The pandemic took a toll on education, besides other domains of human existence, and left people with no choice but to expect the unexpected. The EdTech industry rose to the occasion and introduced education products to supplement in-person learning. The industry has matured over time and seen tremendous investments. Furthermore, the adoption of EdTech has presented an opportunity for companies to build products that cater to evolving needs of users. Now that the pandemic has subsided, designers should consider whether their education product caters to all-digital learning or hybrid teaching by offering the best user experience.
Below are a few tips to help designers create an education product for a better user experience.
Collaborate with Educators
The effective delivery of lesson plans and the curriculum is enhanced when teachers are consulted during the process of product design.
The dissemination of knowledge and the questions that can crop up in students’ minds are best understood by instructors. Therefore, their intervention throughout the design process can expose designers to a host of things that are at play when educators interact with students.
Some of the aspects that can be better understood by teachers that designers can incorporate while ideating and designing are:
- They know the individual requirements of their students, the knowledge of which can help design a custom-tailored solution
- Acquainting designers with strategizing teaching plans
- Going beyond the conversion of an in-print product to a digital product, thereby amping up in-person instruction
You can have the world’s best development and design teams on board, but they are not educators. Your product can have the best features, but if it is designed without taking into account educational principles and learning techniques, the value addition that the product brings to the end users is very limited.
Having teachers involved early on during the product design process will ensure that you are on the right track and save you the nightmare of having your product receive poor reception after months of hard work.
Improve Product Accessibility
In an ideal situation, you might assume that users will be good at navigating software products based on your experience and expertise. But most often than not, this is not the case.
External factors that affect a product’s accessibility should also be considered. The lack of a stable internet connection and physical impairments or disabilities of end-users should also be taken into account.
The America’s with Disability Act (ADA) has certain standards put in place to ensure accessibility for people with visual impairments and those with limited motor function. The product’s viability goes for a toss if the user interface is such that it disrupts the class and hinders learning.
Additionally, conducting a VPAT (Voluntary Product Accessibility Template) report can help evaluate the accessibility of the product. It allows you to analyze whether your product’s accessibility conforms to the set standards.
Define the Purpose of the Product
Most EdTech products are designed to help students learn and make remote teaching easier. What they fail to address is their unique selling point.
Such a proposition is neither unique nor very promising. Instead, the focus should be more on how the product aims to achieve these ends.
To convince educators as to why they should adopt your product, you can incorporate the following elements while deciding what exactly your product caters to:
- The effectiveness of tools in delivering lesson plans and the course curriculum
- Identify gaps in student learning so that instructors can adjust lesson plans
- Varied methods for delivering course content so that learning becomes more engaging
- Make classes more interactive and encourage student collaboration in a remote learning environment
- Tools that allow students a certain degree of independence to take charge of their learning apart from the instructions imparted by educators.
There is No One-Size-Fits-All Approach
For technology to supplement learning and not act as an impediment, the need for the right technological ecosystem cannot be negated. Ensuring internet connectivity and appropriate broadband speeds, system security, and compatibility with other devices to run the product smoothly is of utmost importance for the optimum use of the product.
When these aspects are not considered during the ideation and conceptualization stage, they can have a domino effect, and the subsequent stages face challenges.
For instance, a common issue that might arise in the adoption of an EdTech product is the absence of a stable and high-speed internet connection. To overcome this barrier, many developers have adopted Progressive Web Application (PWA). Moreover, addressing the socioeconomic background of the users also becomes important. Flexible learning solutions at different price points are essential to make the product inclusive.
In an ideal world, all users should have access to the latest devices and infrastructure, but the reality is far from it. Many regions are underfunded with a mix of old and new technology. A one-size-fits-all approach is, therefore, irrelevant and might hinder the compatibility and adoption of EdTech products.
Education product design teams should focus on making users understand how their products can help them in the context of their individual learning experiences. Once they discover how your product is custom-tailored to fit their concerns and fill gaps in their learning journey, only then will they be willing to invest. A more frequent and effective user testing mechanism needs to be adopted to cater to the evolving needs, aspirations, and perceptions of users.
Thorough market research on users and non-users will help designers understand the need to embrace flexibility in the wake of rapidly evolving user preferences and demands.
A well-designed EdTech product brings maximum value addition by serving multiple purposes and, at the same time, is not overly complex.
We hope that the above tips help design education products that assist learners and educators in coping with their diversified experiences, be it in-person, remote, or hybridized.
To learn more about how we are empowering teaching and learning through our thoughtfully designed eLearning products, to know more, please write to us at KITABOO@hurix.com
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