The LMS is an interactive system, and like any interactive system, ease in navigation and usability play a defining role in its success. The UI & UX of an LMS is responsible for how we, the users, perceive this system. A poor UI (user interface), cluttered and dated in design, will often leave the system aesthetically limp. A poor UX (user experience) on the other hand, with too many clicks to make the system work and complicated navigation options, will stop users from interacting with the system completely, using it only when absolutely required. A Brandon Hall survey stated that 50.6% organizations find poor UI & UX a barrier between a satisfied learning experience and an average, poor learning experience.
The idea of owning an LMS is not about using it only when required. It is about creating a continuous culture of learning and development, where employees and management long to train themselves using this system. Therefore, an interactive system like the LMS needs an aesthetically pleasing UI and a crisp, functional UX.
In this article, we’ll cover some driving forces behind why these two factors contribute to a successful LMS implementation and usage in your organization. And, when selecting an LMS, from the UI & UX point of view, what you, as the buyer, must look for in a system.
Too Many Features Clutter the Interface
As a first-time buyer, having a variety of features that make up your LMS, may sound like a good idea. However, it will only add to the list of functions you, the user/administrator, have to understand before you make good use of the LMS.
Understanding features that are a must have, which will help you address your training needs, and selecting an LMS that has all of them, will make operating the LMS considerably easy.
A dashboard/control panel which has only the features you need, while avoiding features you do not require, will allow your LMS administrator to quickly complete the task at hand, and spend less time making sense of each function in front of them.
From the learners’ point of view, too many functions are nothing but distractions and act as a hindrance in starting and completing the training activity. As an organization looking to create a learning and development environment, this is the last thing you want.
For your learners to stay interested and return to the LMS often, the navigations options that help move through the system must be simple and straightforward. Good navigation in an LMS is defined as the least number of clicks required to complete an action.
This becomes twice as important from the administrator’s point of view when assigning courses and setting up training initiatives.
As an organization purchasing an LMS, the time and effort that goes into implementation, integrating existing systems, uploading user data, and setting up courses, often means it is a long-term investment. Thus, ensuring your UI & UX design is future-proofed and the LMS possesses the ability to integrate with the latest technology is important.
A good UI & UX design will remain appealing, as other systems like social media, applications, and other software improve their design. With exposure to these new systems, whose UI & UX may be advanced, users will automatically avoid an LMS whose UI & UX design is not future-proofed as they consider this to be outdated and difficult to use.
Mobile Phone Integration
There is no function of the LMS where the UI & UX matters more than the ability to use the LMS on your mobile device. With the number of mobile phone users expected to cross 5 billion globally by 2020, it is absolutely important for you, the buyer, to understand how a good UI & UX design of the LMS on mobile phones is important.
Mobile phones favor LMSes that have a clutter-free UI and a flawless UX. Reduced size of the screen and the need to train on the move, requires the LMS to be a lean and navigable system. LMSes with unrequired features that take time to open on a mobile device defeat the purpose of mobile learning as a quick and convenient way to train anytime, anywhere.
Furthermore, mobile phone technology is rapidly pushing its boundaries. The mobile-integrated LMS must possess the ability to incorporate these technologies to further enhance the learning experience. Modern features such as swiping, 3D touch, eye tracking and facial recognition are all factors which may one day increase the quality of the UI & UX.
Consistent UI & UX with less frequent changes creates a feeling of familiarity amongst users. This plays an important role when administrators set up courses and training initiatives, while reducing the need to rely on technical support from the vendor. Learners who perceive the LMS as a familiar and easy-to-use system are more likely to engage in self-training.
Whether your LMS is mobile responsive or it has a native mobile app, the idea is that few but important features, is a lot. The lack of a native mobile app will create issues as learners try to access the LMS on their mobile browsers. Ideally, look for an LMS with a native iOS and Android mobile app. Also, ensure the LMS is not just running a mobile responsive version inside a shell of an app, it should genuinely be designed for a mobile first experience.
Contact us to better understand how Abara LMS is a mobile-first LMS with a clean UI and crisp UX.