Insights from Openfield
2020 was a whirlwind for the EdTech industry. Our team shares what to expect in 2021.
2020 was most clearly defined by one thing: COVID-19. That was true for the world at large, and it was also decidedly true for the smaller world of EdTech. The pandemic forced a handful of industries into the spotlight. Chief among them? Health, finance — and education. As schools everywhere rushed to assemble remote learning protocols, EdTech products and other tech companies (hello Zoom!) stepped up in a major way to fill the gaps. But that doesn’t mean it was seamless. Far from it.
The 3-step guide to validating your EdTech product
Without proper user validation, many EdTech companies risk missing the mark with their products. If your concepts don’t actually resonate with your end users, they easily get lost in the crowded EdTech marketplace. It’s especially risky in light of funding fluctuations and the cessation of pandemic-era funding. You need to ensure that your products and services stand out as must-have solutions to users’ everyday needs. Our 3-step guide to validation will help your EdTech product get the best start possible.
Designing tech-focused educational grants? The best applicants have these 5 qualities.
Whoever receives a grant from your organization should assure you that those grant dollars will be put to good use. Especially if they’re an EdTech company designing products for better student outcomes, their ability to affect those outcomes is contingent on the quality of their UX research and design processes. Those elements are critical to their success as an EdTech — and yours as a grant foundation funding them. That means your grant program design must specify that applicants demonstrate a firm grasp of UX research and design best practices within the education industry.
Getting out of design debt with an actionable UX audit
Products, like people, don’t always age gracefully. When it comes to digital products, this aging process begins as soon as new features or bug fixes are introduced and it accelerates when you’re consolidating multiple products into one platform. Over time, as more and more changes take place, design debt (or internal inconsistencies that don’t match the product’s underlying design system) naturally begins to accrue. From minor visual discrepancies all the way up to broken functionalities, design debt fragments and undermines user experience.
Does your product really serve all your users? Yes, it may be accessible, but you need to ensure you are accommodating other underrepresented populations.
Underserved populations face challenges that you may be overlooking in your UX research and design. Product teams need to consider their needs because making sure your product is accessible means more than just ensuring it functions well for users with physical and intellectual differences.
Not sure which prototype to use? Here’s your guide to strategic prototyping.
Prototypes are essential tools to ensure efficient, cost-effective and ultimately successful EdTech products. But how do you know which prototype to use for every scenario? Our guide demystifies the process of choosing the right type of prototype with a detailed tour through the different stages—from initial paper sketching to functional iterating.