Establishing student-centered research and design organization for the biggest system of higher education in the nation.

California Community Colleges’ Student Centered Design Lab

Foundation for California Community Colleges (FCCC) identified the need to develop a portfolio of student experience services that would support the system’s portfolio of marketing campaigns, websites, applications, and technology tools. FCCC partnered with SymSoft to establish the Student Centered Design Lab as a student experience service provider included as an integral part of the California Community Colleges’ Educational Technology projects.

What We Did

  • Business Strategy
  • Service Design and Development
  • Methodology and Process Definition
  • Mentorship and Project Guidance


California Community Colleges’ vast technology landscape includes dozens of marketing campaigns, onboarding tools, student support services, educational tools, and career resources owned and developed by an equally large number of teams. Following the Vision for Success’ commitment to “always design and decide with the student in mind” Foundation for California Community Colleges secured philanthropic funding by College Futures Foundation to kick-start the lab that will provide student research services to the system project teams.


Product validation with students has become a standard part of the product development process in California Community Colleges projects. The lab developed a student participant database and the research knowledge base and established a 30-point assessment and certification service for campaigns, forms, websites, and web applications.

A user experience improvement report showing dramatically improved task completion rates.

Project Highlights

Business Strategy

SymSoft developed the business strategy for the Lab, outlining all critical operations details, including maturity stages, business priorities over time, project projections, staffing and team growth, offering, service pricing, and financial projections.

Whiteboard snapshot of the business strategy for s student-centered design organization.

Service Design and Development

We collaborated with the Foundation for California Community Colleges to develop a portfolio of experience design, user research, and certification services for the lab, including the expert skills matrix required for delivering the proposed services.

Service Design and Definition for a student-centered design organization.
UX tools logotypes: Optimal Workshop, Try My UI, Validately, User Testing, User Zoom.

Methodology and Process Definition

SymSoft worked with the research experts at the Foundation for California Community Colleges to define methodologies for business operations, project onboarding, user experience research, and student-centric solutions development processes. We developed detailed breakdowns of qualitative and quantitative research methodologies and reviewed the most popular tools for remote student research, such as Optimal Workshop, Try My UI, Validately, User Testing, and User Zoom.

Mentorship and Project Guidance

SymSoft’s experts worked with the Lab’s team of researchers to provide practical hands-on instruction on how to facilitate student research, analyze insights, and present the results to the project stakeholders. Through on-going support, we contributed to multiple Lab’s student-centered projects, including Student Success Metrics dashboard, and California Virtual Campus

Various Student Centered Design Lab projects showcased on multiple devices.

Like what you see?