Analysis: UX / UI Will Determine the Success or Failure of Your Next Web Project

IBL News | New York

Today, creating memorable and effective user experiences adjusted to the target audience determines ultimately the success or failure of any web enterprise.

Consumers have millions of products to choose from. What separates the excellent from the mediocre comes down from the user experience.

The UX (user experience) design process starts by understanding the psychology of the user. It needs to effectively address the user’s desire to find the information quickly and convince him or her to come back.

The UI (user interface) layout should be designed to engage the audience, identifying the type of actions the user will take, whether it’s requesting more information, signing up for a service, or purchasing a product.

That’s when visuals, blocks of content, intuitive navigation, logical structure, call to action buttons, and other interactions will all come together.

UX and UI designers will start by keeping sight of businesses’ branding, marketing goals, and corporate strategy. They then put themselves in the user’s shoes, anticipating their motivators and turn-offs. Instead of making assumptions, by conducting user testing, surveys, and research on how people interact, it removes the guesswork and provides a starting point.

Consider also that consumer habits change. A website that left people satisfied two years ago, may now be less effective. It’s interesting to check the latest trends in web design.

Tools like FlowMappStormboard, and Whimsical can help construct user flows, determining how a design needs to be structured to later building a wireframe and prototype. Lastly, usability testing is the final step before the project goes live.

The golden rule on UX, UI, and usability processes, is to keep users at the center.

ResourceUX design process: a simple (but complete) guide


Arm Offers a Free Course on Embedded Systems and IoT Devices at

IBL News | New York

Arm Education launched a free course on about Embedded Systems which includes a virtual simulator to apply real-world applications [see below].

The class, now open for enrollment, will start on September 15, 2020. It will teache over six modules for six weeks, at 3-6 hours per week, on the fundamentals of the embedded systems that power mobile, wearable, and smart devices of AI and 5G-based Internet of Things (IoT) applications.

Arm–which is the industry-standard microcontroller architecture– designed the course for engineers and developers, especially interested in IoT.

Learners will be able to apply their knowledge of digital and analog I/O, interrupts, low power features, timer and pulse width modulation to program an audio wave generator and audio player, and control peripherals along the way.

“Embedded Systems Essentials with Arm: Getting Started” is Arm Education’s first course on edX.

The Cambridge, the UK-based company, joined the edX consortium this month.

The LMS Market Will Grow From $13.4 Billion in 2020 to $25.7 Billion by 2025

IBL News | New York

The increasing adoption of digital learning, the growing use of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), smartphones, enterprise mobile, AI and Machine Learning, and extensive government initiatives will push forward the LMS market from $13.4 billion in 2020 to $25.7 billion by 2025, at a CAGR (Annual Growth Rate) of 14%.

The instructor-led training–in a classroom setting or workshops– and academic use segments will account for larger market size.

As the COVID-19 outbreak is making a substantial impact on economies and societies, the LMS market is expanding, claims a recent report by Essentially, the growing acceptance of digital learning across enterprises will boost the growth of LMS solutions.

However, only tier 1 educational institutes have adopted new LMS solutions during this pandemic, while small institutions are focusing more on collaboration tools for teaching, such as Google Classroom and Zoom.

North America–a region strongly controlled by government standards and regulations–will account for the largest market size.

LMS companies are also facing challenges related to less spending on non-essential items by enterprises.

Pearson Ends Its Search for a New CEO by Naming an Ex-Walt Disney Executive for the Role

IBL News | New York

Pearson Plc, the British education publishing giant, ended his long search for a new CEO, choosing Andy Bird former president and chairman of Walt Disney International, an executive without experience running an educational organization – for the top job.

Andy Bird, who was appointed to the board of Pearson on May 1, 2020, will take over as CEO on October 19, 2020, Pearson said in a press statement. He will replace outgoing John Fallon, who announced in December that he would retire this year after a tumultuous seven-year tenure.

The new Chief Executive Officer will face the challenge of guiding Pearson “out of a slump that led to a string of profit warnings,” Bloomberg wrote. Putting the company back on the path of sustainable growth and profitability will be his main goal.

Pearson’s succession process took an unexpected turn in June when activist investor Cevian Capital grabbed a 5.4% stake in the company and pushed for a say in the choice of a new CEO. It increased that position to 8.5% as of July 29.

Yesterday, this company backed Andy Bird, as “he will bring “entrepreneurial experience and high energy to Pearson, and we expect him to drive profitable growth and shareholder value.”

According to the announcement of the appointment, Bird will make an annual base salary of $1.25 million. He will also buy $3.75 million worth of Pearson shares. 

Lambda School Raises $74 Million with Its ‘Pay Tuition Later’ Model

IBL News | New York

Lambda School announced it raised $74 million in a Series C funding led by Gigafund, a VC known for its investment on SpaceX. In conjunction with the funding, Gigafund co-founder and managing partner, Stephen Oskoui, will join Lambda School’s board.

