Written By: Mariya Boyko, Product Manager and Christian Pantel, SVP Ux Development and Design
At D2L, we prioritize the needs of learners and educators. We place our users at the heart of our product development process, using user-centered design practices to create an intuitive learning platform.
About User-Centered Design
User-centered design (UCD) is an approach to product design that is grounded in a deep understanding of the people who use the products. By involving users throughout the design process, UCD ensures that solutions are built to be intuitive, effective, and delightful.
Understanding and Empathy
We don’t build products based on assumptions. We conduct proactive user research to understand the goals, motivations, and challenges of all our users – learners, instructors, and administrators. We also work with our users to understand their contexts, environments, and workflows. Recognizing the diversity of our user community, we build models to help represent our understanding and to guide our product direction.
We sincerely value the feedback we get from our users and have several open channels where they share their thoughts and experiences with us. Examples include interactions with our client-facing teams, the Product Idea Exchange, and discussions at events like Fusion, D2L’s annual user conference. These help us continue to refine our understanding of who our users are and what is most important to them. It helps us focus on key areas for product improvements and introduces new ideas for innovation.
Iterative Design and Usability Testing
Throughout a product improvement project or innovation project, we continue to work directly with our users. As we generate ideas, we represent possible solution directions with diagrams like concept maps and storyboards. We progress to wireframes and then working prototypes. At every stage, we take the opportunity to check our thinking with real users and adjust along the way. When we get to coding a solution, we have confidence that we are building a product that will resonate with people’s needs and desires.
Designing for Accessibility and Inclusion
D2L is committed to making education accessible and inclusive for all learners. Inclusivity is at the forefront of our design practice, ensuring that our products are highly usable by people with diverse abilities and learning styles. By embracing universal design principles and working directly with diverse groups of users, we empower educators to create inclusive learning environments where every learner can thrive.
By putting instructors, learners, and administrators at the centre of our design process, we create products that seamlessly integrate into their teaching and learning experiences. Through user research, empathy, collaboration, and inclusion we are building the learning platform that enables every learner to reach their full potential together.