We are on the lookout for a superstar Digital Design Lead

Digital Design LeadOur amazing team here at Aurion design, create and build market-leading elearning experiences. So much so, that demand for these experiences have grown, and with this, our team too. We are currently looking for an all-round enthusiastic Lead Digital Designer to join us.

Working with the elearning design and development teams, you will lead and coach the respective teams to produce creative, multi-platform digital learning resources that meet the very highest quality standards for our broad range of clients.

If you’d like to be part of a creative and talented team, where you have a high degree of ownership and want to influence learning experiences, we’d love to hear from you.

As part of Aurion, you will get to work on some really interesting projects with an impressive client list and fantastic colleagues.

Responsibilities:

  • Lead and coach the digital design team in the creation of creative, high-impact multi-platform digital content that meets the very highest quality standards.
  • Manage the overall design of a client solution, working with a design lead, instructional lead, technical lead and others to produce the project’s design specification.
  • Take ownership and quality assure the deliverables of the digital design team to ensure that the outputs meet the needs of the client and project specification.
  • Oversee AV production throughout the company. This might involve working with the Procurement and Finance Director to commission and quality assure external AV teams; acting as producer/director on a project, working with an assigned Instructional Designer to script materials for an AV project or reviewing and quality assuring post production work.
  • Contribute to new product development in line with the company’s business plan.
  • Drive innovation through the use of new digital content tools and technologies throughout the organisation.

On a personal level, you should:

  • Be creative and passionate about the design of visually rich digital learning content that works beautifully across multiple platforms.
  • Be passionate about developing your skills on an ongoing basis to ensure that you keep informed about developments in digital media.
  • Have excellent analytical, problem-solving and strategic thinking skills.
  • Have experience of multi-platform digital content design and implementation.
  • Have experience of UI/UX design.
  • Have a 3rd Level Qualification in Design, Media, Business or IT.
  • Have a minimum of 5 years’ experience as a Digital Design Lead or senior designer with team lead responsibility in the software or media industry.
  • Have well-developed communication skills including the ability to deliver presentations using structure and style.
  • Have good commercial awareness and a sound understanding of project and business dynamics.
  • Have the ability to work to tight deadlines and make sensible decisions under pressure taking a balanced view of client demands in tandem with agreed project scope.
  • Be willing to travel.

Desirable:

  • Experience in the educational software industry.
  • Have experience of mobile app creation and gamification.

Salary: Negotiable based on experience.

We offer continuous professional development opportunities and a range of other benefits including a contributory pension scheme and health plan.

To apply for this role, please send a cover letter outlining relevant skills and experience, a link to your portfolio of work, and a detailed curriculum vitae to info@aurionlearning.com

Are you our next Front End Developer?

Front End Developer Job TitleNew clients, projects and support commitments means that we are on the lookout for new talent to join our Belfast team. We are currently recruiting for a Front End Developer with at least 2 years’ experience to help our award winning team deliver fantastic learning experiences.

As the successful candidate, naturally you need to be front end fanatic, creative, with great user interface design and development skills and want to out-do us with your front-end thinking.

Reporting to the Operations Director, you will have freedom to work directly with clients based throughout the world on varied online learning projects such as; custom eLearning programmes, learning portals, learning assessment tools and learning management systems.

Our team isn’t huge, but have a great mix of skills, allowing us to take projects from concept through to design and development, meaning you’ll get real input into the process at all levels. You will work in a close knit team of fab web application developers, digital, graphic and instructional designers.

With every day introducing a new standard, we expect you to keep an eye on what’s happening in the industry so that you can actively contribute to our design and development approach, so we continue to lead the way in learning design and technology for our clients around the world.

HTML5 JS CSS imagesEssential criteria:

  • 3rd level degree web design or computing qualification (or similar).
  • Minimum 2 years’ experience as a Web or UX Designer in a commercial working environment.

Proficient in:

  • Photoshop/Illustrator.
  • JavaScript – jQuery- AngularJS/ or similar.

Experience in:

  • Working with a team to scope user interface flows and designing high fidelity mock-ups/prototypes for a client.
  • Designing and building creative and responsive web applications with graceful degradation.
  • Building an interface that works across multiple browsers.
  • Able to work independently as well as within a close knit team to ensure we delight our clients and project managers who make sure we keep things on track delivering on time and within budget.

