The hype about User Experience (UX) design skills is not at all exaggerated. The good news is that anyone with eLearning development skills can train to improve their UX strategies. UX designers have a deeper understanding of user – technology interaction preferences. They understand the nuances of interface features and obstructions. They can advise very well on UX needs of a browsing situation.
What UX designers lack is the knowledge of how people learn: human cognition. In this article, we cover specific elements of UX as they apply to the eLearning domain.
Why bother with UX design in eLearning?
Have you ever noticed how certain software and applications are able to attract and retain the engagement of even the most technologically challenged individuals? In fact, you may find such individuals browsing for hours and incredibly enjoying their experience.
Now, have you ever wondered why it is so easy to use some apps, take a photo, create a to-do list and even look up articles on any topic by a novice individual?
This ease of use or usability of certain operating systems, software or applications, stems from UX designers who craft clean and user-friendly interfaces. End users don’t need to bother with the nuances of the interface, rather, they simply jump into the screen and float enjoyably.
UX design for eLearning really is a big thing. We need eLearning UX that is seamless and intuitive, transparent and non-obtrusive. Learners should find information on natural instinct, without asking questions about navigation.
Remember that the goal is to simplify the process of learning and leave the learner delighted and asking for more.
The most desired skills for UX design in eLearning
There are several skills you need to acquire as an eLearning professional to help raise the user experience standards of your eLearning programs. Don’t worry, you don’t need to undergo extensive training for these skills. All you need to do is go through these helpful tips on maximizing the user experience for the current devices and the current digital audience.
The “F” pattern
Have you ever wondered about the natural way we read content in an online environment?
A popular research by Nielsen Norman Group revealed that individuals tend to read web pages in an “F” shape. Thus, the eLearning content layout can be designed to follow the “F” pattern.
The most important information to be clustered on the top left the corner, along with accompanying images. The content gets diluted by white space as the eye wanders to the lower part of the screen. Thus, the learners will be able to understand the content better. They will also know what to expect from the course.
Overall, a strict “F” pattern will maintain a sense of predictability in your courses leading to the comfort factor.
Scan, scan, scan
Another important discovery in terms of UX design in eLearning is that learners will scan the content more than they will read it. This implies that they try to make sense of the content before they start learning it.
Let your content read better by having brief and precise headings, economized content that is meaningful, and memorable content arranged in bullets.
The flow pattern
A pattern of flow is extremely important to have readable content. The following steps will simplify the learner interface design:
1) A flow: presenting new information, applying information in work context, presenting reinforcement exercises
2) A call-to-action: request the learner to take an urgent step. This could be reflecting back, discussing an issue in a group or applying the information to their personal surrounding.
3) Brief text that is easily scannable: This information is quick and available for revision. It is directly accessible when needed.
4) Images: Make sure to use the right images that support the content or speak for the content.
Also, do not forget to:
• Connect KPIs and performance evaluations directly with your eLearning solutions. Talk about ways to improve the connections with the later with the employees. There is an urgent need to ensure KPIs connect with eLearning solutions.
• Document the expectations from stakeholders, clients, sponsors, and your target audience. This will provide a clear pathway to develop eLearning solutions with greater business impact.
• Evaluate, evaluate and evaluate! Create versions of eLearning programs that show improvements. Implement performance-support solutions to improve business outcomes. Make this a habit!
The gist of User Experience design skills in eLearning
Instructional designers are increasingly aware of their shortcomings when working on UX for the learner.
Apart from creating perfect interactions and learning reinforcements, a lightweight interface is in dire need. This can only be designed if you have a clear set of expectations from all stakeholders and with the aid of your UX knowledge.
The trend towards UX in the eLearning industry talks a lot about the need to align eLearning solutions with business outcomes and performance goals. The ultimate user experience is the one in which learners work naturally with the interface without worrying about how it works.
We hope that the above UX design skills in eLearning with help you realize the significance of this specialist field and encourage you to actively incorporate its principles into your design practices.
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