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Jon Kolko Releases New Book on Consumer Design

Consumer-Focused Design Approach Driving Blackboard's New Product Strategy

WASHINGTON, Nov. 18, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Blackboard announced today the availability of the latest book by Jon Kolko, vice president of consumer design at Blackboard. Well Designed: How to Use Empathy to Create Products People Love, has been released by the Harvard Business Review Press.

Through a practical, step-by-step process, readers will learn how to build an emotional connection with consumers that is critical to the development of engaging new products. Kolko argues that innovation should be focused on forging meaningful connections with the people using the products and services, rather than focusing on features. This philosophy is driving Blackboard's new product and design strategy that is grounded in improving the educational experience for students and teachers.

Having joined Blackboard earlier this year, Kolko has worked with both startups and Fortune 500 companies over his 15 year career. Also the founder and director of the esteemed Austin Center for Design, Kolko is the author of three other books focused on innovation through design: Thoughts on Interaction Design, Exposing the Magic of Design: A Practitioner's Guide to the Methods and Theory of Synthesis, and Wicked Problems: Problems Worth Solving.

"Design needs to be the centerpiece for educational innovation and can't be presented as a forgivable quality or treated as an ancillary extra," said Jon Kolko, vice president of consumer design at Blackboard. "In order to create products people truly love, companies need to use a design process of storytelling and iteration that evokes positive emotions, changes behavior, and creates deep engagement. I am excited to share these thoughts in my new book, and practice the same methods and process in my work at Blackboard."

For more information about Blackboard, please visit or follow @Blackboard on Twitter.

About Blackboard Inc.

Blackboard is the world's leading education technology company. We challenge conventional thinking and advance new models of learning in order to reimagine education and make it more accessible, engaging and relevant to the modern-day learner and the institutions that serve them. In partnership with our customers and partners in higher education and K-12 as well as corporations and government agencies around the world, our mission is to help every learner achieve their full potential by inspiring a passion for lifelong learning. For more information about Blackboard, follow us on Twitter @Blackboard.

Source: Blackboard Inc.