Desirable but not essential criteria:

  • Experience working in ASP.Net MVC projects.
  • Experience using Visual Studio.
  • A working knowledge of a Content Management System.
  • Experience in using version control tools (such as GIT or SVN).

Salary: Negotiable depending upon experience + benefits

So if you are a Front End Developer and would you like to be designing applications that are that little bit different from what others are doing and you’re interested in pushing people’s perception of what learning is and where it can happen? then we would love to hear from you. Please submit your CV to info@aurionlearning.com.

Introducing You to Keeping Safe

 

Every once in a while an eLearning project comes along that stops you in your tracks. It’s the kind of project that just gets to you. This happened to our instructional and design team about 6 months ago.

As well as being educationalists, designers, technologists, gurus, strategists or what job title you go by, we are all humans. We all have another role. We are also a mummy, daddy, sister, brother, auntie, uncle, cousin, grandparent, grandchild and of course a friend.

We knew from the very start that this wasn’t going to be a standard eLearning project. Rather than the dreaded January blues that a new year can bring, there was this incredible buzz in the office. Of course we LOVE all our eLearning projects, but this one was extra special. It was special because it affected each and every one of us. It’s was the stuff of design dreams. We were given an incredible opportunity to design and develop a project that would ACTUALLY changes lives.

Let me introduce you to this ground breaking project, Keeping Safe.NSPCC Keeping Safe eLearning Resource

Research carried out with 1,700 7-11-year-old children in Primary schools throughout Northern Ireland by NSPCC, highlighted that there are still gaps in children’s knowledge around what abuse is and who can pose a threat to them.

NSPCC NI decided to do something about that. It’s what they do, prevention. Effective early education can help children to disclose abuse earlier and get the help they need to recover sooner.

NSPCC NI commissioned Aurion Learning to create an engaging, accessible, age-appropriate and educationally sound suite of learning resources that would teach primary school children about keeping safe from abuse.

Working in collaboration with the educational team at NSPCC NI, we produced a fresh, exciting and interactive programme that applied a sensitive approach to this difficult area of education.

NSPCC Keeping Safe Home PageThe materials have been developed around three themes:

  1. Healthy Relationships
  2. My Body
  3. Being Safe

The programme includes:

  • Four interactive eLearning modules on a range of topics including bullying and abuse, including sexual and domestic abuse, incorporating best practice instructional techniques and focuses on a high illustrative approach. Each module contains a range of interactive features and includes knowledge checks, clickable diagrams, drag and drop activities, ranking/rating activities, sliders, vignettes, scenarios, and digital stories templates.Sample of interactivity from P3 lesson
  • Video clips of head to camera interviews and school footage for teachers, such as examples of good practice.
  • Classroom resources including; case studies, teaching aids and interactive animated interactions. To support the delivery of the programme, we designed four characters with two age variations, called Amy, Ziggy, Jack and Cara that reflect NSPCC brand guidelines.
  • Characters of Keeping Safe ResourceAssembly and age appropriate lesson plans that will be delivered three per term to each year group. Printable lesson plans and PowerPoint templates reuses iconography, photography and illustrations to ensure a consistent look and feel throughout the 12 assembly presentations.
  • Parent homework resources. We also weaved the technique of storytelling within the programme to reinforce the messages being taught and strengthen the learning impact of the resources. The resources have been purposely designed to be suitable for each primary year, helping to build knowledge and skills.

The initiative was commissioned by the Department of Education. Keeping Safe will be piloted across a select number of schools in Northern Ireland to assist teachers, support staff, parents and school children. It aims to finally reach every primary school pupil in Northern Ireland and hopes to save every child in Northern Ireland from abuse, neglect and bullying.

This initiative implemented by NSPCC NI is the first of its kind in Europe is a great step in educating our kids about the abuse.It has been an absolute privilege to lend our expertise to this eLearning programme and we hope that it achieves its aim of reaching every school child and to save children from abuse, neglect and bullying here in Northern Ireland and further afield.

Are you making the most out of visual content?

