Giant Steps

GoGuardian, a leader in the education-technology space, aims to create learning environments that help all learners to be ready and inspired to solve the world’s greatest challenges. We worked closely with them to design, name, brand, test, and finally develop a website for Giant Steps — a digitally-enhanced learning experience focused on driving better outcomes through thoughtful gamification and the best-in-education science. 

An adult and a child in a classroom looking at a computer, they're smiling.

Practice Makes Perfect

While technology has become fundamental to education, many platforms are isolating, overly competitive, and ultimately abandoned because they lack the needed balance between being fun for students and measurably effective for learning. GoGuardian saw this unmet need as an opportunity to create an experience that was as engaging and fun as it was successful in driving positive social and academic outcomes. They brought Instrument in to help make it a reality.

A child doing work at the kitchen table with a computer and a notebook.

Learning, redefined

As we immersed ourselves in the landscape and the needs of learners and teachers, we quickly understood that to make effective practice more engaging, we not only needed to make it more delightful but also had to create an experience, guided by their teacher, that invites every learner to play, progress, and win in their own way. 

From there, we collaborated with the GoGuardian team to develop over 400 experience concepts across 13 features. We narrowed these down to an MVP set of requirements designed to cultivate a growth mindset, increase motivation, and facilitate a positive learning community for teachers and students. 

A colorful graph showing student and teacher goals

Through an iterative process centered on UX, development, and testing sprints, we refined the functionality and design system — all focused on delivering GoGuardian's promise to "reach every student, every day." Along the way, we conducted eight diverse, nationwide testing cycles and collaborated with the front-end development team to deliver componentry as we went. 

By the end, we had delivered a comprehensive QA & VQA'd experience that combines effective practice with engaging details that appeal to learners and educators alike. 

Showing mobile interaction showing personalization of individuals profile emoji and progress.

Turning practice into play 

As we built the product, we simultaneously worked on defining the brand. Through research in the education community, we identified the need for a platform that puts learners at the center. The reason was simple — while the learners, educators, administrators, and parents all have slightly different needs, everyone wants learners to feel empowered and grow.

Now focused on learners, we found that the practice experiences they most engage with have common denominators — they’re fun, provide deep and meaningful connections, and allow space for self-expression. In other words, they combine practice with play. 

Turning practice into play became the heart of our brand platform. It allowed us to articulate the best of what the product offers and appeal to the needs of our audiences at the same time.

It's been a true partnership where together we've crafted a product and brand that not only puts learners at the center but is also innovative, purposeful, and built for us to continue to grow as a company.

Kate BeihlChief Marketing Officer at GoGuardian
Adult at the table with two children on their laptops doing work, everyone is smiling.

Taking Giant Steps together 

The product design and brand platform gave us the foundational elements to develop the Giant Steps name, build a logo, and create a messaging and identity system that would appeal to learners and educators while elevating human connection, expression, and engagement.

With the brand system in place, we created a set of assets to support the product launch. In a matter of weeks, we designed a new website that clearly outlined the value and impact of Giant Steps. The system also provided the ingredients and clarity across GoGuardian for their teams to build everything from event materials to social media posts that will appeal to their different audiences — now and in the years to come.

Mobile view of children doing work on laptops - Resources to level up your game. Maximizing lessons. Refer fellow educators. Earn points. Redeem for fun rewards.

Our Roles


  • Technical Strategy
  • Systems Architecture
  • Deployment Architecture
  • Front-end Development
  • Back-end Development
  • Augmented Reality


  • UX Strategy
  • Information Architecture
  • Content Strategy
  • Launch Planning
  • User Research
  • User Testing


  • Story Research
  • Editorial Writing
  • Copywriting
  • Motion Video Direction
  • Motion Video Production
  • Post Production
  • Sound Design


  • UX / UI Design
  • Art Direction
  • Visual Design
  • Creative Direction
  • Motion Design

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