When it comes to looking for a new LMS, you want to know your investment will be worth it in the long run. With the pace that technology moves in our everyday lives, adaptability is everything. Whether you’re adapting to the needs of specific learners or the expansion of your organisation, your chosen LMS and its interface sits at the forefront of that transformation.
How does UX fit into this?
The User Experience (UX) of your LMS is a vital component of the adaptability and flexibility of your workplace learning. Kallidus Learn for example has been designed off the back of years of constant user research, tapping into the needs and habits of modern learners.
This comes about in the form of elements like the navigation (how your learners can find their courses, access their deadlines, and edit their profiles) and functionality for Single Sign On (SSO), right the way through to the little things like clear button text and Calls To Action (CTAs).
Before we move on to how this impacts accessibility, let’s look at some definitions.
Accessibility and learner engagement
Poor accessibility can be one of the primary blockers to strong learner engagement. Accessibility itself encompasses a lot more of your learning strategy than you may realise. Many things from slow loading speeds to unreadable text to too many on-screen distractions can deter learners from actively engaging in your content.
We’ll investigate the adaptability and flexibility of your learning content shortly, but first let’s take a look at the accessibility of your LMS.
How to measure the accessibility of your LMS
- Number of clicks between their dashboard and courses
If you’ve ever looked into the importance of UX before in any context, you’ll have likely come across the principle of “reducing clicks”. This comes from the idea that users, or in our case learners, will lose more interest with every click they have to make (and screen they have to wait to load) between the page they initially arrive on and their end destination (in our case the course they wish to take).
Therefore, if you have a high number of clicks (we would consider any more than 4 to be too many) between your learners’ LMS home screen and the course they wish to take, the system is not considered very accessible and your learners will likely lose interest in their endeavour.
- Font, text size and colour
Although this may seem like a small thing to focus on, it has a surprisingly big impact on learner engagement. With any kind of reading on screen, there are a number of best practices to follow for accessibility and good UX. The main factors to help increase readability and accessibility are:
- High contrast text, dark on light (ideally black text on a white background)
- Large text readable from a distance (Google recommends a minimum of size 16 font)
- Sans serif fonts (these are the typically curved fonts such as Arial and Calibri)
- Usability and fluidity across devices
Mobile learning has been an exciting part of the L&D world for a decade or so, since smartphones became a more prevalent part of our everyday lives. Twelve years on from the release of the first iPhone, it’s time for mobile learning to become a part of your everyday learning strategy.
However, simply having your learning accessible on a mobile device such as a phone or tablet isn’t the endpoint here.
A vital element of improving the UX of your system, and therefore increasing engagement, is ensuring the user experience matches up across all devices. The system needs to be intuitive enough for your learners to begin a course on one device and continue it on another.
In the words of Julian Hector of the UX Collective in his 2018 article Storytelling for Designers:
“Time and focus are two conditions that our email-and-meeting-filled, open-floor-planned, laptop-in-our-faces-at-all-times workplaces don’t support very well.”
Therefore, when it comes to implementing an LMS, you need one without a distracting design that enables your learners to focus on the only thing they really need: their eLearning courses. This means avoiding busyness, too many moving graphics, pop ups, and other distractions from the moment your employees enter the LMS to the moment they’ve completed their learning for that session.
Now we’ve got accessibility covered, it’s time to look at the importance of the flexibility of both your LMS and learning strategy and the impact these can have on learning engagement.
Flexibility and learning engagement
Creating flexibility for your employees through both your choice of LMS and your learning strategy can go a long way to encouraging high levels of engagement in your learners. One of the primary ways to provide flexibility and choice for your learners is through the use of mobile and blended learning.
Two of the biggest (and most important) terms in the world of L&D right now are “point-of-need” and “on-demand” learning.
What is “point-of-need” or “on-demand” learning?
From accessing refresher training for specific engineering equipment to a quick overview of an internal IT system, point-of-need training is there to help your employees develop their skills and remain compliant whenever and wherever they need to.
What are the benefits of point-of-need training?
- Improves learning retention
- Encourages employees to take ownership of their training
- Increases compliance and mitigates risk
- Improves completion rates
- Encourages the use of your LMS as a learning hub
That’s the end of part one…
Part two of our guide will be coming soon. In part two we will be looking at the importance of collaborative learning, knowledge-sharing and valuing input from your learners.
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Even better, we’ll give you exclusive access to our UX checklist to help you ensure you’re getting the most out of your LMS.