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I’m pleased to announce the general availability of Bb Student, our brand new mobile product for students who use Learn. Bb Student v1.0 was reimagined from the ground up, and is intended to help students manage their academic progress at a glance. We’ve leveraged our new design language system to produce native Android, IOS, and Microsoft versions of this product, and I want to walk you through some of our design decisions.

First, we’re changing the way Blackboard builds products for learners. Rather than release software once a year, we’re going to build this product incrementally, adding new capabilities gradually based on what students want and need to succeed. We heard over and over that students are busy and overloaded. They fit their studies into the small chunks of free time they have through the day, and are looking for a single place to manage upcoming deadlines. Our first version is focused on bringing key academic information and content to students, providing a stream of updates and notification, displaying course content, and offering students insight into their progress and grades.

BbStudent Stream


Next, we’ve built out a product that’s extraordinarily simple to learn. We want to help learners get their information quickly, so they can focus on their academic journey. We’ve worked hard to “sweat the details”, anticipating what learners will look for and creating rapid access to content. You’ll see some unique interaction styles, including our lateral navigation, which provides quick access to different sections of the product. We’ve used motion to call attention to key details. And color is used sparingly, to call attention to critical components and information.

BbStudent Motion

Finally, our design language system is applied to all of the exciting products we’re launching. You’ll see similar and repeatable interaction paradigms and visual design patterns, so learners will be able to apply their system understanding from one product to another. Blackboard’s products live in an ecology, and we’re working to support the academic journey from end to end.


We hope you’ll check BbStudent out yourself in the Apple or Google stores; our Microsoft mobile and tablet apps will be available in two weeks.

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