The New School design language is the unified system established by Blackboard Design that details the visual and interactive guidelines of how Blackboard software is produced.

As with all design languages, New School lays a foundation to ensure scalable and repeatable dependability in the production of Blackboard software. The New School design language yields a cohesive experience that’s easily understood by our users across all platforms.

Design Language System

Think in flows, rather than in features

We consider how users move step by step through our products toward success in a larger, goal directed flow. We aim to help individuals through their tasks efficiently and with confidence while they’re inside of a complex system. We create designs that have multiple ways to solve a problem so users can explore the system with less anxiety about getting lost and not completing the task they’ve set out to do.

Design across platforms and across devices

Our users move between phone, tablet, and the desktop throughout their day. They need to easily leverage prior knowledge from one platform to another. We organize our design efforts based on themes across platforms to maintain a consistent experience but consciously take advantage of each medium's strengths.

Convey approachable simplicity

Be cohesive
New School guides our designers to create products that highlight content and capability. We want to focus on communication rather than decoration.

Across all platforms, we’re unified by color, typography, and interface. A user can quickly recognize a past use when introduced to new workflows or solutions.

Be inclusive
We make a conscious effort to provide users with accessibility needs the same high-quality experience offered to all. We also design with the international market in mind. We lean toward guidelines that are universally recognized and accommodate a multitude of languages and cultural norms.

Be supportive
New School guides our designers to create products with an organized yet casual tone. Our solutions highlight a user's content and capability and minimize decoration to maximize communication and task success.

Through the selective application of hierarchical design, illustration, and motion, we design experiences that are easy to learn and encourage exploration.

Be delightful
New School's look and feel expresses a contemporary aesthetic that still captures the delight we want users to experience in the educational experience. We’re minimal but not austere. We introduce playful moments through illustrations and ambient animations that create a casual tone. We want to minimize anxiety and encourage confidence.

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