Experience Analysis & Design (EAD)

WHAT IF you could build a better Student Experience based on rich data from your own student population, and not rely on off-the-shelf recommendations from consultancies giving every campus the same tired strategies.

WHAT IF you could get data on what your students actually DO, not just what they THINK or FEEL?

WHAT IF you could zero in on their pain points with your product, service or program by understanding the most important things they’re trying to accomplish when they use it?

WHAT IF you had actionable data on how to prioritize improvements to better serve your students, getting more bang for your budgetary buck?

WHAT IF you could understand your students’ needs – spoken or unspoken – so well that you could design a service, product or experience that would turn them into your biggest fans!

With an EAD, YOU CAN!

Experience Analysis and Design is an “Outside-In” approach to service, product and system transformation that works from the observable experience of the student to the user experience, service design or business process.

EAD uses observation; student, faculty, and staff interviews; quantitative surveys; and design thinking to get a 360° look at the customer experience. With a project team of 7-10 employees, you can get unparalleled Voice of the Student insight into a service, product or experience and a path for improvement and innovation in just 14-16 weeks.

Best of all, Refuturing can train YOUR team in just a few days to use this powerful approach to unlocking superior student understanding. Use our approach to build a strong internal capacity that will enable your institution to reap the benefits of improved student insight for years to come.

CASE STUDY #1: The University of California San Diego

The University of California San Diego was looking to select a Learning Management System that met the needs of not only its faculty, but improved outcomes for its students. Using the EAD methodology, staff from the Academic Technology Group and IT Services gathered qualitative Voice of the Student and Voice of the Faculty data, as well as extensive quantitative data on student and faculty painpoints for their then-current LMS platform. After engaging students, faculty and staff in a solution co-design and prioritization process, UCSD ITS was able to enact several service and process improvements that immediately improved the student experience while using the data to inform the RFP for a more modern LMS whose strongest features aligned perfectly with quantified measurements of student need.

Soon after, UC San Diego used the EAD methodology to gather data on comprehensive student experience painpoints to drive building an RFP and Conference Room Pilot process for acquiring and implementing a new Student Information System that would address the most pressing student experience and student success needs. In the process, UC San Diego also uncovered additional, non-SIS areas of the student experience that were ripe for immediate process and service design improvements.

“Our work with Refuturing has been critical to understanding the voice of our learners at a deeper level through an iterative, data informed approach. Ultimately, this work informed and influenced prioritization of projects and reorganization of certain functions to put learners at the center.”

Jessica Norris, Chief of Staff, Maryville University

CASE STUDY #2: The University of Kentucky

Faced with widespread faculty discontent over the institution’s Learning Management System, the University of Kentucky used the EAD methodology to precisely pinpoint the most urgent Student and faculty needs. What they uncovered surprised them – most painpoints could be addressed in the short-term by service and process improvements that emerged from their Student and Faculty Co-Design process while they waited for the LMS market’s newest entries to mature. Three years later, they launched a follow-up version of the EAD Quantitative Survey and found that a new LMS would indeed be required to fully address Student and Faculty Pain Points. The data from the earlier EAD and the follow-up survey were used to develop an RFP for a better platform to encourage student learning and academic success.

The University of Kentucky then employed the EAD methodology across a number of other projects to enhance the student experience, including:

  • Designing an online experience for the College of Architecture that would allow students in their critical Study Abroad program to complete a required studio and seminar sequence in order to graduate on time, without an extra semester to meet these requirements after returning home, saving their students time and money!
  • Examining the campus’ distributed Advising system. UK used the data to build and strengthen Advisor networks across campus, deploy a new Advisor notetaking system integrated with the SIS to ensure a 360° view of the student and maintain student histories across programs and offerings, develop a new kiosk and calendaring system, and more to improve the Advising experience.
  • Uncovering unknown drivers of graduation in the 5th year and beyond that were surprisingly unrelated to student success issues. Instead, opportunities for new interdisciplinary degrees these students were creating on an ad hoc basis were identified, increasing innovation opportunities across campus.


EAD Training is conducted in a high-quality virtual format in 8 3.5-hour sessions with up to 40 participants. Depending on your scheduling needs, these sessions can be scheduled over the course of just 4 days or up to 8 weeks.

Over the course of the training we will take you through the entire methodology, covering topics like:

  • Observing Student Behaviors
  • How to Develop a Mind-blowing Interview Guide
  • Conducting Interviews that Delight Your Students
  • Building a Voice of the Student Survey Using Insights from Interviews
  • Cataloging the Student Experience
  • Building a Data Analysis War Room for Fun and Profit
  • How to Immerse Stakeholders in Your Data Using High-Quality Visual Artifacts
  • Using the Power of Co-Design to Unlock Student Insights
  • How to Socialize Student Insights Across the Organization
  • Kicking off Your First Project (for the initial Project Team)
  • And more!

Refuturing also includes Customer Support for the Initial Project team during your first 14-16 week project that includes weekly coaching meetings and deliverable reviews! We also have options for integrating into your initial project team to ensure success and on-time delivery of your Initial EAD Project.

Contact us now to schedule your Training and learn how EAD can work for your institution!

Time Constrained?

If you need to launch into a student insight project IMMEDIATELY or need to deliver results in a shorter time period, Refuturing can also conduct an EAD for you using an experienced team of researchers and facilitators. Just ask us when booking an EAD Training!