Lambda School said that it will use the new funding to expand its program, refine coursework, and curriculum.

This school operates in the controversial space of the Income Share Agreements (ISA)a formula based on the market idea that tech developers don’t pay tuition until they get hired. Critics argue that the process of paying back fees based on your income is predatory.

“This year, we’ve taken steps to focus admissions targets, make critical team hires, and expand accountability for student outcomes and diversity and inclusion, among other efforts,” explained its CEO, Austen Allred.

With 3,000 students enrolled, the virtual school runs nine 18-month computer science live courses for $30,000, covering data science and full-stack web development.

Also this month, the San Francisco-based startup got approval by California’s Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education, after a period of difficulties with the bureau that saw Lambda cease teaching in the state and get fined $75,000, for operating without approval.

TechcrunchLambda School raises $74M for its virtual coding school where you pay tuition only after you get a job
EdSurgeCoding Bootcamp Lambda School Lands $74 Million and CA Approval — With a Concession


Udacity Will Award 1,000 Program Scholarships to the Black Community

IBL News | New York

Udacity announced this week that it will award 1,000 Nanodegree program scholarships “to members of the Black community in order to create a more diverse talent pipeline for in-demand skills like machine learning, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, and data analysis.”

Top-performing recipients will receive Udacity’s career counseling and interview guidance for one year. Recipients will need to be able to commit 10-15 hours per week per program and participate in the student community. The scholarship application period concludes on September 17, 2020.

This initiative is part of its Pledge to Equality Scholarship Program.

“The release of the scholarship comes at a time when the United States is still grappling with systemic racism, especially in the Black community,” said Udacity. “What’s more, this issue forced the tech industry to look inward and reflect on the continued lack of representation that persists in this field.”  

As of 2019, African- Americans make up, on average, 9% of the jobs in STEM, while the LatinX community makes up 7% of roles in STEM, according to Udacity’s data.

Udacity has launched other scholarship programs this year in partnership with technology employers like Amazon, Intel, Microsoft, and Alteryx.

The Mountain View, California-headquartered learning company said that “it has already awarded 7,000 challenge scholarships and 1,175 Nanodegree scholarships, with an ultimate goal of 20,000 this year, to those who have been laid off due to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The company also partnered with the Egyptian government to upskill the country’s emerging workforce.

Canvas LMS Will Provide Its Learning Platform to 13 U.S. States

IBL News | New York

Thirteen U.S. states will offer Canvas LMS as a statewide solution to support blended and online classes amid the pandemic.

Instructure, the company behind leading Canvas LMS, announced the partnership agreement yesterday.

Statewide deals for LMS solutions have been relatively infrequent until this year. Of the 13 states working with Canvas, four of them were implemented previously to this pandemic year. North Carolina, Utah, and Wyoming offered the LMS for student use across the state, while Texas implemented Canvas as a statewide offering for professional development for its educators. 

Education officials in AlaskaIowaNebraskaNevadaNew HampshireNew MexicoSouth Carolina, and Utah join the four mentioned states in implementing statewide agreements that allow every district to use Canvas. Wyoming and New Hampshire have made Canvas available for students from kindergarten through college. Schoology also recently announced one statewide deal for its LMS to be made available to districts across Texas.

Canvas said that is providing a platform based on open standards and interoperability that encourage districts to integrate its LMS with other educational technologies.

The implementation of statewide deals is often dependant on the individual districts. Each state and each district within the state has differing needs, and with so many states adopting new technologies in the past few months amid the pandemic, education leaders aren’t able to implement the purchases immediately. Many states will offer a multi-year implementation to help teachers, students, and parents become more comfortable with the technologies.

“We have seen that Canvas creates a more equitable and consistent learning experience for students in the classroom and online whether it’s used to support a 2nd-grade spelling assignment, an 8th-grade algebra class, a 12th grade AP English class, or their bachelor’s degree honor’s thesis,” said Melissa Loble, chief customer experience officer at Instructure.


Open edX & Learning Platforms | August 2020: HarvardX, Coursera, Udacity, Whole Foods, Skillshare…

Newsletter format  |  Click here to subscribe ]

AUGUST 2020 – NEWSLETTER #30  |  Breaking news at IBL News  |  Noticias en Español


edX | Open edX

• edX Posts the Release Notes of the Open edX Juniper Platform

• edX, HarvardX, and Google Introduce a Certificate Program on Tiny Machine Learning

• edX Incorporates UAF as a New Partner and Launches a Master’s in Civil Engineering with Purdue



• Coursera Valued at $2.5 Billion After a Finance Round of Additional $130 Million

• A Coursera Report Finds Economic Recovery to be Dependent on Broad Re-Skilling



• Udacity PR Campaign Claims a Revenue Increase of 260% in the First Half of 2020

• A Unit of the Air Force Will Train Airmen in AI, Data and Programming with Udacity’s Programs


