From United States

Posted on December 26, 2022
9.9 Design
9.8 Functionality
9.7 Engagement
9.9 Mobile

The fourth quarter is often a time when businesses reflect on the year they’ve just completed and look forward to new techniques and ways to scale up the company. Looking into EdTech gives companies solutions for improving things such as onboarding, ongoing training and starting company programs for people wanting to move into leadership roles. 

We spent some time researching the various education platforms, both ones offering courses and ones where companies can input their own information and offer whatever level of training they want online or in-person on computers. 

After narrowing the options down to a handful of platforms with a ton of flexibility, we settled on Instructure as one of the best options and best site designs out of the contenders.

Although our award is based on the overall design of the site, we did take into consideration the design elements of software as well as the overall user experience (UX) from start to finish. 

Winner: Instructure

Instructure screenshot

What are the little known factors that turn an education technology website into something to behold? After all, those creating the site clearly already know a thing or two about design. However, many companies fall flat when it comes to creating landing pages that convert site visitors into customers. 

MarketWatch estimates the global EdTech market is around $1.15 billion, with an expected annual growth rate of 26.32% through 2027. The more employers change what they’re currently doing to attract and keep top employees, the more of a need there will be for services such as the ones Instructure offers.

We chose Instructure as a Designerly award winner mainly because of their on-point call to action (CTA) buttons offering site visitors the opportunity to explore the platform or watch a video. There is also a CTA inviting users to “Get a Demo.”

What Is Instructure?

instructure our story page screenshot
Instructure “Our Company Story” Page

Although the education technology company found its start in Salt Lake City, Utah in the United States, they have offices all over the world. You can also find company representatives in the United Kingdom, Hungary, Australia, Hong Kong and Brazil.

Two graduate students started the company in 2008. By 2012, they were offering open online courses for people from all walks of life. Today, the company has a number of assets including Canvas, EesySoft and Practice. 

The e-learning market is on an upward trajectory. The pandemic sped up the implementation of online classroom options in K to 12, higher education and the workplace. As the world returns to life after COVID-19, people still want remote options for work and learning. By 2026, e-learning will be a $400 billion market. 

With their acquisitions of smaller brands and constant software updates, Instructure is poised to grow even more in the next few years. 

What we loved most about this beautiful, audience-centered site included:

  • Informational video
  • Beautiful CTA buttons
  • Attention-grabbing headlines

We really love the way the favicon perfectly matches the company logo and appears crisp and eye-catching in a browser tab. 

Why We Chose Instructure as a Top EdTech Design

Brian Whitmer and Devlin Daley, freshly graduated from Brigham Young University secured funding from Josh Coaes of Mozy and Epic Ventures. Within two years, Utah Education Network chose Instructure to replace Blackboard as their higher education learning management supplier. 

By making their main product, Canvas, open-source and offering it for free, they were able to gain even more market share from Blackboard. The company has grown rapidly in the last twelve years.

The company’s modern approach on their website shows how the founders had an attitude of not letting anything stop them. What is so brilliant about this design that you can apply to your own website?

Strong Color Palette

The site uses complementary colors of red and orange and blue and yellow to create sharp, eye-catching contrast on the page. Because the colors are so bold, they set it all against a white background with small splashes of a neutral blue-gray. 

Navigational Hierarchy

As companies grow, the navigational structure sometimes grows bulky and hard to navigate. Instructure’s design takes into account the growth of the brand and puts the user focus right where it needs to be. The main menu limits options to five categories:

  • K-12 
  • Higher Education 
  • Resources 
  • News & Events 
  • About Us

An expanded menu appears in the footer. 

Interactive Features

The instructional video explains what the platform does for learning institutions and how it helps educators, parents and students better navigate online learning. They also offer a free demo so institutions can figure out how the platform works for their needs. 

Mobile Responsiveness

Screenshot of Instructure taken on an iPhone 12 Max Pro
Screenshot of Instructure taken on an iPhone 12 Max Pro

The ways people search online have changed over time. Over 50% of people use their mobile devices to browse online. One thing Designerly always considers before handing out an award is how well a site adapts to a smaller screen.

We’re very impressed with the way Instructure looks on a smartphone. Everything condenses and only the most crucial information remains. The overall look is minimalist and easy to read.

Live Chat

instructure live chat popup screenshot
Screenshot of Instructure Live Chat Popup

We like that the live chat is easy to find and integrates with the look of the rest of the site. Using a bot allows them to answer common questions before sending details to an agent for more detailed follow up. 

What We Would Do Different

Even though the design is stellar, instead of putting the demo behind an information paywall, we would open it up for anyone to try without providing detailed information to do so. The power of the buyer journey is in the software and its WYSIWYG environment. 

As far as the rest of the design, everything works together so perfectly that we wouldn’t change a thing. We love the navigation, the logo placement and size, the information is just the right amount and the CTAs draw the user in. Adding interactive features such as a video engages the reader.

Instructure is a high tech company with a beautifully designed website that shows just how easy their software might be to use as well. With so many features and other products, the website could have become overly complex but the design is simple and limited to only what matters. We love the design and think others can learn a lot about what to do right in their own web development projects by studying this one.

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