John Keefer

The newly founded startup wanted to support institution needs to
create an international venue where faculty from differnt
universities can collaborate, build courses, and host virtual
courses. Students utilize the platform to gain a diverse
educational experience and achieve a global perspective.

The tool aims to be an intelligent companion in setting up highly
efficient collaborative structures to provide a place where
instructors with similar interest can create innovative courses to
tackle evolving needs.

The platform provides the tools to offer certificate and degree programs.

Tower Education Technologies, InspirED™ Platform

Product Designer, Design Team Leader, Creative Director


Remote – Boca Raton, FL

Created a visual design system for a massive platform that provides a tool for higher education institutions to collaborate with common Interests, develop course criteria, and host virtual courses.


Design a product that had never existed in the world before and prove that the concept could be delivered. Create a seemless platform that combines professional engagement with student lifecycle management, learning management, CRM, and analytics. The single, flexible, tailored platform alleviates the need for multiple systems.

Product Viability Research

Our research discovered that 99% of institutions say demand for online programs has increased each of the three years of studies conducted between 2016 through 2018. Faculty and students view online access as an important tool to recruit prospective students by personalizing the universities’ message to their life stage, characteristics, and academic goals.

Advantages include being able to run real-time assessments
of the student population and academic trends to deliver relevant
communications while engaging students in their online courses with interactive polls, surveys, chat, and video.

My contribution was to convert our research statistics into graphic marketing slicks to create interest in our technology.

Software Utilized

User Research

In the US there were 13.5 million students who were enrolled in offline learning across 6,472 institutions. There were 3.5 million students are enrolled in some online courses across 3,438 institutions. There were 3.1 million students are enrolled in fully online courses across 3,491 institutions.

As of 2018 and prior to the world moving to remote higher education institutions were already showing the signs of needing to pivot and migrate to remote learning options. These were the statistics we found prior to the world shifting to 100% remote.

What does this mean for physical locations?

1M fewer students attended classes on campus in 2016 vs. 2012. The demand for on-ground classrooms has decreased at many institutions across the nation.

That Syncing Feeling

In 2017-2018 more synchronous activities, like scheduled class meetings, have been integrated into online courses.

Is there actual distance involved in distance learning?
Attending online courses increases freshman retention rates 9-10%.
How does online learning impact student outcomes?

Students who took 41%-60% of courses online completed their degree in...


Students who attended classes on-campus only completed their degree in...

The online degree market is forecasted to reach...


Institutions are steadily prioritizing internationalization on their campuses to provide students an enriching and rewarding educational experience. As a result, these learners are broadening their perspectives, bolstering their soft skills, and challenging their identities, cultural understanding and assumptions. All in a quest to become global citizens. That’s where InspirED can thrive.


The task is to create a platform that combines professional engagement with student lifecycle management, learning management, CRM, and analytics. Our single, flexible, tailored platform should alleviate the need for multiple systems.


We needed to pull 3 open-source platforms together that could be displayed in a top-tier platform web application. Develop a solution solution provides the tools, templates, and best practices needed to create co-taught courses, co-author scholarly articles, embark on research, host and participate in peer reviews, and more.

Defining UX strategy & Ideation

We determined that we could combine three open-source
resources that each provide a singular resource component of the
greater plaform. We brainstormed names for each component
and landed upon naming that described each of components
tasks and had an, (ED), in the title, conotating it’s link to
education. The overall platform should be called Inspired™. The
main collaboration component for faculty to create courses would
be called Collaboraed™. The faculty and student learning
management system would called Blended™. And the student
information system would be called Connected™.

UI Product Identity Branding

Directly after the brainstorming meeting concluded, while being
excited that we had defined the path forward and developed the
naming, I got to work on my contributuion graphically combining
the platform and component names with the (ED) in mind while
incoporating aspects of the TOWER’s pre-existing logo. The result
was embraced and submitted for trademark registrations.

Software Utilized

Spreading the word...

"We needed a website!"

My role was to create an information based landing page website that was designed to promote our concepts, get the first beta testers on board, and attract investors.

Low Fidelity Wireframes

Created low fidelity landing page mock up designs
Software Utilized

High Fidelity Wireframes

Created high fidelity landing page mock up designs to obtain design approval sign-off from stakeholders prior to building out the website in WordPress.

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UI Design System

I was charged with creating, designing , and developing a design system guide that would be the basis our user interface screens would be built upon. It needed to set a standard that would spread seemlessly across all three open-source resources and our InspirED™ platform. This would be utilized for screen wireframes, prototype designs,and built out in HTML & CSS to be delivered to our develoment team.
Software Utilized

UI Components Library

The design system elements were carried out in to component designs where the source code would be displayed for the end user providing a seemless exaperience allowing university administrators, faculty, and students to collaborate and be able to intuitively navigate the platform to achieve thier goals. Hundreds of high fidelity screen designs were created to meet stakeholder requirements. Then the designs were applied to our XD prototype design and provided to the development team to do thier magic.

Software Utilized


After creating the visual elements it was determined that I needed to hire a team to help me execute buildout of the system while meeting the stakeholder requirements. As Creative Director I hired a Prototyping Specialist, a PSD to HTML Web Designer, and two Graphic Designers to assist the Marketing Team. We worked together in an Agile format delievering new screens to the Development Team on a daily basis until launch and on-boarding.
Software Utilized