 

blog-4-Techniques-To-Ignite-Your-E-Learning-ContentIt’s said that we eat with our eyes. The same can also be said about the way in which we process information – through our senses. The brain is a complex, creative processing system and its handles information at different rates. This information processing starts with an input from our senses and in the majority of cases, this is through our eyes at a rate that is 100 times faster than our smell and hearing.

So what does this mean for eLearning? Transforming content to make it more visually appealing can help learners’ process valuable information quickly without losing its educational effectiveness

Here are four ways in which you can convert content to make it more visually appealing. You can also view, download and share our handy infographic.

  1. Data visualisation

Not all information demands graphic treatment. You first need to consider what information or content that you want to share. If it is data, a graph will better tell the story rather than a row of numbers.

Have a look at our 10 elearning trends infographic for example. If you are considering using data visualisation, such as an infographic, make sure that your content is concise and relevant and doesn’t end up like an article with colourful adornments.

  1. Videos

Using video instead of providing stacks of written content is a fantastic way to present information to learners. Videos can add interactivity, interest and engage the learners by immersing them with the topic being presented.

When used correctly, they also help learners remember information easily. Videos are also great for instructional techniques like scenarios, demonstrations and products sims. Learn more about using videos in elearning.

  1. Images

First off – don’t add or use an image just to have one. In many cases, using short and scannable text can often do the job. Remember that images and photographs are used to maximise learning content and reinforce the message that you are trying to convey, not distract or confuse the learner.

Your main goal in using an image, is to connect and engage with your learners. When selecting the right image, try and evoke the learners’ emotions by using an image that they will remember – getting the balance on the image is imperative though! Have a read to get some tips on using graphics in e-learning.

  1. Icons

Don’t underestimate the power of a great icon set. Often these little multi-use images are one of the most important images in your e-learning as they are the interaction and navigation. It is important to note that, like images, iconography must serve a clear purpose and are not simply placed there because they ‘look pretty’.

Don’t forget that icons are part of the brand family, so make sure that they fit with your font, colours and style. iconfinder has a good free range of icons to use.

Do you have any other tips on utilising visual aids to compliment content?

View and download infographic our handy infographic on 4 ways to ignite your elearning content. 

 

What skills are required for developing eLearning in-house?

More and more organisations are designing, building and delivering eLearning content in-house. Given the obvious organisational benefits of cost and time saving, it’s no surprise.

In theory this sounds like a no brainer. Simple right?

Well actually, yes. That’s to say, it is simple if you and your organisation are equipped with the right set of specific skills.

Last week our very own Gavin Woods hosted a webinar on skilling up for eLearning, what you need to know. Throughout the webinar, we presented the top skills required for self- authoring content. Participants also got a top-down view of our hugely popular training courses and learning resources for ambitious professionals looking to hone their skills.

If you missed the webinar and want to catch up you can view the recoding. The presentation slides from the webinar are also available to download.

Essentially what was established is that there are three common skills sets that are required for developing eLearning. These are outlined below:Skills required for developing elearning

As well as receiving an insider view into the in-house development process and what elements makes a good eLearning course., participants also learnt the practical skills essential for developing engaging e-learning. They also got a real insight into the kind of resources and templates that can really fast-track the success of creating your own eLearning.

Recently we have launched a new range of best-practice training courses. These courses are specifically designed for in-house trainers and subject matter experts who want to learn how to design, build and deliver their own E-Learning and blended learning programmes. Delivered on-site in your organisation, the training courses have helped more than 50 world-class organisations build award-winning e-learning content in-house.

Our Associate Director and Chair of eLearning Network John Curran has also shared his insight into content authoring. Learn more about what he has to say on the skills required to develop your own e-learning.

If you are interested in finding out more about how our training courses and capacity building service can benefit you and your organisation, visit aurionlearning.com/training and get in touch or download our training course prospectus for a full overview of our courses.

You can also visit our community page and blog to access a wealth of resources to help you create your own E-Learning.

So if you missed this webinar, we will be hosting a new series of webinars and masterclass events throughout 2016, so there will be plenty of opportunities for you to get involved.

Whether you are an in-house trainer, subject matter expert or a learning professional looking to develop your skills and become the best in your field, please get in touch, we’d love to hear from you.