Future Learn

• Simon Nelson, Original CEO of FutureLearn, Leaves His Company


Learning Platforms

• Whole Foods Launches a Series of Life-Skills Courses Taught by Instagram Influencers

•, with 30,000 Creative Skills-Oriented Courses, Raises $66 Million

• 2U Reported Second Quarter Loss of $66 M; Stock Improved 83% This Year



• Researchers Develop an Open Source Tool for Social Conversations on Events and Conferences

• A Tool to Create Personalized Learning Pathways from

• Google Meet Unveils New Features Allowing More Control and Increasing Security


2020 Events 

• Education Calendar  –  AUG  |  SEP  |  OCT  |  NOV  |  DEC  |  Conferences in Latin America & Spain


This newsletter is created in collaboration with IBL Education, a New York City-based company specialized in AI and credential-driven learning platforms. Read the latest IBL Newsletter   |  Archive of Open edX Newsletters

President Trump Pushes Universities to Reopen Despite a Spike of Virus Infections

IBL News | New York

President Trump urged universities to continue reopening their campuses, even as some institutions have reported clusters of COVID-19 outbreaks and hundreds of new cases.

We have learned one thing, there’s nothing like campus there’s nothing like being with a teacher as opposed to being on a computer board,” Trump said during a White House press briefing yesterday. “The iPads are wonderful but you’re not going to learn the same way as being there.”

President Donald Trump blasted universities that have canceled in-person classes, arguing that the virus is akin to the seasonal flu for college students–despite the commonly shared view of health experts that the novel coronavirus is deadlier than the flu and more easily transmitted.

“For older people and individuals with underlying conditions, the China virus is very dangerous, but for university students, the likelihood of severe illness is less than or equal to the risk of the seasonal flu.”

Currently, universities are rethinking opening plans after a spike in infections in the last week as students returned to campus. The pressure is mounting to close campuses. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill decided on Monday to suspend in-person classes for the fall. Notre DameMichigan State University, and The University of Pittsburgh also pivoted to online-only classes for undergraduates before they arrive on campus.

The COVID-19 virus is already spreading through colleges mostly because of off-campus parties, and daily life in sororities and fraternities. A recent example was known yesterday. Last weekend at the University of Alabama, in Tuscaloosa, bars and sidewalks were crowded with sorority members and other students reveling in their return-to-school rituals, sparking the fury of university officials.

Also, yesterday, The New York Times linked at least 251 cases of the virus to fraternities and sororities across the country, including in Washington, North Carolina, Berkeley, Calif., and Oxford, Miss.


More Colleges Expected to Follow UNC’s Switch to Remote Learning Amid a Surge of Covid Cases

IBL News | New York

Experts predicted yesterday that many colleges will follow the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s decision to backtrack plans to reopen its campus for in-person learning and shift to remote learning amid a surge of COVID-19 cases among students.

For now, two major research universities have announced to reverse plans to resume in-person instruction, although at a smaller scale than UNC. The University of Notre Dame decided yesterday to suspend in-person classes for almost 12,000 students, moving undergraduate classes online for two weeks while keeping students on campus. Michigan State asked undergraduates who had planned to live in residence halls to stay home.

Crowded, mask-free parties at Oklahoma State University, Notre Dame, Iowa State, Villanova, and other colleges took place over the weekend. The lack of social distancing, along with dorm contact environments, are predictable scenarios for the spread of the pandemic–epidemiologists claim.

UNC-Chapel Hill decided to move all undergraduate classes online starting today Wednesday, while it offered students the opportunity to cancel residence hall requests with no penalty.

The announcement on Monday followed reports of four Coronavirus clusters over three days in dorms, apartments and a fraternity house. As a result, 130 students tested positive.

As of Monday morning, 954 students were tested, 177 students were put in isolation and another 349 in quarantine.

This week, UNC’s infectious disease experts are making changes to de-densify campus.

“As much as we believe we have worked diligently to help create a healthy and safe campus living and learning environment, we believe the current data presents an untenable situation,” UNC-Chapel Hill’s Chancellor, Kevin M. Guskiewicz, and Provost, Robert A. Blouin, wrote in a statement.

In April, the interim president of the UNC announced that he wanted all campuses to re-open in the fall. In August, the UNC Board of Governors announced their mandate for campuses to reopen. Last week they all got their way, with the dorms at UNC re-opening at full capacity, despite faculty and staff workers’ protests.

Yesterday, the editorial board for the Daily Tar Heel, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s student newspaper, called out university leadership after the outbreak.

“Everybody told the university not to reopen, and it was only a matter of time,” said Nikhil Rao, a student government senior adviser who has participated in online meetings with provost Bob Blouin every month since April along with other student leaders. “I would be shocked if I didn’t know this was going to happen.”

Meanwhile, university officials are blaming off-campus parties and activities for the surge in COVID-19 cases.

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