CASE STUDY: iClicker

Rapid adoption of digital transformation leads to the world’s top student engagement system


Rapid adoption of digital transformation leads to the world’s top student engagement system.

iClicker came to Openfield with a vision to create a digital experience that would improve on its already pervasive handheld remote devices. The resulting experience quickly led to market dominance by giving instructors new ways to engage with their students who are now free to access the tools using their own devices — whether in-class or online.

Students Wanted Choice. So We Gave it to Them.

The original iClicker system required students to purchase and carry handheld remote devices, leaving iClicker vulnerable to software-based competition.

Openfield designed a new digital student response and engagement product with enhanced instructor tools that allow students to use iClicker via their own mobile devices and computers.

Rapid adoption of the product was nearly immediate. iClicker  quickly became the #1 student engagement solution on the market used at more than 1,100 institutions around the world.

Introducing a digital alternative to the remotes is a great idea, but I want to make sure it’s every bit as easy to get up and running as it is with the remotes, which I just plug in and run with.

Research Informed Critical Improvements

In early releases, we discovered student satisfaction rates for the new product lagged behind that of instructors.

Student research we conducted resulted in key recommendations that allowed the product team to make focused, critical improvements to the user experience.

With design updates launched, iClicker saw its average user ratings in the App and Play stores rise sharply from 2.5 to 4.0.

A New Digital Product, From the Ground Up

Creating a digital experience that preserves the analog product’s simplicity

Openfield helped plan and design a new digital iClicker experience that would be as easy to use as the original, handheld remote devices. Instructors gained enhanced engagement tools, while students can now forgo the old physical remotes and use their own mobile devices or computers.

A new brand architecture reduces confusion among users and buyers

When the new digital platform was first introduced, it was named REEF in order to differentiate it from the original iClicker hardware product. This led to confusion, as it wasn’t clear that they were part of one system. Openfield recognized the disconnect and recommended a new product naming structure that clarified the relationship between the digital and analog products.

Extensive user research delivers what matters most to instructors and students

Introductory product releases benefited from close collaboration and research with instructors who were loyal advocates. Lower than expected initial student ratings, however, quickly indicated the need to elevate the student experience. Recommendations from further research and testing helped iClicker assess and prioritize the improvements that mattered most.

Partnering with the iClicker product team to augment their process

Openfield has a long history of working as an integrated extension of the iClicker product team. Together, we secured stakeholder support to overhaul the development process to gain efficiency. The student and instructor teams now run concurrent and symbiotic improvement cycles, while a unified code base makes supporting multiple platforms more cost-effective. Today, design and development moves forward continuously without disrupting the real-time use of the legacy application.

Recognized by Campus Technology Readers’ Choice Awards – Best Student Response Systems and Classroom Engagement Systems.

Providing Value to Students



Increasing student usage time

Features like Study Tools add value for students outside of the classroom.

Reviewing scores after class

Students can view their overall attendance and performance scores. They can also view more detailed information around how they performed at the activity and question level.

Removing friction during onboarding and account creation

Students are walked through a guided process to ensure they are ready to use iClicker on the first day of class.

Clarifying course structure and session details

Students can easily identify and review the different activities that occurred during class.

Replacing technical jargon with conversational language

We increased clarity and added delight to our users by including conversational language and illustrations.


About iClicker

iClicker, a core offering within Macmillan Learning’s (ML) suite of products designed to engage students before, during and after class, is the market leader in student response and classroom engagement with over 5,000 instructor and 7 million student users at over 1,100 institutions.

About Macmillan Learning
Based in the US and Canada, Macmillan Learning partners with the world’s best researchers, educators, administrators, and developers to deliver sound pedagogical solutions designed to facilitate teaching and learning opportunities that spark student engagement and improve outcomes.

UX Capabilities at Openfield

User Research & Testing

Focus all stakeholders and team members on what really matters to your users. Make more confident decisions about what you deploy and when.

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Ideation & Planning

Align product features and flows with the real-world wants and needs of student and instructor users.

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Design & Prototyping

Create and validate bar-setting user experiences that will endear students and instructors to your product.

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