Three Ways to Leverage UXR Before You Build Your edTech Product

Monica Sherwood bio picture Monica Sherwood

You know how important it is to get feedback on your product from your users during user testing. So why wait until after you’ve designed your product to get started?

Changing your approach to user testing and UXR can help you organize your edTech product strategy, avoid confirmation bias, and build an even stronger product. You’ll likely save money in the long run, too.

Even if you’ve traditionally employed user testing once your product is built, it’s not too late to adopt a new approach. Here are three ways you can weave user testing throughout the discovery and design process to build a better product.

Let edTech UX Research Guide Your Design Strategy

When it comes to designing edTech products, the best solutions are generated by getting to know actual users.  By adopting user testing earlier in the discovery and design process, you’ll be able to identify the pain points, needs, and frustrations of the real people who will rely on your product to meet their goals. You’ll also gain greater insight into your users’ needs, instead of what you might assume their needs to be.

If you let it, UXR can guide your overall design strategy. The needs you address through design and feature prioritization will come from real people and detailed interviews. Maybe you’ve even watched as a student struggled to log in without help from an adult, or as a teacher strained to organize their data using your tool.

When you see users face challenges in real time, you’re ultimately able to design a better experience. Instead of isolating an element of user testing to prove what you already believe, or ignoring user feedback that contradicts your original assumptions, you gather user data that makes a lasting impact on your product.

By developing a more nuanced understanding of your users and their challenges, you can guide strategic discussions with internal stakeholders more effectively. If stakeholders come to understand user challenges through the lens of specific interviewees, your company’s users will become more real. This process will help your strategic conversations about product design become both more grounded and more productive.

Create More Accurate Personas Ahead of an edTech Product Redesign

If your goal is to redesign a particular feature, you’ll want to know why something isn’t working.

Test your current product with users in order to identify problems and produce better solutions. You may even want to interview users more broadly about the product by asking them to discuss the things they find frustrating or the ideas they have for improving a particular workflow.

As you observe users engaging with the product, you should be able to identify where a user flow breaks down. You may even discover that the problem you originally identified isn’t the same challenge a user demonstrates during testing. All of this data gives you a helpful design benchmark before you ever begin the redesign process.

When you really stop to think about it, executing on real feedback from users doesn’t take long—and you’ll have built a stronger product in the end. It’s a win-win.

Establish Feature Priorities for Your Next edTech Product

Thinking about how to prioritize the features for your next edTech product? The sooner you loop in your users, the better.

For example, if you want the perspective of an administrator or a teacher to guide your feature priorities, set up user interviews as early as you can. Interview 3 or 4 people from your target user group and identify the trends that emerge from those conversations. Even if the interviewees have different roles within your product, their perspectives can help you identify what users really need.

Bring your findings to discovery meetings, long before any real decisions are made about the product or its release. During discovery, you’ll learn whether your findings align with the assumptions from other internal stakeholders. Compare and contrast! Which needs are the same? Which are different? Used in this way, UXR results can really facilitate collaboration and help you align with all the stakeholders in your company.

From prioritizing new features to redesigning old ones, UXR works best when it’s woven throughout the strategic design process. Not only can you use the results to educate and inform internal stakeholders, but you can also use UXR to facilitate collaboration and accelerate strategic decision-making. In the end, you’ll wind up with a better picture of who your users really are. You’ll also design a product that truly solves for real challenges faced by teachers and students—a result that’s well worth the investment in UXR.

Let’s build the future of digital products together.