Leading the way in Educational UX Design

Expert speakers discuss the impact of design on digital content and services

16 Dec 2022

As a core part of our UX Design service, we can often be found running UX workshops and events throughout the year.  Part of our commitment to building community and skills in User Experience (UX) and Service Design also means we run open events for people working in (or interested in) the industry to come together and share their insights and experiences and to help to set the standards for UX design.

Last month, we co-hosted an evening for those working in EdTech and educational publishing - exploring Educational UX design and how to improve the impact of digital content and services.

Our event partner and venue hosts for the evening were Oriel Square, an Oxford-based strategy, research and digital educational content publisher.

Photo of the event with the three speakers on stage

Educational UX design and why it matters

Attended by UX and Product leads from companies from the local Oxford area and London, the event opened with a drinks reception and a chance for delegates to mingle, followed by a short introduction from our managing director Mariana Morris and Sam Derby from Oriel Square.

The evening itself was structured around 3 talks (each with Q&A sessions) on different aspects of UX design within EdTech and educational publishing, followed by a panel discussion.

The potential for great design to supercharge a human-centred, educator-empowering mission

First to speak was Sophie Brookes from The Key, who spoke of design’s potential to drive human-centred missions and reflected on how a strong, ambitious UX practice can benefit a mission-driven, education-serving business.

"Great design is human-centred."
– Sophia Brookes

Sophie Brookes presenting. On her slides it shows "Great design can supercharge a human-centred, educator-empowering mission. Equally, that mission will inspire and empower great design.

Building UX on shifting sands

Will Gayne from Oak National Academy was up next, with a talk on “Building UX on shifting sands”, in which he explored some of the unique challenges of working in the educational publishing space.

"Iteration is key: Release faster than feels comfortable. You’ve got to subtract, not just add. Structured content formats are critical."
– Will Gayne

Will Gayne on stage

Designing for teachers

Finally, after a short break, was Lucy Gill from the Micro:bit Educational Foundation, who shared her insights and experience of designing for teachers and how to run user research for an international audience.

"Designing for teachers in schools worldwide means designing for a hugely diverse, ever-changing audience, each in a unique situation. Yet, many challenges are the same!"
– Lucy Gill

Lucy Gill on stage

Key Event Takeaways

Our friends at Oriel Square captured some great takeaways from the talks, which covered themes such as knowing who you’re designing for, the importance of iteration, and improving customer research by embracing the challenge.

The event was well-received by delegates, many of whom particularly enjoyed the face-to-face format and opportunity to meet and hear from others working within the education space and facing similar challenges.

"The chance to meet other designers facing the same challenges which are unique to Education."

"Three concise and extremely informative presentations in person by professionals passionate about their work. It was also excellent to meet other professionals in a relaxed and enjoyable environment and I was made to feel very welcome from start to finish."

"Interesting group of people with a lot of different areas of expertise. A good diversity in panel members and a very lovely, informal atmosphere. Bit of bubbly and chocolate didn't hurt either!"

UX Design events in 2023

There were also lots of suggestions for topics that people would like to see covered (further) in future events, which we’re now exploring and taking on board as we look to arrange further UX design events in and around Oxford (and the wider UK) in 2023 and beyond.

Our Directors have also been running the free monthly event UX Oxford for over 10 years. Well worth checking it out if you’re local to Oxford!

If you’d like to be notified of details and dates of future events as we announce them, make sure you’re subscribed to our newsletter.   And please do get in touch if you’re interested in partnering with us or speaking at future events - we’d love to hear from you!

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