E-Learning Motivation Made Easy: How To Keep Learners Engaged

E-Learning Motivation Made Easy: How To Keep Learners Engaged

We think E-Learning is great. It’s cost-effective, time-efficient and ideal for delivering standardised training to huge groups of learners spanning even greater geographical areas. However, it does not come without its challenges. One of the key issues with E-Learning lies in its struggle to retain, engage and motivate learners. Today, we’ll tackle the topic of motivation, giving you sound advice and simple ideas to help you excite and motivate learners.

At some point in our education, we’ve all sat in a classroom or lecture hall, tuned out the voice of our teacher and let our thoughts drift off to other things. Many traditional classroom trainers find it difficult to recognise when students are there in person but not in mind. Often it is not until assessments are introduced that they discover whether learning has occurred or whether all of the knowledge they have so painstakingly put together and delivered has went in one ear and out the other.

With online learning, however, the difference is often much clearer. Learners who are not engaged or enthusiastic can be recognised easily because they simply close their browser and fail to complete their learning. A key worry faced by many E-Learning practitioners is whether or not E-Learners will be motivated enough to complete their programmes and have a greater understanding at the end.

Luckily for us, we are not the first people to face the challenge of E-Learner motivation. Today we’ll explore some tried and tested techniques for learner motivation and give you some advice to help you avoid common pitfalls. The ARCS model of Motivational Design by John Keller is a useful starting point for the basics of motivational theory in learning and can be applied to E-Learning. The model outlines four ways of motivating learners; Attention, Relevance, Confidence and Satisfaction. We’ll cover each element in more detail now:

Attention: In order to motivate learners, it is important firstly to gain their attention. Keller proposes two main ideas for achieving this; through perceptual arousal or inquiry arousal. In other words, attracting learners’ attention by doing something out of the ordinary or else by appealing to their inquisitive nature.

Relevance: If learners are to deem content worthy of their attention and the application of their motivation, then the learning must be grounded in real life applicability. This can be achieved by giving examples of the learning’s relevance or even by profiling individuals who have already used the learning for their own betterment.

Confidence: By instilling a sense of achievability and by ensuring learners are aware that the work they put into learning will reap merit, it will give them reason to fully apply themselves. It’s important to map out the learning journey they are about to set out on, give guidance on how much work will be involved and directly link this to potential success.

Satisfaction: Each of us needs to feel like the efforts we are making are worthwhile if we are to continue to replicate them. If you are able to develop a meaningful rewards system for your learners, it will reinforce the relevance of their learning and recognise that their hard work has paid off, thus creating motivation for further learning.

Keller’s theory is easy to understand and for many L&D practitioners components of it may seem fairly obvious. However, often in practice many people deviate from these principles in favour of more superficial or gimmick-filled learning solutions. It is important both when planning your next E-Learning programme and also when assessing its success to consider whether it meets Keller’s four principles of motivation.

How can you avoid gimmicks and inspire real motivation?

In pursuit of the latest trend, it can be easy to get carried away and forget about the simple and effective ways of motivating learners. By adopting a range of intrinsic and extrinsic motivational techniques, you can expect to see more leaners completing your courses and applying the learning within your organisation. We’ve identified three areas where you should be particularly cautious:

1. Gamification

Like many others in the industry, we’re excited about the rise of gamification in E-Learning. In our blog about the gamification of E-Learning in 2015, we predicted that it is to become more practical, more integrated, more fun and more common. Because of the hype created around gamification, however, many have raced to embrace it without fully understanding how to utilise it in a learning context. When we adopt superficial games with low relevance to learning content, we distract from learning instead of encouraging it. Our advice is to carefully consider how you can use game mechanics and gaming narratives to motivate your learners.

 

2. Badges and Reward Systems

A potentially useful way of motivating learners is through awarding badges or by developing a rewards system. It can serve as a form of intrinsic motivation by appealing to the learner’s sense of achievement and is useful as a type of extrinsic motivation because it can give the learner status amongst their peers or qualify them for a reward or promotion. The counterfeit cousin of a good reward system is one which recognises trivial achievements with meaningless rewards. In order to use badges and reward systems to truly motivate learners, it is essential that the achievements are tangible and worthy of recognition and that the rewards are meaningful and roughly equivalent to the amount of work the learner has put in.

