The academic industry is currently at a crossroads. Long-standing traditions of the education space are being challenged as technology and content are infused into the daily lives of instructors and learners.

The education process must evolve to meet users’ needs in this rapidly changing landscape. When we keep our users at the heart of every step of the product development cycle, we know we can support their needs.

Read about our student success research initative

Design Methodology


Early in the product development cycle, we spend time with the people who use our products. We hang out with college students in their dorm rooms, and immerse ourselves with faculty and instructors in their offices and classrooms. We gather user reviews, community site feedback, and direct institution requests.

Then, we use the information to paint a picture of the education technology landscape so that we can fully understand what matters to all our users on a granular level. When we experience their worlds, we can better empathize with them as we begin our design work.


With information gathered from initial investigations, we engage with various groups of Blackboard team members in innovation ideation workshops. During these sessions, we take our understanding of our users’ needs to heart as we envision potential new and enhanced capabilities in our products.


As we produce design solutions in increasing levels of fidelity, we test our designs with real people to see if they address our users’ needs. We'll make changes at each design iteration to fine-tune the experiences..

After we release our designs, we return to investigate and engage users so that we can validate and uncover additional opportunities. We continually iterate and optimize product experiences.

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