Digital Strategy

An L&D manager works on a corporate learning platform.
Article

How to develop a corporate online learning platform that drives engagement and gets results

Today’s corporations are strategically investing in continuing education. Whether they are seeking to upskill or reskill their workforce, learning and development (L&D) initiatives are a cost-effective way for organizations to strengthen their workforce, keep current with emerging technologies, and stay ahead of the competition. As a result, many industries (and the advocacy groups that serve them) are pouring more resources into learning and development (L&D) initiatives. And a significant percentage of those funds are now being funneled toward online learning platforms. 

Article

Make your EdTech product indispensable with data visualization

As an experienced EdTech professional, you already know that technology is transforming the way educators share knowledge and interact with students. But the technology boom is changing more than just the way education is delivered. It is also generating an unprecedented quantity of data — data with the potential to revolutionize the way administrators, instructors, and students manage schools, teach, and learn. EdTech companies are in a unique position in that they are the ones generating and collecting this sort of data.

A mom and two daughters using EdTech software during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Article

COVID-19 is stress-testing EdTech Products. Will you meet the demand?

The coronavirus pandemic continues to rapidly change (and challenge) the world in myriad ways. With social distancing a must for the foreseeable future, educators around the globe are scrambling to migrate to online learning. As a product leader at an EdTech company, you are in a unique position to help educators and students in this tumultuous situation. Chances are you’re already doing just that by offering your product free of charge for the duration of the pandemic.

Man looking into distance with binoculars
Article

2020 Trends in EdTech UX – What product leaders should expect in the coming year

Being a great product leader requires a constant balancing act between meeting the need to release immediate improvements while simultaneously planning for what’s coming in the next year and beyond. Dealing with today’s concerns, such as Accessibility compliance and onboarding issues, has a way of getting in the way of planning for bigger trends that will have an impact on the success of your product.

UX designer reviewing EdTech product updates
Article

Managing your UX investment to protect and nurture your product

As your product needs evolve over time, the ability to scale your UX resources up or down is crucial to maximizing your product’s growth — and your UX budget’s impact. In fact, that’s one of the reasons we encourage EdTech companies to think of their UX spend as an investment rather than a strict, project-by-project budget. When you invest in UX as an ongoing project (on a quarterly basis, for example), you free up your product and UX teams to work more efficiently and productively as they identify solutions and resolve problems. 

Image of arrows aligned around common vision
Article

How product leaders can unite EdTech stakeholders and teams around a common vision

As a product leader, one of your primary responsibilities is to connect the leadership team’s vision of their EdTech product with the actual needs of the product’s users. To do this well, you must execute leadership’s vision responsively. This means modulating the product roadmap as your product team surfaces new information about user needs or identifies risks associated with leadership’s vision. Leadership teams are naturally more future-focused.

Members of the UX team conducting discovery session for an EdTech product.
Article

The purpose of UX discovery sessions – and how to make the most of them

When we begin a UX engagement with a new EdTech client, our first priority is to quickly learn as much as possible about our client’s product and users. Our collaborative process begins with a phase of research and user understanding that includes an in-person discovery session. The discovery session allows a products’s stakeholders to identify problems, clarify goals and priorities, and align around a shared vision for their product – before identifying solutions. Here’s what you need to know about this critical planning session — and how you and your UX team can make the most of it. 

Image of paper airplane going its own way depicts challenge of innovating in EdTech.
Article

Innovation in the EdTech space: Why it lags behind – and what you can do about it

Innovation within the EdTech space can sometimes feel painfully slow. That’s especially true when compared with digital products in other spaces, such as social media, finance, and health apps. This innovation drag is felt not only by EdTech companies themselves, but by users, too.  Student users, in particular, are quick to notice when EdTech products aren’t on par with the many other apps they use on a daily basis.

Investing in UX: How to structure your UX budget for maximum impact
Article

Investing in UX: How to structure your UX budget for maximum ROI

When product teams put together budgets for new products or product releases, they often struggle to determine how much money to allocate for UX research and testing. This confusion flows from uncertainty about how to view UX’s role in the product development process. Is UX a one-time project with precise parameters and a predictable scope, like designing a logo? Or is it an ongoing program of activities that ought to be woven through the entire development process?

