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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.