Designers who create software, apps and other digital products typically adopt an approach where user experience (UX) is the focal point. Design teams, therefore, often work on creating an experience more than a product through methodologies such as agile workflows, design sprints, constant testing and UX-based best practices.
When it comes to instructional design models used by L&D teams, these models seem to move at a slower pace when compared to current design trends. When these design models are unable to catch up with the trends, they fail to meet the expectations of the learners, which may result in disengagement due to the poor user experience. Emerging technologies in education are making it easier than before to develop and deliver content. At the same time, L&D professionals should continuously rethink their design approach to offer the best learning experience possible.
A Learner-Centric Approach
When designing an L&D program, the first step is to determine the objective of the training, which is often associated with aligning the training programs to business goals. When it comes to learning experience design (LXD), however, the design process focuses on enabling learners to achieve their goals. This approach then becomes learner-centric--understanding the learners’ challenges, their behaviours and experiences to help them achieve the optimal learning outcomes. Based on the information collected about the learners, the L&D team can utilize the data and develop learning solutions that are engaging, effective and impactful. For instance, the outcome can result in improved course content, figured out the best course format, and interacted with learners the way they prefer.
As part of the learner-centric approach, let’s take a look at a few examples of pain points learners might encounter during training:
- Finding content that is relevant to what they do.
- Finding content that is aligned with their professional and personal development goals.
- Translating what they learn into something they can apply at work.
- Staying motivated and having fun while learning.
- Dealing with failing a quiz.
- Tracking their progress.
UX and Instructional Design
Learners’ Involvement. For a successful learning experience design, the process should involve learners throughout the entire design process.Conducting interviews and focus groups are some of the ways to understand what learners think about the content, or wireframe in the context of UX. It is important to incorporate their feedback into the new iteration of the design and show them how the learning experience is structured based on their needs.
Content Variety. A learning experience with good UX will let learners explore content and discover a variety of modules that might interest them. Remember that each piece of content should have a goal and that its format should be chosen accordingly.
Content Structure. The structure of the content is going to impact UX. For example, using prerequisites to make sure learners have mastered important concepts before exploring more learning modules is a great way to help them understand the requirements to complete a course. Depending on the goal of the learning program, a more linear progression between modules might make more sense and deliver a better UX.
Aim for Continuous Improvement
Agile methodology has become popular among designers because it allows them to create new iterations of design over short periods of time. This approach will enable them to continuously improve a product, even after it has been released.
Therefore, collecting feedback from learners and instructors, using analytics from your LMS platform, and having a multidisciplinary team go over this data are all important elements to improve your existing learning experiences.
Start by rethinking how to improve learner engagement and deliver learning content using your learning management system. Lambda Solutions can help you choose the right LMS according to your organizational needs and help you get started with the LMS reporting and analytics solution like Zoola Analytics. The implementation will help you create a unique learning experience and continuously measure your LMS performance and program effectiveness.