Like most of the other industries, UX plays a very important role in the EdTech space. As more and more teaching and learning is happening through the digital medium, UX has now taken a centerstage. In one of our earlier blogs, we have spoken about Design Thinking and what it entails. The need of the hour is to merge Design Thinking and digital trends to create educational products. And this is where we need to balance the UX equation.
The question that we need to ask ourselves is — What is the value we are providing for the pain the user is subject to?
UX Equation: Value = Reward — Pain
Below I have listed 5 key things that we should keep in mind when we go about designing an EdTech product.
1. Know Your Audience
You might say that knowing your audience is a basic requirement, and there’s nothing really new about it. Of course, you are right in saying this. But here’s a curve ball. There is a good possibility that the same product might be used by various users to perform different functions. These personas would vary from students to teachers to educational institute administrators to parents. The comfort of doing things in a digital environment would thus vary as well. This is where it is imperative to bring in the opinions and needs of all the stakeholders on the table before you start putting together your design board.
2. Role of the Product
The next key thing to think through is to clearly define the role of your product. Questions should be asked to determine whether the product is being designed to deliver learning, instructions, information, assessment, or entertainment. The design perspective will have to be aligned with the role/s the product is assigned.
3. Triggers for User Motivation
Once we have defined the role, then it is important to identify the triggers for user motivation. The right triggers will keep the users engaged on the product and it will eventually help on the outcomes as well. Learning outcomes can be improved using the right triggers, tools, and outcomes to sustain a user’s interest which helps them gain something intrinsically valuable. For example, an inbuilt performance mechanism which provides continuous feedback will keep the learners motivated and engaged in a learning application.
4. The Ecosystem
Early in the game, it is important for us to figure out if the product will be used as a standalone product or if there are possibilities of integrating it within a bigger ecosystem. If it needs to be a part of a bigger ecosystem then to make sure that the experience is seamless, certain design considerations should be made at the ideation stage itself, rather than coming back to the design board at a later stage.
5. The Stage of Your Product
It is also important to identify what stage your product is at. The questions to be asked are — is it at an ideation stage? Is it an existing product with an active student base or a legacy product with an outdated design? A different design approach would need to be followed depending upon the particular stage.
Very briefly, I have highlighted here the design strategy for the three possible stages of a product:
a) When a product is in the concept/idea level, we can help with concept validation and then apply an iterative user-centric design process (including persona, task flows, information architecture, low + high fidelity prototype, and validation).
b) If the product is already launched and has a stable student/learner base, we can use journey mapping or empathy mapping to enhance the user experience.
c) Finally, legacy product re-designing can be done with a combination of UX research and the UCD (User Centered Design) approach.
It would be interesting to know your thoughts on this. Are there any other key aspects that you would like to add to the list? Also, please do drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org for any questions you might have.