Better learning through better design.
Backpack Interactive is building better edTech products through creative strategy, UX, and design.
LEGO & SCHOLASTIC
Passport to Mars
For the 50th anniversary of the lunar landing, we partnered with Lego and Scholastic to take kids ages 7-10 on an interactive, fun edTech journey to Mars, fostering creativity and curiosity in the process.
- W3 Awards
Gold for Education
- Web Awards
From strategy to rollout, our goal the past two decades has been simple: build transformative experiences for teachers, learners, and families. Here’s what we offer.
- Digital Strategy
- UX Research
- UX Design
- UI/Visual Design
- Product Development
At Backpack, we start from square one with our team of edTech experts. Using deep learning and our proven system, we clearly define your project’s potential obstacles and opportunities — and proceed to pull apart the problem, using an extensive creative process to design engaging, usable experiences for your end users.
We start with a wealth of data-focused research when creating your project. Persona analysis, client interviews, engagement data, and our 20+ years of edTech experience form a foundation for each project, and the decisions we make from that data minimizes bias and risk. We don’t start our design process until we have a fundamental understanding of your user needs and the best steps towards achieving them.
We believe that the best user experiences should be barely noticeable to the user, and we take that core tenet into our edTech design process. A great UX design is instrumental to building deep engagement with learners and teachers. Our process is iterative and pedagogical, realizing that design belief through five key phases: Empathize, Define, Ideate, Prototype, and Test. Through this system, we make sure that the final product addresses your needs and is successfully adopted into classroom routines.
Our approach to the visual presentation combines a consistent design style with moving, transitioning, and responsive screen elements. Beautiful edTech design can enable better teaching, learning, and delight — and as we create our product UI, we focus on being both aesthetically pleasing and providing you with better user outcomes.
Releasing a fully-realized product built on rock-solid technology takes a dedicated team with both the technical know-how and the passion for edTech development. We’ve got you covered — through our multi-stage process, along with multiple rounds of presentation and prototyping, our creative flourish can elevate your product to a memorable, successful experience for your users.
January 24, 2022
Better Teacher Personas Lead to Better Product Design
If you're still designing edTech products based on user research conducted before the pandemic, it's time to update your data. Both student and teacher personas have changed drastically over the past two years—and so have our approaches to researching them. From new methods in classroom testing to emerging feature ideas, here's everything you need to know about how the pandemic transformed your teacher persona. Plus, you'll learn how user experience research (UXR) can help you design more competitive digital learning tools in a rapidly changing edTech landscape. Let's dig in. How Teacher Personas Have Changed Teacher personas describe everything from…
January 11, 2022
UX for Kids: Designing Inclusive, Engaging edTech Experiences
As the edTech market becomes more competitive, your digital learning tools have to tick a lot of boxes. Thoughtful UX design for education must support both students and teachers in the classroom—all while being inclusive, engaging, and fun. Below, we'll help you identify which design elements make educational products stand out from the crowd. From choosing inclusive illustrations to designing features that promote learner agency, here's how to design digital learning tools that support real learning outcomes. Making Inclusive UX Design Choices for Education Products The greatest edTech products celebrate inclusivity. By encouraging creative design solutions and fostering user engagement,…
December 21, 2021
One Year Later: Two Teachers Discuss Shifts in edTech & In-Person Learning
When teachers turned to edTech products to support at-home learning last year, we wondered whether the pandemic had inadvertently convinced more educators of the value of edTech. One year later, we wanted to know: are the teachers who embraced digital learning tools in 2020 still using them during in-person learning in 2021? And what kind of shifts in edTech can we expect in 2022? Earlier this month, we talked to two members of Backpack Interactive's Teacher Council, Rachel Pauta and Kylie Reiman, to find out. Over the course of our conversation, we learned which kinds of learning tools they're still…
December 13, 2021
Design for Education Toolkit: Why User Needs in Higher Ed Are Changing
The market for edTech in higher education is changing fast, and edTech product owners can do more to support shifting user needs. Both higher ed administrators and university students require more flexible technology solutions to address the rising costs of college and the coming enrollment crisis. The role of edTech at the university level is changing, too. Gone are the days of viewing edTech as a supplemental solution for individual classrooms. Instead, universities with resources and vision view technology as an infrastructural or business need. That means product owners and edTech UX designers have new opportunities to help—and new ways…
December 1, 2021
4 Tips for Designing Content in Your Learning Management System
Whether your LMS helps users review videos, work through interactive experiences, or read .PDF resources, designing content that creates a user-friendly information hierarchy for students is a major challenge. For starters, your users likely have many different content needs. Are they tackling lessons asynchronously on their own time, or are they visiting your LMS to download resources to use later? Maybe it's both? No matter what kind of edTech tool you're building, students need content that's digestible, affirmative, and self-contained. That's especially true for your LMS! From readability to content sequencing, here's everything you need to know as you rethink…
November 17, 2021
How to Level-Set with edTech Product Stakeholders throughout the Discovery Process
You're about to design a brand new edTech product, and you know the first step is to align internally with all the product stakeholders. Easier said than done, right? After all, you still have to: Get the right product stakeholders in the room Identify your most pressing user challenges Prioritize your project goals And use the right visual tools to keep everyone focused. Read on to discover how spending more time on stakeholder alignment during the discovery process will save you time, money, and heartache—all while setting you up for success once it's time to launch your new learning tool!…