 

3. Graphics

The rapid advances within graphic design and constantly growing industry of web-design means that people are increasingly used to highly-stylised web-content with high-quality images and beautifully presented content. This is exciting because it means that we can produce digital learning that is easy on the eye and attention-grabbing. However, in order to maintain learners’ engagement and motivation, ensure that the instructional designer holds the reins in decisions about layout and that content design is not decided by graphic designers. The work of graphic designers should complement the aims of the instructional designer. For more advice on using graphics in E-Learning, download our recent infographic, The Six Golden Rules for Using Graphics in E-Learning.

Please let us know your comments or share with others who you think may benefit from this. Follow us on twitter @aurionlearning for our latest blog articles and updates.

The Six Golden Rules for Using Graphics in E-Learning

We are all forced daily to trundle through reams of written content to get to the information we want. We have learned to quickly scan text, pick out the points of interest and ignore the rest. Today we’ll tell you how you can use graphics to highlight which information is most important for your learners and to help them to memorise it.

Why are graphics so great?

Graphics are amazing because they can easily summarise huge amounts of written information in a small space, not to mention in a memorable and aesthetically pleasing way! The rise of the infographic and the popularity of memes are just small indicators of the potential in graphics to capture learners’ attention and act as a platform for our bright ideas and learning materials.

It would be a shame for the instructional designer to put together killer learning content, for the web development team to create a robust and multi-functional platform to deliver the content on and then to fail to think through how the content will appear to users visually. Without great UX design and appealing graphics, learners will simply switch off. So we’ve created six golden rules for using graphics in E-Learning:

Six Golden Rules for Using Graphics in E-Learning

This infographic is available to download here.

1)    Graphics should simplify learning content, not complicate it.

2)    Choose graphics that will be memorable and make learning content memorable.

3)    Consistency in style is key to creating beautifully designed E-Learning.

4)    If graphics aren’t self-explanatory, be sure to include a caption or explanation.

5)    Avoid including graphics just for the sake of it – they should add to the learning, not distract from it.

6)    Always use high quality graphics.

 

Please let us know your comments or share with others who you think may benefit from this. Follow us on twitter @aurionlearning for our latest blog articles and updates.

 

What are authoring tools and which one is right for me?

Image containing title of the blog and a person using an authoring tool

Authoring tools are software applications used to create E-Learning programmes and content. There is a massive selection of authoring tools available on the E-Learning market and we aim to highlight some of our favourite products and outline considerations you should take into account when deciding which authoring tool is right for your E-Learning needs.

There are many types of authoring tools available:

Nine logos for various authoring tools. Including Articulate tools, Composica, gomo, Snap! and more.

 

These can be divided into three main groups of authoring tools:

1. Standalone tools

Watch our short video: The Pros and Cons of Storyline

Tools that do not require any other software to be installed.

 

2. PowerPoint based plug-ins

Watch our short video: The Pros and Cons of Snap!

Tools which extend the functionality of PowerPoint.

 

3. Online tools

Watch our short video: The Pros and Cons of Composica

Web-browser based tools, platform independent.

 

A good authoring tool allows E-Learning creators to use rich media; audio, flash animations, videos and games and to build interactions around the rich media.

Generally content created by authoring tools can be published for use on websites, CDs or Learning Management Systems for consumption by your learners at a time and place that suits them best.

At our recent masterclass series, we gave an overview of the benefits of building internal capability by developing your own E-Learning using authoring tools. You can view and download the presentation here. We’ll also have the recoding of this presentation online soon. During this session, Gavin Woods, our Business Development Manager gave an overview of:

An overview of Articulate Studio. Why? +Based on familiar tools (PowerPoint), + Easy to use, + Good for beginners. Why not? - Some limits on functionality, - Plug-in architecture creates some issues.

 

An Overview of Articulate Storyline: Why? + Most powerful authoring environment, + Unlimited authoring capability, + Work remotely (desktop based). Why not? -Steeper learning curve, - Needs some training, - Appropriate licensing can be an issue.

 

An Overview of Adobe Captivate: Why? + Broad range of features, + Part of a wider Adobe E-Learning Suite, + You may have a license already. Why not? - Not as user friendly, - Weaker set of interactions, - Some minor issues with uploading images.

 

Overview of Camtasia. Used for: Screencasting, Talk to cam, Slides plus video, Slides plus voice over.

