Lucy Blackwell


Chief Experience Officer

When we started FutureLearn we focused on providing short online courses to thousands of people, for free. It was about scale, getting thousands of learners on a single course to run learning together and proving that this could work. As we grew, we realised that in order to retain learners and really build our product into a sustainable offering, we needed to start providing them with better onward journeys.

Lucy is Chief Experience Officer at FutureLearn, an online learning platform, founded by The Open University, now co-owned by investor SEEK. Since the launch of the product 6 years ago, Lucy has led user research, UX, design and takes overall responsibility for the customer experience across the entire platform. With over 9 million learners to date, FutureLearn has scaled at an immense rate in recent years to become one of the top open learning platforms in the UK.

With experience in the education sector in abundance, Lucy has held roles at TSL Education and the BBC before joining FutureLearn 6 years ago. A creative by trade, she’s held countless senior creative positions, designing products and services for a range of companies in education in a career that’s spanned more than 20 years so far.

At Canvas, Lucy will join us to share the story of designing the experience for users, moving from short courses to stackable groups of courses that form the learning pathway for qualifications like micro credentials and degrees. What started out as something that connected thousands of learners in a light-weight, short, free experience, they're now working out how to offer a much deeper commitment to learners, with a richer experience that incurs a higher price tag.

You’ll come away with an insight into how they are addressing the design challenges of providing a longer-term social learning experience, how to fundamentally change a core product by sticking to your foundations and principles, and how to balance the commercial requirements of the business against the user needs.

Our Speakers

We seek out speakers at the cutting edge of their particular discipline or industry, who can share their insights of building exceptional digital experiences. You’ll get actionable insights from each and every one that you’ll be able to take away and start to apply in your day to day.

Introducing our rockstars

Introducing our rockstars


Lisa Vigar

Senior Product Manager


Ella Fitzsimmons

Head of Narrative Strategy


Stephanie Donald

UX Designer


Lucy Blackwell

Chief Experience Officer


Martyn Reding

Head of Digital Experience


Rebecca Dibb-Simkin

Product & Marketing Director


Rob Muir

Chief Digital Officer



Keep your eyes peeled

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