Education for a brighter, equity-centered tomorrow

Transform learning experiences by combining technology with research, design, and implementation.

Student doing virtual learning using edtech

Pioneer change with us

The next generation of Education

Today’s education environment is primed for adoption. By reinventing the approaches of learning and collaboration, equity-centered design helps affirm and advance relationships between institutions, educators, and students. The targeted application of the strategies below shrinks the long-standing equity and accessibility gaps in order to make quality education available to all learners. Rooted in equity-centered education, Substantial specializes in:

  • Design Research + Strategy
  • UX / Product Design
  • Full Stack Development

Let's leverage the power of direct learner insights to design for change.

Our clients

  • Bezos Foundation
  • Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Khan Academy
  • Stanford University
  • University of Washington
  • USC Shoah Foundation

Our capabilities

From research to deployment

Meaningful and relevant learning tools are needed for an ever-evolving world. We see a bright future ahead - a place where insights, imagination, design, and technology conspire to deliver valuable and inclusive experiences for students, educators, and society. We’re here to help you get there.

  • Design Research + Strategy

    Increase the understanding of your learners by gathering and synthesizing the right data, improving team alignment, and gaining learning strategies that can help you lead through learning innovations.

    • Equity-Centered Design and Research
    • End-User Research & Insights
    • Experience Strategy
    • Outcomes / Impact-Focused Design
    • Service Design
    • Systems Thinking
    • Concept Development + Testing
    • Ethical/Responsible Technology Innovation
  • UX / Product Design

    Design is an ongoing opportunity to answer complexity with simplicity and to ensure frictionless learner engagement. We synthesize your product vision into a user journey that prioritizes your learner's needs and wants at every touchpoint, designing to maximize usability and joy for every user. Working in concert with development, we iterate, test and optimize to ensure interactions are transformative.

    • Prototyping
    • Design Audits
    • Inclusive Design
    • UI / Visual Design
    • UX / User Experience
    • IXD / Interaction Design
    • Design for Accessibility
    • Experience Design
    • Integrated Design + Development
  • Full Stack Development

    There is a growing demand for dynamic lifelong learning experiences that meet emerging learner and industry needs. We push the limits of equity-centered learning research and design to create tools that ignite learner passion, curiosity, grit, and problem-solving skills.

    • Rapid Iteration
    • Technical Audits
    • Continuous Validation + Testing
    • IA / Information Architecture
    • Scalable Architecture
    • Front-end Development
    • Back-end Systems
    • 3rd Party Integration
    • Web + Mobile Apps


There’s such a change in Substantial’s approach from a traditional UX research firm to the truly human side of things to lift up voices and have them involved.

Sri Remala, MPA Program Officer, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

You’d definitely won me over. I’ve been a vendor. There were a lot of qualities and approaches to the work I admired. I felt so well taken care of. You’re a top shelf partner.

Jason Barnes, Technical Product Lead, Educause

Everyone was laser focused on what needed to happen. Everyone knew it was going to be a challenge but was willing to go the extra mile to make it work.

Leah Lang, Director, Corporate Engagement, Educause

There was a lot of complexity in terms of the deliverables. I was really impressed with how quickly we put together the output.

Leah Lang, Director, Corporate Engagement, Educause

Fast Facts

Digital products launched
1 MM
Students using products we made
Countries utilizing our edtech work
Grades researched

Let’s build a better future, together.