Outcomes-driven design: engineer your edtech to deliver more value

If you want your edtech to be competitive, sticky, and to deliver value, use outcomes as your guiding light. 

From more than two decades leading product teams, I’ve found outcomes-driven design to be a game changer. 

Outcomes force you and your teams to debate, crystalize, and align on what you are trying to help your customer to achieve. They enable you to engineer your edtech with learning science to drive these outcomes and deliver more value. They enable you to objectively measure performance of your service and iteratively improve it. But most of all, they put your customer first and help you to keep them there.

I take a broad view of outcomes: they’re whatever your customer tells you (through probing interviewing) they’re trying to achieve. For example: edtech that students find easy to use; higher student engagement, confidence, and behavioral change; increased weekly test scores, course grades, retention, and completion; or, time saved from one teaching task to allow focus on one of higher value.

When using outcomes with product teams, I like to adulterate Peter Drucker’s well-known business adage:

“You can’t improve what you don’t measure. And, you can’t measure what you don’t agree as an outcome.”

So, take the time to workshop with your customers what outcomes they’re really trying to achieve. This will take your understanding beyond the limitations they experience with today’s tools to identify what they really care about. That’s your North Star.

Outcomes aren’t just good for education. They’re good for business.

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