UX/UI design impact series: Edtech sector 

Digitization of education has been in works for decades, however nothing pushed the agenda more than the pandemic with learning from home. This created an urgency for the Edtech platform to transform their products and build unique USPs. UX design has been critical to this disruption and achieving success.

Delighting customers doesn’t build loyalty, reducing their effort – the work they must do to get their problem solved- does. – Harvard Business Review.

While many industries focus on building enhanced and delightful experiences for its users, in Edtech the major concern is making user experience as efficient as possible to help achieve learning goals. UX design in Edtech helps to stimulate the sense and mind, enhances a student’s experience and knowledge and offers a higher level of learning that is better than traditional classroom aspects.

UX design is critical thinking, design thinking and business intelligence coming together to build an engaging application experience for the users. This involves a balanced goal after thorough research (including preliminary user testing) that offers the designer a rich and comprehensive knowledge of complexities. The designer then works on a responsive design concept to optimize the design for all kinds of devices and begins user testing to find areas of improvement. These steps help to improve the workflow and efficiency of the application and website.

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In the edtech sector, the virtual space hence needs to induce a sense of curiosity, interest and motivation in the users and learners.Here is what UX design focuses on in the EdTech sector:

Desirability: One key element UX designers work with in Edtech is to increase desirability. In other words, how to address motivation in a user’s effort/ pursuit of learning. This can be done via variable rewards, goal-setting, engaging them with other peers as well as a feedback driven collective cognition. Example, at The Khan Academy, their kids application is noted to employ bells and whistles to engage students in topics from math to language. They also use certain characters to guide students through videos, animations and creative lessons.

User psychology: UX designers have some basic understanding of how users will engage, they anticipate how a particular service or product will be/ might be used, giving them understanding of any challenges in the way and what can possibly frustrate or engage and delight a user. In the Edtech sector, designers add an extra step in their process – understanding how users learn to be able to design products that are easily accepted and conducive. Example, the Duolingo language application makes good use of psychology research, it keeps its lessons short, frequent testing of the users learning and repeating content that is required for the user – all aiding to better retain vocabulary. Their frequent tests for users helps them to move to new levels and also builds an excitement for users to keep playing further while learning.

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Accessibility: In many countries, it is vital for Edtech to make their digital learning accessible for people with disabilities. UX designers here then rethink their strategies and take into consideration many challenges like poor internet connectivity, shared-computers in households, slow running old devices and many other accessibility related challenges.

Along with there three elements, here are some aspects where the key impact of UX/UI design can be seen in the edtech:

  1. Visual engagement
    Designers are more focused on building visually engaging creatives and graphics. Many research and studies have proven how humans tend to absorb visual information faster and better than when compared to plain texts. UX designers with help of heat maps and AI technology have been working to induce more infographics, animations and videos in course learning that help to keep the users and learners interested, engaged and committed to their course.

  2. Gaming Industry tactics
    With AR/VR making headwaves across the gaming sector, many industries are absorbing the emerging tech into their application for inducing excitement and engagement for their users. For Edtech, UX designers are making use of the emerging tech to incorporate more stimulating and engaging content for the learners where they interact with the content making learning more exciting. This includes immersive content, tools for students with learning disabilities and experience for specific subjects.

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  3. Optimizing information sequence
    UX designers spend a lot of time in research to understand the heat maps to improve their approach and strategy hence forming a data backed sequence of how the information should flow. Progression of information should make sense and have a strong foundation as a start that sets the tone. This includes stacking information with consistency and avoiding any chaotic stacking. This optimization is a crucial element for the Edtech sector.

  4. Navigation
    A vital part of UX design is its ability to aid the user to navigate the application easily and independently. Such navigation elements need to be strategically placed, thoughtfully designed and must be clearly visible. UX designers here work with their researched data, heat maps, market trends and user needs to bring an efficient navigation plan into action.

  5. White space in design
    UX designers work to allow enough white space that will lead to a better user experience, aid learners to enjoy the information visible at a time and take more/ absorb more of the information in with a stronger recall value. Adding white space helps to avoid distractions and unnecessary elements. Designers here break the information into paragraphs, sections and slides to make it effective and capture the learner’s attention longer. This element is key to enchanting learning for the Edtech sector hence is given a lot of importance.

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If you are keen on learning more on interactive design, Strate’s Interaction Design course prepares designers to create new interactive objects, spaces, and services. The primary aim of the interaction design course is to equip students with the right skills in interaction design and set them off on a creative career path.

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