UX research and design for better learning outcomes

We help leading EdTech companies create best-ever user experiences that enable people to achieve new levels of learning and teaching success.

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My working relationship with Openfield is one of the best I’ve had. I value and trust the partnership we’ve built together. We see them as another member of our team who has been instrumental in building great customer experiences with our products.

Selected clients and product teams that we collaborate with:

Macmillan Learning logo iClicker logo Wolters Kluwer logo Barbri logo Catalyst Education logo Uplift K12 logo Cincinnati Museum Center logo Yaatly logo ExecOnline logo

Insights from Openfield

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Photo of UX design team reviewing work on EdTech software

Manage your EdTech product’s resourcing needs with the right UX partner

EdTech product development rarely moves along at a predictable, constant pace. There are phases of frantic activity. And there are phases of watching and waiting. The ebb and flow inherent in your product’s life cycle keeps things interesting — and difficult to properly staff. Now more than ever, striking the right balance with resources is a job unto itself. And you may be considering hiring an outside UX agency to support you. Up to this point, you may not have felt the need for an external UX partner. Not so long ago, your product team probably spent time and energy focusing on nice-to-have features. And you had the capacity to do so. But the EdTech landscape is different now. You have to prioritize the features you know your users require in the post-Covid classroom.

Photo of a blind man using EdTech software on a mobile device.

Does your EdTech product need to prove its commitment to accessibility with a VPAT?

One of the most important continuing conversations you’ll have about your EdTech product is about how it meets accessibility standards. Adhering to accessibility guidelines isn’t just about avoiding penalties. It’s just the right thing to do. All of your users deserve access to the same information, no matter what their physical or mental abilities. The World Wide Web Consortium’s Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.1) are meant to ensure your product’s content is perceivable, operable, understandable, and robust. Making sure your product lives up to those principles is not a one-and-done affair. It requires constant evaluations and improvements. You may need to do an internal accessibility audit to work through small compliance issues. Or you may need to go a step further with a VPAT.

Photo of a teacher and two elementary students using e-learning software.

How EdTech leaders can score quick UX wins without sacrificing the long-term product vision

UX issues are an unavoidable part of digital product development. That’s true whether you’re updating an existing feature or readying a brand-new EdTech product for launch. The real question isn’t whether you’ll encounter usability issues, but what you do about them. Identifying the symptoms of your usability problems may be easy enough. Perhaps your CX team is swamped with complaints about a particular task, or maybe you’re seeing a lack of engagement with a specific feature. But diagnosing the underlying problems — the why behind those glaring symptoms — can be much more challenging. Of course, doing so is necessary if you want to find the right solutions. 

Photo of student filling out ux research survey for e-learning software

Synthesize your EdTech UX survey results efficiently to save time and budget

If you’re developing your EdTech product in an environment of rapid iteration, tension can run high. Even though you’re moving fast, you still need to stay close to the reason you are creating a product in the first place: your users’ evolving needs. And that means you’ve got to simultaneously conduct UX research and keep up the pace. Some research methodologies are better than others at different points of your product development. When you’re working under a tight deadline, you need research results in a matter of days, not weeks. User surveys can be effective research methods when you need actionable insights fast. Your research should always be rigorous and comprehensive, so you can make the best product decisions for your users. Keeping up the momentum while gleaning and integrating new insights? That’s a tall order. 

Photo of a teacher helping a young student use elearning software.

Accessibility tips to ensure your data visualization works for all EdTech users

Data visualizations can be powerful assets for your EdTech product. They tell clear stories that engage and inform your users. When designed simply and used selectively, data visualizations enhance learning experiences. Unfortunately, though, harnessing their power can be easier for some more than others. Like all other features of your product, data visualizations should be accessible to all users, including those with disabilities. Accessibility guidelines for data visualization aren’t explicitly defined under Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), so it’s easy for your team to deprioritize them. And sometimes your product designers may inadvertently neglect accessibility in their processes. 

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How to protect your UX investment from employee turnover at your EdTech company

In 2020, people on your product team may have been reluctant to pursue other professional opportunities in the midst of so much uncertainty. 2021 is a different story. Now your team has much greater freedom to explore their options. After all, even a generally happy, productive team occasionally loses key players. It’s inevitable that people seek new industry challenges or take on entirely different work. That possibility can spark fear in the heart of your organization. How will your team move projects forward without stumbling? How will you reassure your users? And how will you fill the knowledge gap?