As part of my job it’s crucial for me to keep up to date with what’s happening in the learning tech space. This means I regularly speak to vendors, view demos and have access to sandboxes, to get a real understanding of what the user experience is like in their platforms. This allows me to have great conversations with clients and recommend the right potential solution(s), based on their business objectives.
In my opinion, user experience is one of the most important elements when buying a learning solution, along with having great content. If the platform is unengaging, difficult to navigate or doesn’t provide a real purpose, people simply will not use it (unless they are hunted down and forced to complete any dreaded compliance training).
Having spoken with many buyers and vendors over the last few months, it seems that being able to deep link, hyper link or use iFrames (or any other way to link) to surface content is a common way to push content out. Which got me thinking! Buyers are prepared to purchase an all singing and dancing learning platform, to then purchase content from a different supplier and simply link the two (or more) up. Although this sounds fairly logically, the impact this has on user experience is not always being recognised, as well as the complications it can cause with regards to data analytics.
Content is either pushed or pulled by end users. With pushed content, it’s generally the information we need people to know. Pulled content is the information the end user wants to know. If you’re in a great learning environment, the pushed content is easily surfaced, and the pulled content is easily searchable – simple! This allows end users to explore what’s available to them, via structured learning pathways, recommendations, news feeds, social collaboration etc. When learning platforms start being linked too much to content suppliers, the ability for the end user to be able to discover the content they want to see often becomes difficult. End users can get lost in a world of multiple open tabs, loss of functionality and frustration. Data analytics also become very tricky, as it can be difficult to track who is doing what and when, which in turn impacts overall content strategy.
This doesn’t mean learning platforms should never be linked to anything ever. We just need to be cautious of the impact it has. And although linking seems like a logical solution, it does require careful management as links change and content is updated.
In the past, learning platforms were there for content to be accessed and completed and for organisations to track and report, user experience didn’t matter so much. I truly believe, this should be a thing of the past! Learning is so much more than just ticking a box, if you get your learning offering right it can really make a big impact on business performance.
If you’d like to chat to me more about this, please get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org