Designing an E-learning app in 2021 — Education App Design

The Alien
8 min readFeb 16, 2021


Designing an E-learning app in 2021 — Education App Design

UX design is essential in ensuring optimum user experience, especially in Edtech products and services. This is why UX designers’ primary goal is to answer the pain points of users to make the products and services attractive to them. However, how exactly do they do that? In this article, we will be discussing how UX design attracts remote learners, what exactly is UX design and E-Learning app design?

What is UX Design?

Before discussing how the UX designers attract the attention of Remote learners, let us first establish what exactly is UX design, to begin with. Often, UX design is a term used interchangeably with UI design. However, they have significant differences.

UX design stands for User experience design while UI design stands for the user interface. Although UI design is a key factor in UX design, UX design also covers acquiring, integrating, branding, and designing products.

The focus of UX design is on the convenience of users, and since that is quite complex, it is what makes it a multidisciplinary field. This is why UX designers hail from different backgrounds, including interaction design, psychology, programming, and visual design.

UX designers design for humans, which means that they must have a great understanding of how to accommodate possible users and accessibility. The task of a UX designer varies, but they usually include the following:

UX Research

UX research refers to a holistic investigation of users and their needs. The information gathered from this research is used to provide another layer of context and idea on how to proceed with the product user experience design.

Both qualitative and quantitative methods are used in UX research, meaning that UX designers typically conduct usability testing, diary studies, contextual inquiries, and interviews.

Create Personas

Creating personas is a typical task for UX designers after doing UX design. Creating a user persona is developing a fictional representation of your target user. This persona will be used to build empathy and explore the needs and pains they might encounter while interacting with the software.

The personas will be heavily dependent on the information gathered from the UX research. Personas are highly helpful in creating smart strategies on what to incorporate into the design.


Wireframing refers to using a content layout that puts the user’s needs and desired user experience. It is commonly done during the early stages of designing, and it gives decision-makers a better view of how their idea translates into the design.

UI Prototyping

UI Prototyping is the more advanced step of wireframing. Although UX designers are considered to be different than UI designers, they both do this particular responsibility. UI prototyping has several vital purposes, such as being used as a basis for system usability or as a design artifact for exploring system solutions.

UX Writing

UX writing is using words to design what people see and hear when interacting with a software. It is just like typical writing, except it has to be more concise and communicative. It is also primarily made for software solutions and is produced in technology companies, which makes it sound a tad bit more complicated than ordinary writing.


Although it is not a requirement for UX designers to know how to code, being able to do so will be a significant advantage to them, especially when you will be using prototyping as part of the design building process.

Ways UX Designer Attract the Attention of Remote Learners

Now that you have a clear idea of what UX design is and what UX designers do let us talk about how UX designers attract remote learners.

UX design has a significant contribution in making an Edtech company successful. Since remote learners are mostly children, a smart UX design will significantly increase the accessibility and convenience of the products.

Here’s some example of what UX designers do to attract the attention of Remote learners:

Screen Time Evaluation

UX designers must understand that not all screen time is made equal, especially when it comes to Edtech platforms used by children. Although children have recently been spending more time online due to the current world condition, it has also brought new kinds of challenges.

According to a report published by AAP in 2016, children from zero to 18 months old should have no screen time, while those who are 18 months to 5 years old should only have 1 hour of screen time a day. Subsequently, those who are five and above should only have two hours of screen time per day.

The major challenge of UX designers is to make sure that educational platforms are interactive enough so that they wouldn’t go straight to Youtube during their recommended screen time. This is why UX designers invest in providing learners a balance of free exploration and guided learning, and to do that; they must have a proper screen time evaluation.

Live Actor User Tests

Another way that UX designers get the attention of remote learners is by conducting live actor user testing. These live actors are the children themselves, and their brutally honest opinion of the product is instrumental in making design changes and improvements. Moreover, kids know exactly what they want, and they are not afraid to tell you what it is.

One of the examples of successful UX design brought forth by the feedback from live actor user tests is the decision to pick Haley for Tappity. Their live actor user test showed that children were amused by Haley hence keeping them engaged in learning. The analysis also showed that children want to make their own decision. This result led to Haley being designed to follow the lead of the children on how to proceed with experiments.

Using live actor user tests, the UX designers have a clearer idea of how to attract the attention of the children’s remote learners thanks to their candid feedback.