In a non-rapid environment (think E-Learning companies developing in Flash) there are at least three people in the development team plus the subject matter expert (SME) and the client. In a rapid environment, there is normally just the DIY E-Learning developer along with the SME. It is very often the case though the DIY E-Learning developer is also the SME, Instructional Designer and client all rolled into one. It’s lovely up to a point…but is also feels pretty lonely. As time and resources are often limited, it’s imperative that you are selecting the right authoring tool.

What factors are important when choosing an authoring tool?

  • Multi-device publishing;
  • The ability to incorporate rich media;
  • The ease of creation of interactivity;
  • Cost;
  • Compatibility; and
  • Skill level in-house.

It’s important to select an authoring tool that allows you to create engaging, aesthetically pleasing and interactive E-Learning content without requiring the technical know-how of a computer genius.

At Aurion, depending on our client’s specific E-Learning project requirements, we select the right authoring tool that best fits the brief. Articulate Storyline has the most powerful authoring environment and now that Articulate have launched a new, improved version; Articulate Storyline 2, it’s worth taking a closer look at this formidable tool.

Our team of E-Learning designers love the features of Articulate Storyline 1 because it is effortless to use, has a strong tracking and reporting functionality, simple integration of interactivity and rich media and content means that it is immediately publishable across a wide range of devices.

So what’s different about Storyline 2?

Whilst maintaining a similar look and feel, Storyline 2 offers the same functionality as Storyline 1 and more. On a practical note, the introduction of auto recovery means that you needn’t worry that you’ll lose any of your hard work if you experience technical difficulties with your device. The new dockable panel functionality enables you to work effectively across multiple screens and the fact it is no longer necessary to compress videos ensures that you can maintain high quality graphics and animations.

Both appearance and interactivity in Storyline 2 are better than ever before with the new motion paths, animation painter and a range of new transitions and animations. Our favourite new feature is the slider interactions which allow learners to play around with data and discover causal relationships in a highly visual and interactive format.

Storyline 2 allows you to both import questions and attribute negative scores, thus allowing you to change how tests are created and assessed.

If we’ve managed to tempt you to give Storyline 2 a go, you can try it out for free here.

Although we’re big fans of Articulate Storyline and have used it as a solution for a wide range of E-Learning needs, we know that there is no one size fits all in digital learning. For more advice on choosing the right authoring tool for you, we recommend watching our webinar: Choosing the Right Tools to Create Your Own E-Learning.

Please let us know your comments or share with others who you think may benefit from this. Follow us on twitter @aurionlearning for our latest blog articles and updates.

 

8 Ideas for Exceptional E-Learning Interactivity

An image of a man's mind with a light bulb in the middle and ideas flowing from it, accompanied by the title, "8 Ideas for Exceptional E-Learning Interactivity"

Interactivity is what differentiates dull and drab E-Learning from learning that provokes questions, draws in learners and captures information in a memorable way. If you want to create E-Learning that strikes a chord with learners and transforms learning from being a chore into something enjoyable, we’ve gathered eight ideas for exceptional E-Learning interactivity:

1.    Gamify your learning content

The gamification of learning is a trend that is on the rise. By introducing game mechanics to your E-Learning content, you can increase learner engagement and motivation.

2.    Tell a story

Storytelling has been a learning style long before the introduction of technology. By sharing either illustrative or real life stories with learners, it’s possible to relate your E-Learning to everyday life as well as entertain learners. You can create and share your own digital story for free using our own storytelling tool storee.

3.    Pose questions that require more than yes or no answers

Although they make great tools for assessing knowledge and understanding, it can be tempting for learners to race through multiple choice questionnaires. By incorporating open ended questions learners will receive the opportunity to consider what they have learnt and put it into their own words.

4.    Create discussion spaces for learners to interact

The emergence and widespread adoption of social media means that people are generally more willing to connect and search for meaning using online communities. Social learning offers learners the opportunity to extend learning outside the walls of the classroom and your E-Learning module.

5.    Include beautiful multimedia

Modern, well designed pictures, videos, interactive charts and quizzes will suggest to learners that the content you’re teaching them is up-to-date and topical.

