The pandemic has upended education as we know it. School districts and universities across the country were overwhelmingly unprepared for the overnight shift to long-term distance learning and its resulting consequences around equity, relationships, and alignment.

While schools and teachers have shown great courage and ingenuity in rapidly adopting technology that was not designed to address these challenges, this very technology can contribute to exacerbating inequity, weakened student-teacher relationships, and fragmented systems. There is ample opportunity for EdTech to better support teachers, students, and families in the current remote learning context and beyond.

As the education sector looks to evolve…

By: Laura Carr, Senior Designer, Artefact + Paige Ormiston, Senior Designer, Artefact

You need a design system. Yes, you.

As a busy product owner working at a start-up or overseeing an established portfolio of solutions, we know the last thing on your mind might be putting precious time and resources toward another internal tool.

Yet a design system is not only the single most effective tool to improve the efficiency of how you create, maintain, and innovate experiences, but you don’t need significant in-house design expertise to get started, either. …

By: Holger Kuehnle, Executive Creative Director, Artefact

As emerging technology becomes an increasingly ubiquitous part of our lives, the design decisions we make today will shape how these technologies impact the world over the decade to come.

This series envisions how we might apply emerging technology in specific industries to create positive impact. We’ll explore what might accelerate or hinder these realities and the key risk areas and unintended consequences to consider.

With society seemingly more divided than ever, coming to a shared sense of reality, empathy, and purpose is a public imperative. While we often think of virtual reality…

By: Rob Girling

With COVID-19 extending school closures across most of the U.S., many parents and students are facing the prospect of an entirely virtual school year come fall. But what will students experience from behind the glow of a computer screen? Can digital learning be as effective and engaging as in-person education?

Educational games prioritize students’ questions and interests over a rigid curriculum. [GETTY]

“I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.” — Confucius

We know interactivity is key to learning, understanding, and growth. People derive meaning through active engagement with the world, such as experiments or real-world problem-solving. Yet, the vast majority of learning software follows a passive view of education: the learner is an empty vessel to be filled…

By: Jeff Turkelson

A design solution is only as strong as the research that informs it. Across the wide variety of industries and topics of inquiry we’ve pursued at Artefact, each research undertaking is important in its own way. Despite different approaches and methods, when we go into the field as designers, there are three principles we follow to get the most out of our research:

  • Analyze in parallel: Analyze findings as we go to jumpstart analysis after research and be efficient with our time.
  • Expose and collaborate: Give client partners an opportunity to react to what we’re hearing and…

By: John Rousseau

While the future is always unknown, the pandemic has amplified our awareness of uncertainty, implicating many facets of life that were once thought of as enduring.

This series explores this altered landscape through the lens of critical uncertainties and narrative sketches of potential 10-year futures. These scenarios are not predictions — they illustrate a range of plausible outcomes that may help challenge prevailing assumptions, spark discussion, and inform more resilient strategies.

The strategic question

In light of the current pandemic, how might the future of mobility evolve in the US by 2030? …

By: Rob Girling

As we contemplate life at home away from others and communal events, we are all seeking ways to maintain a sense of community and connectedness. For many, fitness is a ritual that is not only essential to physical well-being but an important way to connect with and build community.

Peloton’s bike and treadmill products are well designed — but what about their community experience? GETTY

One business uniquely positioned to thrive in the age of isolation is connected fitness company Peloton. Well before the COVID-19 pandemic, Peloton was establishing itself as a new kind of leader, building a community of shared virtual suffering far from the sweat and germs of the local gym…

By: Rob Girling

“Important.” “Landmark.” “Genuine and meaningful.” This is just some of the praise received by the most lauded and brilliantly designed hardware device that you may have never heard of.

Disabled gamers use a shared controller to play a Xbox console racing game together at the new Microsoft Corp. flagship store in central in London, U.K., on Tuesday, July 9, 2019. Photographer: Chris J. Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

In the design community, there is almost unanimous consensus that Microsoft’s $99 Xbox Adaptive Controller is one of the best-designed industrial products of our time, with the potential to inspire and impact the future of how humans interact with physical products. Perhaps you’re searching the Internet right now for an image of this wonderous design — I will confess part of me hopes you are disappointed when you…

By: Jeff Turkelson

Last year, a few colleagues at Artefact implored me to run a game of Dungeons and Dragons (D&D) for them, as none of them had played before. Though I played for years in college, I had never facilitated a game and was excited to give it a shot. …

By: Sheryl Cababa

It’s not every day that you get to meet an icon. I had the opportunity to speak with a personal hero of mine last week, indomitable tech journalist Kara Swisher, who was in town giving a talk Artefact organized in partnership with Seattle Arts and Lectures. As witty and wry as ever, her conversation revolved around the pertinent themes of technology usage, industry regulation, and some pointed commentary on Jack Dorsey’s beard.

In reflecting on Kara’s lecture and recent high-profile criticism of the tech industry, however, I got to thinking about the current all-or-nothing approach to technology…


Artefact is a responsible strategy + design firm. We help you harness the power of design to make change + do good.

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