Recently, Last Call Media had a special opportunity to perform moderated user testing for Blackboard’s corporate site, blackboard.com at their annual event, BbWorld. BbWorld is an event for learning professionals from around the world to learn about new innovations in educational technologies, as well as build their professional development. With a working prototype in place and an open mind for the results we’d uncover, we flew to Austin for 3 days of testing.
We learned a lot at BbWorld! In addition to learning what users thought about the new Blackboard.com, we learned about Blackboard itself. (For more data about this testing and the results it gave us, please read our new solution story “Looking Before We Leap: Pre-launch Testing of the New Blackboard.com!”) Personally, I used Blackboard products in college, and have always associated it as simply the Learning Management System where I could mainly check my grades and take courses. That was pretty much the extent of my awareness of Blackboard prior to working with them, and that was also the case for a lot of people within our company and (spoiler alert) some of the users we tested with. However, Blackboard is a holistic educational solution company that provides services, consulting, and products that aid in IT support, recruiting, school safety, and even social media management. We were excited to learn through the testing that the new site now better reflects this breadth.
Around 2,500 people were in attendance at the event, and it was a pleasure to get to chat with them. Everyone was friendly, and generous with their time, which we appreciated since their perspective is so important to making sure Blackboard.com is working for its users. The majority of people we spoke to at BbWorld told us they learned something new about Blackboard during their short time on the site. This was very exciting because BbWorld attendees were people already familiar with Blackboard!
In the end, our team and Blackboard found the testing to be a huge success with valuable data. Over the course of the three days, we hoped to have 10 or 15 solid interviews running about 15-20 minutes each, but we ended up with almost 70 interviews running 10-30 minutes each! With users feeling positive about the new site and the new navigation structure, we knew we were on the right track, and our findings have been instrumental in reshaping the new Blackboard.com for its relaunch with a cleaner, more modern and friendly site with an engaging user experience. (Again, for more information, read the solution story!)
We had the best time at BbWorld! We were able to learn more information about some of Blackboard’s products, their other sites, meet more of the team, watch Robert Reich’s keynote speech, and connect with some therapy dogs at the indoor dog park! If you’re in the education industry and haven’t attended yet, we highly recommend it!
Lastly, we had a great time in Austin, TX! We made our way to a couple of the big tourist attractions, like the Museum of the Weird and Austin’s famous bat bridge! To see more of the fun behind the scenes at BbWorld, check out our gallery below and our highlights on our Instagram story.