45 Seconds Attention Span

The attention span of children is very limited. This is why UX designers’ goal is to keep the flow short and direct to the point. However, despite being short, it must still contain the necessary information that children need to learn

In some cases, UX designers overcome this challenge by providing a yes or no question after every prompt. This allows a good flow of interaction with the apps or platforms but still gives learners a chance to have a further explanation if ever they do not understand the question by choosing no

Having this type of flow also mimics real classroom interactions where students are allowed to ask questions about parts of the lessons that they do not understand. Although this might not be applicable for all remote learners, especially those who are much older, it is a practical and attention-catching approach for children.

Create Easy Transition for Teachers

UX designers should consider not only the remote learners in their design decision making but also the teachers. Teachers (especially the older ones) experience a lot of challenges integrating into Edtech platforms and apps. Even though apps already have their own AI, having real human learning engagement is still crucial, so it is important to encourage teachers to use them.

So how do UX designers address this? Well, it depends on what’s best for the company that they are working for, so it varies. However, in the past, many UX designers made sure that the teacher’s dashboard was accessible and easy to understand so that they wouldn’t be overwhelmed with the navigation of new technology.

Make the Design Appealing to Online Learners

Aside from the flow and process of engagement, UX designers also put significant considerations on the types of font, colors, and text arrangement for Edtech apps to catch learners’ attention. The answer to these considerations depends on who the learners are the platform caters to.

If the learners are mostly young children, having bright, bold colors will surely keep them interested. Having fun cartoon character animations and big, bold fonts will also help. It should also be easy for them to navigate the tools needed for each lesson.

However, it is a different story if you are designing a platform for high school or university students. They have different preferences compared to children. The good thing is that their attention spans are longer, so designers can provide more content without disengaging the user’s attention.

Design considering Safety and Privacy

Many parents worry about their children being online due to the various threats they are vulnerable to in the online world. This is why parents are more likely going to push their children to use apps or platforms that assure them of safety and privacy. At some point, such encouragement from the parents can help attract the attention of the learner to the app or platform.

Designing considering safety and privacy is a significant challenge for UX designers. However, it is not impossible to solve. UX designers can invest in security and privacy measures during the building process and improve it along the way.

Create Achievements

Many UX designers integrate achievement models in their design to increase the motivations of learners to engage with the platform hence encouraging their attention span to increase. An example of this design feature is by using a badge system when they reach a particular chapter or get a specific mark during quizzes. Another example is using achievement points that allow users to have some sort of privilege or access to extra features.

Creating an achievement system allows users to have a sense of accomplishment from doing engagement within the platform. It also gives your user experience flow a better rhythm than just monotonous learning.

Streamlining Choices

UX designers have also found success in streamlining choices to capture the attention of the remote learners for content-based products with multiple-choice tests. This is because, according to researchers, the effectiveness of multiple-choice tests is not in the number of choices, but more on the quality of distractors presented. This will encourage learners to think hard without wasting too much time analyzing plenty of options.

How Edtech Companies Benefit from Smart UX Design

Achieving a smart UX design with the help of UX designers will surely add value to Edtech companies. Here are some of the benefits that they will get out of this service:

Make learning straightforward and engaging

It is part of the job description of a UX designer to conduct numerous research about the pain points of users in an app and create solutions to address such issues. This allows the app or platform to be tailor-made according to user needs, making it easier to access its intended benefits.

In return, if the app is proven to be straightforward and engaging, teachers and administrators will be more inclined to invest in it by integrating it into their school system.

Provide feedback for more effective learning outcome

When an app uses the right kind of tools and triggers, it can help keep the learner’s interest, which is valuable. You could gain value by using smart UX design through gathering feedback, tracking performance, and assessing to make a more satisfying learning experience.

Better understanding of users

Using UX design will enable decision-makers to understand users better through the course of actions they do while inside the app. With these pieces of information, they will be able to uncover different recommendations to help improve the overall user experience leading to better decision making and creating credibility and brand recognition.

Final Word

UX designers play a significant role in the success of an Edtech platform. They act as the voice for the users while still having high consideration for the company’s business goals. The insight and information that they provide are integral in building the overall design of the product.

How UX designers grab the attention of remote learners is not a one size fits all process. However, their use of various disciplines and techniques can significantly help in identifying the pain points of the target users, thus leading to appropriate UX design decision making that can help companies grow exponentially



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