Design of the Times

Support for educators and families to reduce learning loss

Here at Cricket Design Works we’ve had a front-row seat from our safer-at-home workstations (a.k.a kitchen tables, front porches, couches, etc.) as to how businesses and organizations are responding to the challenges and changes brought about by the pandemic. While many of our clients have faced tough decisions about how to move forward in uncertain times, those in (or adjacent to) the field of education have a special mandate: to figure out ways to minimize learning loss for K-12 students across the nation.

We’ve had the privilege of working with two long-standing clients who have taken very proactive and unique approaches to addressing this concern. Education Analytics (EA) is a Madison-based mission-driven non-profit who has developed the Rally Analytics Platform to estimate and predict student academic performance where assessment data are missing from Spring 2020 and to help students recover from COVID-based learning loss. Camp Kinda is a new virtual summer camp experience created in partnership with Chicago-based non-profit Ed Navigator.

Let’s Rally!

EA developed Rally in collaboration with CORE Districts in California and the South Carolina Department of Education. Rally is a suite of interactive tools that predicts student performance where there are data-gaps and will track student resilience during this coming school year. The Platform combines academic and well-being information from different sources and enables educators to quickly identify academic content to focus on, then connects them to curricular and well-being resources to support their instruction.

Rally provides a way for teachers to get to know and understand their students well-being and academic status as they return to school this fall. Rally also provides class-management tools and interactive notebooks to share notes with their colleagues, set goals and monitor their students progress with interim assessment data whether in a classroom, hybrid or remote learning environment. Though the Rally Platform was conceived as a response to COVID, the Platform would be useful anytime there is a learning loss event.

In order to go from concept to reality, EA had to move at lightning speed. They brought Cricket Design Works on as a branding and design partner to create Rally. Together we employed a user-centered approach to design the front end of the user interface of the platform, and conducted multiple rounds of usability testing with educators to get their input on how they would use the platform to support their instruction. The process was an immersive sprint from tip-to-tail, and put our “Many Hats” and “Juggling of Balls” skills to the test.

We had to design, test, and iterate in record time, while making sure nothing was sacrificed in the final product. - Bethany Kersey

The Rally Analytics Platform has now launched in districts across California and South Carolina this fall. EA will continue to do usability testing and expand the capabilities of Rally this fall as they onboard additional states for spring of 2021.

Camp Kinda

It used to be that when school ended for the summer, kids all across the country would go to summer camps. But what happens when there are no summer camps? That’s where Camp Kinda comes in!

“Kinda like summer camp”, CampKinda is a different kind of camp for a different kind of summer— “a free virtual summer experience designed to keep kids in grades K-8 engaged, curious, and having fun—even if they're stuck at home.” It was developed in partnership with Ed Navigator, “a nonprofit organization that helps busy families and students achieve their educational goals by providing them with affordable, high-quality, personalized support”, and “knows how hard it can be to keep kids on track, no matter who you are or where you live.” Camp Kinda is Ed Navigator’s answer to a question parents and caregivers across the country asked when COVID struck: “What the heck are we going to do all summer?”

After a quick launch, it kept us on our toes to deliver daily just-in-time content throughout the summer. - Cricket

Camp Kinda was designed and launched within three weeks from initial concept. We worked hand-in-hand (socially-distanced, of course) with the Camp Kinda team to create the visual identity, design and develop the website, and illustrate weekly modules for the 13 weeks between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

More than 40,000 kids and families across the country registered to participate in 13 weeks of free, self-directed learning.

Camp Kinda has been such a rousing success that there are plans to continue into the fall with “The Kinda Guide for Parenting during a Pandemic”, a partnership with business sponsors and supported by donations. The guide will include weekly emails and occasional camp modules throughout the year. See for yourself and learn more at

As a B-Corporation we’re proud to have participated in both of these ed loss-related related projects to support teachers and their families during these unprecedented times.