User Experience can be defined as the experience the product creates for the people who use it in the real world. With EdTech, the key question is, how to make this experience both fluent and engaging.
Factors of User Experience
There are several factors that play into a good user experience. Major part is the overall product usability.
Can I get my task done quickly and easily?
Efficient use means quick finding of information; least amount of clicks to reach one’s target and having your actions organized in an ergonomic and logical way that reduces the cognitive load of the user. There are several good usability heuristics to help you check if your solution supports efficient use.
Yet, in EdTech, not all tasks should be passed efficiently. Learning requires cognitive effort to take place, and problem solving is a great way of learning new things. Making non-learning activities efficient to perform gives the user a chance to focus most effort on learning.
Navigation and routine tasks like login should require the least amount of thinking or remembering.
Tasks related to learning can be challenging.
The challenge should directly feed to the learning goal. When learning math, the challenge should measure mathematical problem solving, not for example reaction speed or motoric skills of the student.
Are the tasks designed for everyone?
Accessibility is about taking into account all kinds of users. Many countries have accessibility guidelines that need to be followed by companies providing solutions for the public sector. Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) by W3 give a detailed description of accessibility recommendations.
In addition to general accessibility guidelines, consider, what is special for your main user group.
Design according to your user’s age: children have small fingers and limited motor control. They may or may not be able to read.
Take into account people with learning difficulties by providing convenience tools: the chance to access information in different formats, note-taking, notifications, text following or highlighting options ect.
In classroom situations sound controls, being able to pause playback, viewing images or videos in full screen, and other presentation or control tools can add great value.
Good educational technology is more than simply delivering information or performing utility tasks. The learning experience should be also interesting and engaging, so the learners stay motivated and keep on using your solution.
Positive emotions, such as enthusiasm, and feeling pleasant surprises are also linked to efficient learning.
In this section, we are analyzing engagement through need fulfillment.
It is seen as a basis for motivation and engagement in educational psychology. One of the most often cited psychological need combinations is the Self-Determination Theory (SDT).
User experience in EdTech can be designed to fill these needs.
The EAF Learning Engagement Framework includes six basic needs, which are further granulated to a list of heuristics that can be used to guide design decisions.
Download EAF's Learning Engagement Framework: