Metaxu is a human-centered design consultancy specializing in EdTech and learning contexts.

We fuel mission-driven teams with insights, inspiration, and the confidence to move forward—whether you’re crafting EdTech software, programs, service models, curriculum, or other solutions.

Our consulting services include design research, co-design facilitation, user experience design, and service design. Our clients include global learning companies, educational publishers, EdTech startups, higher ed institutions, and other mission-driven organizations.

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How We Work

Our design process is people-centered. (You can read more about our approach on our blog.)

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INTEND
We empathize with you.

Stakeholder workshops
Intention setting
Goal alignment

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EXPLORE
We empathize with your audience.

Contextual inquiry
User research
Secondary research

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TRANSLATE
We coach your team.

Experience walkthroughs
Findings workshops
Sensory reports
Behavioral insights

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TRANSFORM
We co-create.

Ideation
Prototyping + Iteration
Strategic direction

 

 

What Makes Us Unique

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We fit solutions to people—not the other way around.

We use human-centered design and design thinking, a problem-solving framework that involves empathy, behavioral and contextual research, prototyping, and iteration. This means we start with bottom-up discovery, rather than a top-down solution. We aim to empathize with our clients first, and we help our clients empathize with their customers. Though we have expertise in EdTech, we often make non-tech recommendations—such as program or communication strategies—to enhance the overall experience.

 
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We’re interdisciplinary.

Unlike other experience design consultants, we have expertise in learning theory and education. We bring the systems thinking and contextual knowledge your EdTech solution requires.

 
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We can talk shop with both educators and engineers.

We have in-house, on-the-ground experience in both education and software development, and we exist to build bridges between these worlds. Our background in education helps us orient quickly to your design challenges, and when working on software, we get to know your code stack and back end so that we can collaborate and align on viable solutions.

 
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We prize inclusion.

We believe EdTech products are meant to be inclusive and accessible. (The really stellar ones make inclusion a priority from the start.) Because you're designing EdTech, we'll encourage you to make your products accessible and advise you on best practices. We love to support change makers and hold our clients to their own missions.

 
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When we call you a “partner,” we mean it.

We don’t consider ourselves “vendors” or “resources”—we’re advocates and partners in your process. In our relationship with you, we strive for authenticity, open communication, and trust. We commit to honoring and strengthening the talents of your team. In return, we’ll count on you to be present and available. We value your participation and consider it critical to the creative process.

 

Founder

Marcy Van Horn, MA

Principal Researcher & Design Strategist  |  LinkedIn

Metaxu is led by Marcy Van Horn, a mission-driven design strategist with 15+ years of experience in user research, design, and education.

Marcy started her career teaching college students. Since that time, she has worked as an experience designer and strategist on a variety of software and service design projects. In the process, she’s led both user research and UX design teams. She holds multiple qualifications, including a degree in TESL and certificates in web accessibility and LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® facilitation.

For some projects, Marcy works with internal teams as a coach and facilitator; for others, she invites senior-level collaborators with expertise in user experience and strategic design.

Marcy has the unique ability to approach complex problems with an incredible amount of clarity and thoughtfulness... She immediately went to work helping our team answer the big questions we struggled to answer ourselves. She empowers design teams...and she does so with both the skills of a talented UX practitioner and the 10,000-foot point-of-view of a seasoned strategist.
— J.T., UX Design Specialist, Former Fortune 100 Team Member

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Follow Metaxu on Instagram. We love to share good reads on design, innovation, learning, and wellbeing.