If your corporate training and e-Learning makes your employees feel like they’re going to bang their head against a wall in frustration, it’s probably time to scrap it or at least make some major changes.
So frequently when business leaders and training managers are developing e-Learning content they forget about the ultimate goal—to train employees. Training becomes complex, difficult to navigate and downright burdensome for the people it’s supposed to impact the most.
In today’s tech world we hear the phrase “user-friendly” thrown around quite a bit and that’s for good reason. No matter how good your overall content is, if your users (your employees) are having trouble with the logistics of it it’s going to be ineffective.
Here are our top 6 tips for incorporating truly user-friendly design into your e-Learning:
- Know Your Goals
If you create e-Learning and training content without a clear goal or objective in mind how can you possibly expect your employees to know the purpose of the training?
User-friendly design starts before you ever actually begin developing your content. It starts in the planning process. If you feel disjointed or unsure of what it is you’re trying to get across, that’s going to show in your design and it’s going to evoke feelings of confusion for employees.
If you want design that’s truly user-friendly sit down and begin by organizing your thoughts and having a clear purpose for each bit of content you’ll be presenting to learners.
- Know Your Employees
Once you have a clear idea of what it is you’re trying to say and what your objectives are, it’s time to get to know your employees. You may already know your employees in the context of the work environment, but training and development can be a different story.
Assess their level of comfort with technology, how they prefer to receive information and the settings in which they’ll be accessing the training content most frequently.
- Add Labels to Everything
If you’re presenting a case study on a certain topic, label it as such. If it’s information about operating a certain piece of machinery, make that clear.
Labeling modules and training content seems like such a simple thing, but it’s something that frequently goes under the radar during the design process, yet it can make such a different in how user-friendly and easy-to-navigate your learners perceive content to be. Labeling content not only gives your employees an idea of what they’ll be learning before they start, but it also makes it easier to reference materials again as needed.
- Add Visuals—But Not Too Many
Oftentimes in corporate e-Learning there’s one of two problems: too many images that jumble up screens and make it difficult to understand what’s going on, or a lack of imagery that makes learning feel dry, hard to visualize and just plain boring.
Creating user-friendly courses is about finding a balance with images. Images should be clear, engaging and above all, relevant to the information you’re hoping to convey to employees.
Not only is the quantity of images important, but the sizes and formatting is relevant as well. Don’t make users feel overwhelmed with massive images or struggling to see tiny images and certainly don’t make them click on images that open in new screens or have to be downloaded.
- Explain Navigation
Never assume that your navigation is intuitive. Rather than leaving that up to chance, take the time to provide instructions on navigation throughout modules. It alleviates any guesswork on the part of your employees and allows them to focus on what’s most important—the information.
- Ask for Feedback
There’s two levels of feedback that are important when it comes to creating user-friendly training and development for your employees.
The first level begins before your employees actually use content—after courses are created ask for feedback from other stakeholders and business leaders. Let them give the content a dry run to see how user-friendly they feel it is, and make changes where necessary.
Once training is implemented you should also ask for feedback from employees on their experience so you can make changes as you go, and also use their feedback for the development of future courses.
No one is going to know how user-friendly something is more than the users.
That’s our Top 6 list for creating user-friendly content. What are your opinions and are there any basics we left off our list?
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