The design and user experience of eLearning courses is very important. It makes your content enjoyable and easier for participants to consume. However, there are other aspects that must be tested before eLearning courses are made available to users on a platform or app in order to assure their quality and proper functioning. That way, flaws that delay the training programs and cause participants to lose interest or leave the course because of technical issues will be avoided.
To successfully implement eLearning courses, you need to set aside your role as developer/producer and see the project from the perspective of other stakeholders: as a participant, the expert instructor, the IT area, the project’s sponsors within the company that have an interest in its implementation, etc. Here are some critical elements that you can “audit” in your courses to assess if they are ready to start operating:
You’ve surely experienced that, when saving a document created with a previous version of Word, a message appears requesting your confirmation before saving it in the current version. Occasionally, the design of tables, images, and other elements will look different, or they might not even appear. Similarly, for eLearning courses, it’s necessary to check that they work properly on the participants’ operating system, browsers, and models of devices. In some cases, the integrity of the course design could be affected. Run tests on different systems, devices, and screen sizes.
The average internet user has little patience when it comes to loading a page. If it doesn’t load in less than five seconds, they’ll leave. In the case of eLearning courses, slow loading times can cause a high dropout rate. Participants might try it one, two, or three times and then abandon the course completely. Test it and test it again to ensure it loads flawlessly. Optimize the multimedia files and the downloads to make sure they aren’t too large. It’s best to delete all the elements on the page that are not relevant and could slow it down.
Technical functions for the user experience
All eLearning courses should have user-friendly, intuitive navigation. Is the course’s navigation effective? Does it use a suitable logic? Does the content look good? Is the sound of the tones and audio recordings adequate? It’s essential to navigate through each of the courses’ screens, click on all the links and interactions, and ensure they take you to the right place. It’s also a must to check that all the pop-up windows, buttons, links, and hovers are working right.
Overall content review
It’s always necessary to navigate through each screen to check that it has the right content and confirm that the font sizes and colors are used correctly ensure the course is legible and that everything fits in the design and overall theme. Likewise, when navigating through the course, we might find superfluous texts that aren’t very useful or that could be edited to be made clearer and reduce the risk of causing confusion. Ask a third party to proofread the course to find typos that have gone unnoticed.
Consider checking these aspects before launching your eLearning courses. It will help you detect possible flaws and fix them ahead of time so you can assure the quality required by users when you launch your eLearning project, both in technical aspects and in its functionality and design.
About the Author:
Yolanda Barquera is Director of Talent Development at IDESAA. She is a business coach and consultant in talent development and process analysis. She is passionate about development and processes of change and loves to get new opportunities to continue learning. She is a specialist in e-Learning project design and implementation.