Brightspace was designed for higher education and was moving quickly in to the corporate market.

The product was missing a number of core corporate features; one of which was learning programs.

I was brought on to lead the design team responsible for developing in the corporate market. The organization was successful in a sub-segment of the corporate market but wanted to succeed in the broader market. In order to grow our business, we needed to develop a number of core features that was gaping wholes in the product.

I collaborated closely with our senior product and engineering leaders to develop a feature to help organization deliver learning programs. Learning programs enable organization to curate learning activties into one cohsive program. A good example is an onboarding program for a Sales team. The leadership or learning team can easily pull in courses, videos, and documents to deliver and track origramn completion.


Design Lead, Interim product management duties due to PM churn


Problem exploration, ideation facilitation, customer interviews, user interviews, wireframe design, high fidelity design, solution validation


April 2018 - July 2019


Live in production - the development effort was significant (2 years) and I'd moved on before release



Rather that bore your with the UX process charts that I’m sure you’ve seen countless times, I’ve highlighted the specific challenges that we faced with this initiative.

The major impact that I had was around design and product leadership. The morale and climate in the team was one of frustration and uncertainty. Developers and designers weren’t interested in corporate learning and development; they joined the company to work in education.

After conducting customer interviews, user research, and stockholder conversations, I went on an internal “road show” to highlight our findings with the organization. This had profound impacts in telling our own story and helped to motivate the team. We had organizational alignment from the bottom up.

Major Features

Our research gave us a strong point of view on what we needed to deliver for MVP so that we could differentiate our product. All of our competitors had "learning path" functionality for some time, but they were beginning to accrue UX debt. Our approach was to leverage design as a competitive differentiator. We also benefitted from a content consumption experience that was far superior due to our roots in higher education.

After working with our VP of corporate product management, we decided that our MVP needed to focus on creating and consuming learning paths. Our annual sales kick-off was taking place at the same time as our planning. We put together a prototype to gather feedback from the sales team.

Consume experience

We needed to really nail the "consume" experience. There was a lot of opportunity to improve analogous experiences and the design team had capacity to go broad. I worked with two designers from another team to ensure that the learning path experience worked well with our new "course consumption" experience.

After multiple rounds of solutions and prototypes, we landed on a version that tested really well with our users. The final solution provided a clear sense of progression and allowed for nesting a variety of content types. The new solution provided a new workflow for learning programs but also worked with native Brightspace courses.

Create experience

The goal for the "create" experience was to develop a new solution that would improve all "activity creation" experiences. The scope for this initiative was more constrained that the "consume" experience and we had to pull back. We didn't have the opportunity to make larger system impact and learned that it was too much of an undertaking. The broader solution was deemed critical and received its own project 3 months later.

The final outcome was a simple drag and drop solution that enabled administrators to pull from their existing course libraries. With a few simple clicks, they could curate their program, add dates, and begin enrolment.

A note on working remotely

I was the only designer located in our Winnipeg office. Most of the team was located in Kitchener Ontario, but we had a few people in Toronto and California.

Collaborating with design and development

- Full week remote design studio using Miro and Zoom.
- Week long remote design sprints with PDM, design, and SMEs.
- Full day working sessions while sitting on video calls.
- Sometimes we got together in person...