8 vital steps for an easy to use eLearning platform
Imagine for a moment trying to keep up with the daily tasks of the workplace whilst also investing in your personal development. You’ve set time aside to improve your time management skills using your company’s learning platform. It takes you nearly 10 minutes to figure out how to log in and access the system. Next, it takes you several minutes to find anything related to time management. Now you can’t seem to open the relevant content. Your excitement wavers and you give up.
This situation is all too common with nearly half of L&D professionals reporting that their organisation’s learning platform is difficult-to-use causing users to quickly lose interest, switch off and many learning initiatives to fail. (1) An easy-to-use learning solution is a critical success factor to an effective roll-out and high employee usage.
After interviewing 300 L&D professionals, we discovered that 95% say ease-of-use is the most important factor to ensure organisation-wide adoption of a new learning tool yet so many platforms are difficult-to-use. (1)
Here are 8 areas to review when assessing the ease-of-use of your eLearning offering.
Is your learning offering easy to access?
The first step to a successful training platform is that learning is easy to access. This means reducing the number of steps it takes a user to begin using the content they require. If users must spend significant time and energy logging into the programme, they will switch off before learning can even begin. To avoid this and encourage learning at the point of need, it is crucial that L&D professionals look to platforms that don’t require users to follow a difficult login process.
Is your learning platform easy-to-navigate?
Not every employee is as tech-savvy as the next. This means that many lose interest in personal development because the platform supplying their training content is difficult to navigate. Learners are far more likely to engage in learning if they arrive at their desired material in the fewest number of clicks possible. Menus and links should be located in the right place at the right time to make it clear and simple for employees to know where to go next.
Is relevant content easy to find?
There are few things more frustrating and more likely to cause learners to disengage from their development than being unable to find the content they are looking for. Learners need platforms that are easily searchable via keywords and categories so that precious learning time is not spent wading through topics and content that is not relevant or useful to them.
In the same way, learners need access to platforms that use data-driven algorithms to make recommendations on what material learners might like. Users will be more likely to seize the opportunity for continued learning because the content is related to a subject that feels familiar. Recommended learning encourages increased engagement in learning and takes the guesswork out of the hands of learning professionals.
Is content downloadable and mobile-friendly?
Employees’ learning potential should not be limited to an Internet connection as many learners prefer to do their learning on the go. Some like reading an eBook during a morning commute while others prefer listening to an audio file at the gym. Learning programmes should allow users to consume content both online and offline in a downloadable format so that training can be accessed at the point of need from anywhere and at any time.
Training should also not only be accessible from a work desktop as many employees choose to learn from mobile devices. If the goal is for learning is to become part of employees’ everyday lives, content must be optimised for use on multiple devices such as mobile phones, tablets, and eReaders.
Is learning content short easy to understand?
Minimize the time employees need to spend learning so they can apply their skills more quickly. Training content should only be as short as possible and as long as necessary such as bite-sized eBooks or short courses. These easy-to-use, concise materials will result in a fast turnaround period on learning or improving skills and therefore a quick return on investment.
Easy to use also means easy to understand. Not all employees will be on the same level, meaning that dense and difficult-to-understand content can alienate users and quickly cause them to disengage. Learning materials should be clear, concise and not overly complicated.
Is there content for every role?
The most effective learning solution offers something for everyone. In order to achieve a collective uptake in learning, every member of an organisation, from manager to assistant, from accountant to sales specialist, must have equal access to relevant learning materials that suit their specific needs. A good learning platform provides a variety of content to attract the most users possible because it allows every user to feel their learning is prioritised.
Is training content multilingual?
The modern workplace is often a global workplace and many companies are made up of employees working in various countries, speaking different languages. If all users are unable to access programmes and learn from content in their chosen language, the learning process becomes far more difficult. A truly easy-to-use platform is one that provides translated or original content in multiple languages.
Digital learning opens up wonderful possibilities for self-directed learning. But an organisation made up of learners invested in their own development will only be achieved if equal opportunities for learning are available to every individual through a platform that is truly easy to use regardless of limitations including technical skill level, languages spoken and learning location.
Thomas Buus Madsen is the COO and co-founder of Bookboon – the World’s most used eLibrary for Corporate Learning. By making its soft skills eLibrary incredibly easy to use and only publishing industry-leading experts, Bookboon boasts some of the highest usage rates in the digital learning sector.
(1) Data based on the Learning Landscape report 2019, a survey conducted by Bookboon of 300 L&D professionals. Email your request for a copy of the survey here: firstname.lastname@example.org