An instructor viewing data on a dashboard designed to provide insights about student performance.
Article

Data visualization design: How EdTech products can tell better stories to meet growing demands for actionable insights

As EdTech products grow more complex in terms of the data they manage and the analytics they produce, data visualization is poised to become an indispensable tool. To date, many of these products have yet to fully embrace data visualization design in their product interfaces. As the expectations of students, instructors and administrators grow, it will almost certainly be considered a baseline requirement soon.

Click on image to launch article about third-party integration in EdTech products
Article

5 tips for integrating third-party applications without sacrificing the user experience

Over the past few years, the UX of EdTech products has improved by leaps and bounds. That’s true at the individual application level, anyway. But it’s a whole different story when you look at the user experience of product integrations that bridge two or more applications. It’s hard enough to integrate platforms in situations where you have complete control, but it can be incredibly difficult to integrate third-party platforms in a meaningful, seamless fashion.

Article

All hands on the ball: a collaborative approach to building new product features

The launch of a new product represents a huge leap, but it’s really just the first big step in a series of many. Over the course of a healthy product’s lifespan, your team will continue to work inside the product for years to come, fixing bugs, pushing out updates, making UX improvements, and adding new features. New features require efforts from UX, engineering, and product teams with each leading at different times.

UX researchers reviewing quantitative data to discover problems in educational software products.
Article

UX research methods (part III): When to use quantitative data to justify product improvement decisions

Qualitative research may be the bread and butter of UX testing, but quantitative UX research methods have an important role to play in the iterative product design process. There are many reasons product teams should consider using quantitative research, from the identification of existing problems to justifying expenditures in order to get buy-in from stakeholders.

ARTICLE

‘Good enough’ usually isn’t: Avoiding traps that sabotage MVP success

Minimum Viable Product. Minimum Awesome Product. Minimum Loved Product. No matter what you call it, your product needs to delight users on the first release and every iteration beyond that, or it will fail.

UX designers conducting empathy session as part of inclusive design practices.
Article

Inclusive design: why EdTech companies should go beyond compliance

Truly inclusive product design aims to create products that work seamlessly for all people, in all situations. This may seem like a tall order, but it really should be your company’s goal. Not only is it an ethical imperative, but it’s good for business, too.

Corporate training staff using EdTech product for career growth.
Article

Nontraditional learning: How EdTech tools are different for corporate and personal users

When most people think EdTech, they naturally imagine students and instructors in K through 12 or higher education settings. But learners and teachers can be found everywhere from boardrooms to living rooms. And while the reasons for learning vary, companies that make learning products for corporate and personal use can benefit greatly from the knowledge of their counterparts who target K-12 and higher ed sectors.

The Openfield team looks to other industries for best practices that will improve educational products.
Article

Borrow cues from search, retail, gaming to improve UX in EdTech products

From administrative tasks like taking attendance and grading quizzes to features that enable students to learn and succeed, EdTech products have become more and more powerful. But that power can make these tools more complicated for users. Learn how to align tools with common mental models from search, retail, and gaming.

Openfield leads a session to show how product teams can shorten Google's 5 Day Design Sprint.
WEBINAR

How to condense the 5-Day Design Sprint without giving up key outcomes

All product leaders have a list of desired improvements and fixes that often feels impossible to get on top of. And while Google’s 5-Day Design Sprint is the gold standard for ideation, design, prototyping, and testing ideas, it’s just not always practical or even possible to secure that much time from your participants.

iClicker app
CASE STUDY

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

Whether it’s a classroom of 20 or a lecture hall of 200 students, instructors and students in higher education expect in-classroom technology to reliably and efficiently foster the most effective learning environment possible.

friction in UX
ARTICLE

In EdTech products, friction can be good or bad. A balance of both is the answer.

User journeys through apps, software and websites must follow optimized paths with no confusion or distractions.

UX design leader talking about the cost of UX inaction in educational software products.
ARTICLE

UX is not a one-time event. What EdTech product leaders need to know about the cost of inaction.

Keep it active … or face the consequences. While many organizations make the commitment to implement UX practices, we’ve found that many adopt best practices of UX only to a point.

Trevor Minton, VP of Product Experience at Openfield, talking about ROI of UX investment.
ARTICLE

Running the numbers – calculating the ROI of your UX investment

Do you really know what’s at stake? Check out these calculators to help you combat the risks of UX inaction and envision your ROI.