asking subs and administrators to perform a set of tasks.

V1 Release


Research learnings: All schools had reopening plans that accommodated for COVID, even those in red states. The reopening plans were extremely inconsistent. Admins were not concerned with the number of exposures, but more concerned with the likelihood of exposure.

  • Our first release fixed the key issue on the school side: admins no longer had to choose between two ill-fitting options.
  • The Classroom Arrangement interface is separated into sub location & student location. This accommodated for the great variety in school reopening plans.
  • These changes were also reflected on ther Request Details page that subs view.

V2 & V3 Releases

Sub Side Research Learnings:

  • Subs didn’t know what precautions were being taken by schools. They assumed it was less than reality.
  • Subs were not concerned about minimizing the number of exposures. They cared more about ability to socially distance.
  • Sub attitude toward On Campus requests:
    • Subs who trusted their community, trusted that school reopening plans would be well considered.
    • Subs who were wary of schools prior to COVID, were still wary of schools ability to keep them safe.
  • Subs wanted training and support to do Distance Learning.


  • We added the ability for schools to add a link to their COVID protocols.


  • Shortly thereafter, we release V3, which allowed schools to add specifics about their COVID protocols directly in the product, including details about implementation.

  • We chose to include these on the Request Form, even though they pertained to universally to the whole school or district. Meet your users where they are!


Results 🎉

After V2 and V3 were released in close succession:

  • We saw a 25 percentage point increase in On Campus requests issued.
  • We saw a 7 percentage point increase in fill.
  • Stated another way: we boosted On Campus requests by 50% and boosted fill by 21%.
  • The build garnered $130k in additional gross revenue in the 2 months following the V3 release. 

Get in touch to learn more about this & other SWING projects 😊

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