Use human-centred design to stop your exciting new LXP turning into a dusty display cabinet
We recently heard someone describe their organisation’s Learning Experience Platform (LXP) as “a repository for content”.
A place where or receptacle in which things are stored.
Stored? Not accessed, completed, interacted with, or even enjoyed? “It’s a good system,” they said, “but people just don’t seem to want to use it. So the content just sits there.”
This is a common story. Organisations spend a lot of time and money on (well-designed) LXPs and then load them up with the same catalogue of educational content. So despite users enjoying a better experience at the front-end of the platform, the wider organisation doesn’t see a shift in the relevance or utility of the learning content, and is, unfortunately, just as unlikely to access it as before.
So — how can you stop your amazing new LXP from turning into a dusty old display cabinet full of stuff nobody uses? How can you drive your people to solutions that continuously make an impact?
With the principles of human-centred design, of course!
A new LXP might make it easier to add content from various sources, but it doesn’t reduce the relevance of human-centered design. Use these tips to take advantage of your new LXP to the max.
Tip 1: Prepare L&D professionals
First up — focus on getting your Learning Team(s) on board with the importance of human-centred design. While helping the team get to grips with the functionality of the new system, introduce the concept of human-centred design as part of the transition process. After all, any LXP worth its salt will be built on these principles (think ‘user experience’). Align your team with the idea that your learning culture needs to be based on creating solutions that solve problems, deeply rooted in user research.
If you need inspiration, we’re developing our Core and Advanced toolkits for onboarding learning professionals onto the Degreed LXP. Keep an eye out!
Tip 2: Make first impressions count
Research tells us users take less than two-tenths of a second (roughly two blinks) to form their first impression of a site. The longer participants stay on a page, the more favourable their impression is, and the more likely they are to return.
Give your users something interesting, relevant, and helpful the moment they land at your new LXP. If they arrive and don’t feel the content is relevant to them, getting them to return will be an uphill struggle. How do you know what will be relevant to your users? Ask them — do your research with the 5Di Discover phase and listen to your target audience.
Tip 3: Go with the flow
It’s tough to get people to change their habits and move to a new platform (even if they didn’t think much of the previous one!). After all, everybody is strapped for time or under deadline pressure — so a deviation from the norm can feel like “more work but no time to do it in”.
Invest your efforts in understanding a day in the life of your users, getting to grips with their workflow (again, using the 5Di Discover phase) to neatly insert your new LXP into it. Put it where they are, and make it easy for them. Every organisation is different, but one great example we’ve seen is to integrate the LXP into the annual cycles of performance and reward. Most organisations rely on hierarchy to get things done, so making your LXP core to the leadership and management teams can be a winning tactic.
Tip 4: Relevance is king
We mentioned relevant, engaging, helpful content earlier… but what if you don’t have any in your back catalogue? Create your own. As the old saying goes, “Content is king”, but that’s only half the story: Irrelevant or content that isn’t useful isn’t great either.
This is a great opportunity for you and your Learning Team(s) to get proactive. Choose some learning areas you can really own (be selective. Avoid areas where you’ll need to fight battles or play politics) — and create some shining solutions using the entire 5Di process. This will cost time and budget, so be careful to work where you’ll make the biggest impact (Discover helps you with this), and enjoy setting top standards for learning solutions as you move forward. These flagship projects then act as a shop window, attracting exciting new projects and like-minded stakeholders (“We want what you did there — but for our department!”)
Tip 5: Delicious Data
Part of the Discover phase of 5Di is to spend time with, observe, speak to, and listen to your target audience. This gives you a very effective data stream that you can use to focus your Design activities. You can tap into another data stream through your LXP. What users are engaging with, when they’re engaging, how long for, on what device… use this information to generate insights, bolster your business proposals, and proactively shape your L&D strategy.
Don’t assume (as many do!) that investing in a decent LXP is the sole way to build a healthy and hungry learning culture. It might be new, shiny, and very well designed, but it is only part of the solution if it is solving a specific business problem. To understand what that business problem is, you’ll need to focus on human-centred design. It’s likely that your LXP will play a significant part in your learning strategy and deliver amazing experiences for your users — but never forget to think outside the box, and don’t fall into the trap of believing “training” is the answer.