Modern education is merging with design and digital technology, especially after the coronavirus pandemic. The pandemic has been a watershed moment for the EdTech sector that has seen an exponential rise in the number of relevant apps and users. In 2020, it was reported that India saw a rise in the user base of EdTech apps that doubled from 45 million to 90 million. Also, the EdTech market in the country is going to be worth $3.5 billion by the year 2022. If you still haven’t jumped on the bandwagon, you might want to start considering the possibilities.
When it is about great UX design in education, the focus is not on futuristic, innovative interfaces. You don’t need an app to make it look like a scene from Matrix. Even though cutting-edge technology is available that can provide kids an immersive experience (for instance, AR and VR technology) where they will virtually explore historical events or learn about underwater creatures while swimming with the kids. This way, kids will be able to interact with a new world without leaving their seats.
However, UX designers have an even bigger challenge; to make sure that the design of the EdTech apps is such that students don’t face navigation issues. Because the last thing a teacher would want is to start at 25 to 50 antsy kids who’ve no idea how to use the app.
So, designers ought to be mindful of the classroom realities when creating an educational app. The five must-have principles of EdTech design are given below:
1. Aligning technology with pedagogy
The accessibility, as well as, quality of technology-enabled learning experience is a challenge for both pedagogy and technology. Whether you are designing a single learning experience or a complete program, assessments, strategic orchestration of desired results and instructional methods with intentional use of technology is crucial.
The focus of UX designers should be on student learning and the various design elements that align with the underlying pedagogy. Rather than the materials, content, or tools dictating what the kids should learn, UX designers must focus on the most vital knowledge, ideas, and skills that kids should learn.
2. Focusing on how students will utilize the technology
While most models focus on how teachers can integrate technology into their teaching, PICRAT is a model that takes into account the learner’s experience. In this model, designers consider how to use technology to amplify, replace and transform learning, but they also give importance to students and consider how they’re going to use the app.
By following the PICRAT model, designers can develop ed-tech apps that stimulate thinking and engage students more creatively and actively.
3. The teacher is at the heart of EdTech design
Along with designing an app where students will be engaged and involved, designers also have to think about teachers. Simply putting a child in front of a laptop or giving him/her a smartphone with an EdTech app is not going to result in amazing educational gains. The simple reason for this is that students need some form of guidance to steer them through the different educational concepts. They cannot simply be provided with computer-based education, which is solitary.
This why designers need to focus on EdTech design that supports and enhances the teacher’s role. Even though there’s a lot of hype regarding AI, the best results are often the outcome of human collaboration. You might be able to create an app that processes millions of data points, but it won’t be able to explain or diagnose the why’s beneath it. Also, they cannot establish a personal connection with students. So, designers have to find a way to actively involve teachers so that the students get the best of both worlds – technology and teachers.
4. Emphasis on personalization
Educators or teachers always focus on imparting customized lessons for kids. But, in a large classroom, teachers can’t provide individual attention to each student. This is where a technology platform can help. Teachers will be capable of tracking the progress of the students on a variety of lesson plans at the same time.
When it is about matching the proficiency level of the students with their lessons, technology’s impact can be profound. It becomes easier to understand The level of understanding of each student can be through adaptive assessments.
When designing an ed-tech app, designers need to provide personalization options so that teachers and students can utilize technology for their benefit and in a way that appeals to them.
5. Flexibility and accessibility for all
Schools differ and so do educational programs. EdTech apps need to be flexible so that they can easily adapt to the different educational curriculum of the different schools. Designing for overall flexibility is going to work in favor of the students, as well as, educators. Also, using software landscape for kids suffering from some kind of disability is another requirement. Since education is for all, no child should have to suffer because of his or her disability. Designers need to design apps that are highly accessible for everyone. Such apps are highly underdeveloped. And, if you are thinking of joining the EdTech sector, it is a good place to start. This is going to make your app stand out from the rest.
In education, technology is a tool that supports effective and engaging learning. While you might be tempted to make use of all the latest technology to make your app appear futuristic; you should not forget that the purpose of your app is to spread education. The EdTech UI UX design should not be overly complicated because then, students will not be able to navigate the app. Think about a simple user journey that aligns with your business goals and user motives to deliver an app that teachers and students will have fun using.
So, these are a few of the UX design principles that you need to keep in mind if you’re thinking of designing an ed-tech application. For more information, you can contact Divami. Also, check out our portfolio to get an idea of our UX expertise and capabilities.