Insights

Join us for ongoing reflections on the role that UX research and design plays in helping people learn and teach better.
    Photo of a teacher helping a young student use elearning software.
    ARTICLE: Kyle Bentle

    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. 

    Photo of UX designer leaving job
    ARTICLE: Trevor Minton

    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?

    Photo of student using elearning software
    ARTICLE: Adam Sonnett

    How early-stage EdTech products can fast track releases while protecting their investment

    Whether you’re a new EdTech startup or one with a substantial track record, you’re facing similar challenges when ramping new products and features. You need to define how your new product fits into your overall vision and meets user needs. And you’ve got to make smart judgments about how to use your resources. As you try to handle a slew of competing interests, each with a price tag, hiring an external UX partner might feel like an investment you can’t afford. After all, you’re working with clear budget constraints. Funneling assets outside your organization may feel unwarranted.

    Photo of post-it notes used for user journey mapping for e-learning software
    ARTICLE: Autumn Gilbert

    Ask your users: why UX research is key to an effective user journey map in EdTech

    Knowing how and when to conduct UX research is mission critical for your EdTech product. With well-timed research, you have the insights you need to make the best product decisions. And most importantly, research provides a window into the minds of your product users. Your user journey maps are case in point. Mapping your user’s journey without UX research is like a modern-day cartographer working without satellite images. EdTech products shouldn’t rely on journey maps designed out of probabilities. It’s like using a compass and telescope when you have specialized mapping software at your disposal. 

    Photo of a teacher using e-learning software on a tablet in the classroom
    ARTICLE: Annie Hensley & Lauren DeMarks

    Clearing learning experience blind spots to bolster UX is key to differentiation in EdTech

    As an EdTech product leader, you know how challenging it can be to set your product apart from the competition. And the bar for EdTech products is only being set higher. The most successful EdTech products will need to prove more than their efficacy. They’ll need to improve learning outcomes by leaning into learning science (LS) — the study of how learners learn. Getting a product to market that provides an excellent user experience (UX) is just not enough anymore. The core value of a successful EdTech tool should also be a great learning experience (LX). Simply put, UX + LX = good EdTech.

    Case Study: New connected digital experience for students and instructors fuels rapid market dominance.

    Openfield provided UX strategy and design that resulted in this intuitive, innovative suite of learning tools that facilitate campus communication and create a standardized ecosystem of support at every stage of the student lifecycle.

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