Early product iteration for a startup changing the textbook market

panOpen has set its sights on changing the $14 billion U.S. textbook industry by offering open source textbooks in digital format. They came to us for help visualizing an initial version of their product for early user testing and validation. Halfway through our design process panOpen was accepted into Kaplan’s EdTech Accelerator program powered by TechStars, which meant that we needed to quickly adjust our goals to help them get ready for demo day.

Since demo day, panOpen has raised $500,00 in seed funding and merged with the talented team behind, also a TechStars graduate.


Designing a White Label Prototype

panOpen’s new platform for textbook creation and distribution leverages OER, or open educational resource materials. Teachers use panOpen to adopt OER materials and customize them to fit their needs without concern for copyright infringement. These new OER textbook can then be offered to students at a substantial savings over the cost of a traditional textbook.

Our early designs for panOpen present a white label version of the app that integrates with a fictional community college. We mapped out user flows and wireframes that show how a teacher adopts an OER text and then customizes it for distribution within the platform. We also designed metrics tools that allow school administrators to track how much their students are saving annually by using panOpen’s new course materials instead of traditional textbooks.


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