UX Research for Education Organizations & Products

Need to conduct usability testing on a learning platform or university website? Need to run user research with young children, K-12 or college students, e-learners, or teachers? Our small research agency has deep experience working with a wide range of educational organizations and platforms, including:

  • Colleges and universities like Stanford, UVA, Emory, and GMU
  • Educational media and nonprofits like PBS
  • Early childhood development firms like Goddard Systems

Recent Education User Research Work

Morehouse School of Medicine — UX Research

In 2022, a year after launching its health equity data platform, the Satcher Health Leadership Institute at Morehouse School of Medicine needed to prioritize UX initiatives. Marketade led 13 in-depth interviews that helped the team create 4 personas and prioritize top opportunities. Learn more: Improving Satcher’s Health Equity Tracker with UX Research.

Icahn School of Medicine​ — App UX Testing

Rapid usability testing of an NIH-funded web app developed by the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in NYC. Remote testing with 8 patients and 4 caregivers prior to launch of the app. Generated solutions for 30 UX problems uncovered during research. Learn more: Helping Mount Sinai Improve Cancer Patient Health Through Usability Testing.

PBS — Child/Parent UX Research

Contextual interviews and prototype UX testing in the summer of 2020 with 12 pairs of parents and young kids. Focused on digital account usage for “America’s largest classroom.” Facilitated a remote workshop with stakeholders to analyze and act on user research. Learn more: Prototype UX Testing with Kids & Parents for PBS.

Remote usability testing of an NGO web platform

SIYLI — Content Audit & Strategy

UX audit, content audit, and content strategy for the Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute. Born at Google in 2007, SIYLI provides mindfulness training to companies and individuals, as well as teacher certification. Learn more: UX Audit for Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute.

AARP — KPI Workshop & UX Testing

KPI alignment workshop with the management team for an online adult educational platform from AARP. Followed by qualitative usability testing with a mix of desktop and mobile users, a heuristic evaluation, and quantitative web data analysis. Learn more: Usability Testing with Older Adults for a New AARP Digital Platform.

University of Virginia — UX Testing & Workshops

Usability studies for an academic health system that includes the UVA Medical Center and the UVA School of Medicine. Moderated UX testing and content testing supplemented with surveys and navigation testing. Workshops with staff and faculty. Learn more: How a Website Survey Gave UVA Health Actionable UX Insights.

Goddard School — Usability Testing

Email and website UX testing for this education franchise with 600+ schools and 75,000 students. Interviewed 10 parents seeking early childhood education. Led a 1-day ideation workshop with marketing and design stakeholders. Learn more: Usability Testing with Preschool Parents for The Goddard School.

Stanford University — UX Evaluation

UX, analytics, and A/B test recommendations for a mobile educational platform developed by Stanford and funded by the U.S. Department of Energy. The app applied behavioral principles to achieve large population-wide energy savings. Learn more: Helping a Stanford Team Improve an Energy Platform’s UX & KPIs.

Emory University — Usability Testing

Qualitative UX research to guide a redesign of data visualization platforms run by the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University — followed by an analysis and ideation workshop. Learn more: Improving Two Emory Public Health Platforms with Usability Testing.

George Mason University — User Testing

Lightweight usability testing and website UX audit for the community arts education division of GMU. Supplemented with quantitative analysis of Google search keyword data. Helped to double class enrollment within 6 months.

“I saw a lot of behaviors in our users I never would have predicted.”

Megan Rowe

Social Media Editor, UVA Health

Our Process for Education Research Projects

While our consultants customize each project, many of our education-focused user research projects follow this 5-step approach.


We reach alignment on your project goals, research questions, audiences, KPIs or OKRs, and logistics.


We deliver a summary report with all analysis findings, solution ideas and research recordings.


We facilitate a 1-day remote workshop with research observation, analysis, and ideation.


We conduct a rigorous recruiting and screening process to find representative users (e.g. students, teachers, staff, etc.)


We moderate 1:1 research sessions, and sometimes supplement this with quantitative research.

“Our enrollment has more than doubled since last semester. We really feel like this is because of the work you did for us.”

Assistant Director of Programs & Registration

Mason Community Arts Academy at GMU

Why Educational Organizations Pick Marketade

We’re small … and love big challenges.

As a nimble team, we’re a great fit for education organizations facing bureaucratic hurdles or a slow-moving culture. While some agencies complain about these challenges, we embrace them. We adapt our process to meet your constraints and collaborate to find solutions or workarounds.

We drive alignment.

Colleges, universities, and educational nonprofits are among the most siloed types of organizations. When teams lack alignment, research gets ignored by those who don’t like the conclusions, and fails to drive change. Our “team sport” approach brings a diverse group of stakeholders together to observe and analyze research. This process works wonders at building alignment on your biggest problems and opportunities.

We love complex products.

If you need research related to complex learning platforms, content-heavy university websites, or EdTech software, you’ll be in good hands with our consultants. We roll up their sleeves every day to interview users and moderate UX testing of complex digital products. We also write research plans and recruit niche audiences for nearly every project we lead. You’ll benefit from all this experience throughout your project.

“Our team found the session very enlightening and beneficial. We got some great takeaways. You guys rocked it.”

Director, Change Management

Goddard Systems, Inc.