With the global e-learning market expected to balloon to $325 billion by 2025, it’s little wonder why more and more businesses are expanding their offerings and changing the way they deliver their training.
Though face-to-face tuition is still most effective, an increasing number of us are turning to screens to expand our knowledge and brush up on skills gaps.
Though the opportunities for e-learning businesses are immense, the only way to ensure your success is to deliver the very best service.
That starts with user experience. Below, we have rounded up six things to think about when developing your e-learning website and app.
Don’t leave people guessing
From the moment a user opens your app or logs onto your website, they should be able to find the information and courses they need at the tap of a finger or click or a button.
If a user needs a ten-page manual to get started or needs to be instructed on how your e-learning platform works beyond a quick third-second introduction, the chances are it’s too complex.
Questions like “How do I resume my class?” or “Where can I find information billing?” should not enter into your users’ minds – ask all of those questions yourself, and design a platform that makes everything straightforward and intuitive.
Follow industry best practices and know when to simplify or go back to the drawing board if you’re getting bogged down in the detail.
Navigation is king
Navigation is one of the most important aspects to consider when developing an e-learning platform – users should be able to find what they’re looking for quickly and without frustration.
Make sure the most important elements – courses, account, log out – are clearly visible at all times, and allow users to flick back and forth between different elements of your platform without having to save information (for example, the ability to click out of a course to check progress feels more intuitive and reassures users as they advance through your training).
Your navigation should complement user intentions, and non-essential links and functions, like offers, terms and conditions and community pages should be kept behind a hamburger menu icon – the simpler and cleaner your e-learning platform looks, the better it’ll perform.
Keep it consistent
Users will rely on your app and website to help them learn, so it’s essential that your UX is as consistent as possible.
When designing a questionnaire or test, for example, make sure your buttons appear in the same positions on every page, that checkboxes are clickable from anywhere within the text and icon area (important for accessibility reasons, too), and that you use the same colours as users gain ground on your app.
Don’t use a green pop-up box when a user passes their first test and then a purple box with graphics the next time.
Make it responsive
It seems almost redundant to be reminding businesses and developers about the importance of mobile optimisation and responsive design, but we’ll mention it once more.
The mobile learning market is expected to reach around $2.1 billion by 2021 in the United States alone, increasing its share of the global e-learning market every day.
Consider how your e-learning platform performs on different devices like tablets, smartphones and smartwatches, and be mindful of desktop-only features such as auto-playing videos and time-locked content.
The chances are that you’ll need to make some tweaks to your platform to make them more user-friendly on smaller devices, and that may mean making some design compromises on your desktop experience.
Remember that users accessing your e-learning content on their smartphones will likely be in a distracting environment like a train station or office, so keep it simple and remove anything that might distract them further and cause them to disengage.
Make it readable
Whether your e-learning courses involve digital marketing or diving safety, it’s important that your content is readable and engaging. Simplify the learning interface by presenting new information in a clear and concise manner, adding calls to action and engaging features like buttons to reveal content and questions to reinforce learning, and make sure that your text is brief and scannable where possible – a 1,000-word chunk of text won’t be engaging on mobiles.
You should also add more images, video, and graphics to support your content and speak in lieu of written text, without dumbing down their learning and experiment with new ideas like learning flow charts, drag-and-drop revision cards, and other cross-platform interactivity.
Never stop learning
Remember that the job of a developer is never done. Though you can make great strides towards a “perfect” user interface for your learners, you should always be on the lookout for new ideas. Download other apps and try out other software, experiment with new features in a limited public beta, and do what you can to keep your platform at the top of its game. With tough competition from global brands like Skillshare, Udemy and Teachable, an independent app must offer more – it’s your responsibility to be delivering the best service at all times.
To maximise engagement and sales, your platform must stand out from the crowd. Follow the tips we have offered above, and reach out to the web development experts at Zudu today to help you craft a platform that works for your users and for your bottom line.