6.    Translate your E-Learning into real world exercises

To successfully motivate learners, it’s vital to link the new information you’re providing them with to their day-to-day life. Real world exercises will prompt learners to consider the legitimacy and relevancy of your E-Learning.

7.    Build problem based scenarios as part of your assessments

Problem based scenarios present a perfect opportunity to encourage learners to grapple with difficult issues and to raise questions about the application of their new knowledge.

8.    Personalise modules by including learners’ names

Small gestures can go a long way. By using learners’ names and other personalised information you can put learners at ease and make them feel like the content was created uniquely for them.

Please let us know your comments or share with others who you think may benefit from this. Follow us on twitter @aurionlearning for our latest blog articles and updates.

Best Practice UX Design for E-Learning

UX Design for E-Learning

By incorporating best practice UX design into your E-Learning, you can maximise information retention, learner engagement and learner enjoyment.

UX design specialists tend to know how people use technology but not necessarily how people learn. There are elements of UX design we’ll cover in this blog that are universal and some that apply specifically to E-Learning.

Why is UX design important?

Because of the clever way Apple’s user interfaces are designed, even a toddler who can’t yet read can pick up an iPad, find the game they want to play or take a photo. Apple do things in a way that just makes sense. From the way things are packed and unfold to how their products and software are designed, they create products which simplify processes for the end user and have their enjoyment in mind. That’s why they had a revenue of over 170 billion dollars in 2013. User experience matters.

We all want to create an E-Learning experience that is seamless and intuitive.

By applying our UX design for E-Learning tips, you can simplify processes and delight learners. They won’t have to ask questions about navigation and will be able to do what they want to do, when they want to do it.

To illustrate the importance of UX design in E-Learning, we will use the example of the Sensory Engagement Programme which we developed in partnership with four of the largest support and advocacy organisations for people with sight and hearing loss across the whole of Ireland. The resource aims to raise awareness among service providers of what it is like to be blind, partially sighted, deaf or hard of hearing and using every day services.

As the best designed user experiences are usually the easiest, it was imperative that the user experience on this project was as seamless as possible.

How do people read online?

The introductory page to the Sensory Engagement Programme.

The introductory page to the Sensory Engagement Programme.

  • Researchers from the Nielsen Norman Group undertook research tracking the eye movements of over 300 website users and discovered that people tend to read webpages in an F shape. The findings make an interesting read and the full report is available to download here.
  • In the above image, you can see the welcome page from the Sensory Engagement Programme. As you can see, we have taken the knowledge that online learners read in an F shape into consideration when laying out our content. This means that users are more likely to read the content and will understand what to expect from the rest of the E-Learning resource.
  • The commoditisation of written content in the digital age means that readers scan and spend less time reading than ever before. This means that content needs to make sense immediately, without further explanation. Clear headings, bullet points and concise, meaningful content will ensure that learners will read what you have to say.

UX Design and Flow

An example page from the Sensory Engagement Programme.

An example page from the Sensory Engagement Programme.

Have you considered what happens when learners don’t have a flow or pattern to follow? They simply stop reading.

When designing an E-Learning webpage, the following components are essential for a user interface that simplifies the learning process:

1)    A flow

2)    A call to action

3)    Very little text or else very scannable text

4)    Images that contribute to the information being presented

As you can see from this screenshot of the Sensory Engagement Programme mentioned earlier, we were able to create a flow by minimising the written content on the page and placing a focus on the video. By making the video and the call to action to watch it so prominent, it ensures that learners will prioritise this. The second most prominent flow happening on the page is the flow across the four tabs at the top which allow users to navigate their way through the E-Learning resource.

What happens when it all goes wrong?

As the folks at Icon Finder said, “A User Interface is like a joke. If you have to explain it, it’s not that good.”

Great UX design is not an additional bonus for an E-Learning programme. Without it, learners will get lost, frustrated, distracted and switch off.

When beginning to develop an E-Learning resource, we suggest sitting around a table with the web developers, designers and instructional designers involved. It’s important for everyone to understand what makes up the key learning content, the layout of content and plan how together you will be able to create an intuitive learner experience.

By incorporating wireframes and storyboarding into your development process and taking UX design into consideration, you can ensure from the get-go that the end user of your E-Learning programme has an experience that will achieve desired learning outcomes and keep them coming back for more.

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