UX is all about the ‘User’ and the ‘Experience’; fully understanding the users needs and goals is key. Every successful business will have the user at its core, and every product or service they provide will invoke an emotional response based not only on how it looks but how it works and feels.
User Experience Design (UXD), aims to improve the utility, ease of use and efficiency in a user’s interaction with a product or service. Design it well and the experience is often invisible to the end user because it doesn’t get in their way.
In the industry of e learning, the need for an injection of UX into current Learning Management System (LMS) solutions is on the rise. According to a 2016 study by the Brandon Hall group;
44% of companies are actively considering replacing their current LMS, that’s a rise of 16% since 2015 with a staggering 87% indicating it is due to the need for an improved User Experience.
UX is critical in e learning, as this piece of software is quiet often the first interaction a user has with the company. Therefore, it is not enough for the product or service to look good, if the experience of interacting with it is poor. You must understand the current market needs and it’s competitors and constantly test your assumptions – the ‘build-measure-learn’ loop is inevitable to success.
At Synergy Learning the customer is always at our core. We understand there is only so much you can do to fix the users (via training) and therefore, getting the platform and interface right so that it meets user goals; is at the forefront for us in producing the best user experience.
The role of a UX designer is complex, multi-faceted and exciting. Tasks can include everything from ‘User Research’ to ‘Content Strategy’ to ‘Interaction Design’, ‘Visual Design’, ‘Web Analytics’ and much more.
Lets take a look at some of the key UX principles used within Synergy Learning and how they play a fundamental role in providing the best e learning experiences:
#1 Competitor Analysis
It is necessary to understand our customers current market and their competitors. Based on the competitor analysis we are able to determine the customers industry, potential users, their needs and identify any needs unmet by current competitors.
#2 Minimum Viable Product (MVP)
In order to validate or invalidate our assumed customer problems with current solutions; survey and interviews may be carried out. This helps us identify the core features needed to meet the users goals.
#3 User Personas
With insights gained from the competitor analysis, MVP, surveys and interviews, we can create user personas representative of our customers typical users. By doing this we can identify their goals, values, behaviours and challenges.
#4 Task Models
Based on the core features from our MVP, we are able to draw up task models, allowing us to outline the steps a user will go through in order to complete particular tasks.
#5 Wireframes and Paper Prototypes
Discovering issues with a concept while it’s still easy to change is a powerful way to improve the quality of what eventually get produced. Wireframes help identify user flow and it’s pain points. Paper prototypes help discover and solve a number of issues while having the ability to sketch a series of states of the UI. This step is critical for quickly presenting and testing a concept, creatively and technically.
#6 User Testing
The wireframes and prototypes go through multiple rounds of user testing until the final user flow is determined. One good way of doing this is to use Invision where we can easily share the prototype with a typical user for testing.
#7 User Interface Design
When testing is complete, high-fidelity concepts can be produced for client review and feedback. Concepts may be tweaked but by this stage we have tested our assumptions and made sure the interface meets the user goals, which is key to a great e learning experience.
So, ultimately UX is used to bring together many disciplines to solve a common problem, forming the best possible experience for your customers and at Synergy Learning, our aim is to provide the ultimate user learning experience through use of the techniques and processes above.
If you would like to speak to member of our team about how we can implement or enhance your e learning UX design, Contact +44 (0) 28 9042 2000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org