Good user experience (UX) is vital for successful e-learning content. Students need to navigate your platform easily, without distractions and with all the resources they need right there. Today, we are looking at ways to improve e-learning UX.
What is UX in e-learning?
If you have created an e-learning platform or course, you have probably thought about user experience, whether you know it or not. That might be in the way you organise your course or add features to pages.
Like many other digital products, e-learning courses need to focus on the user. The learner should be able to engage with content and focus without being distracted by irrelevant features, difficult navigation, or other factors that can create poor user experience.
There are two terms that are often associated with designing a platform that works, UX and UI. As learning software Articulate explains, there are key differences between the two, but both are very important.
E-learning UX design
UX design refers to the experience a person has when they interact with your platform. Do they find it easy and enjoyable to use? UX designers think about the overall picture, including how to design positive interactions.
E-learning UI design
UI stands for user interface. So, UI design is about what your users see and use. Good e-learning user interface design looks at a wide range of features, including space, typography, colors, and more.
Should I focus on UX or UI?
UX and UI are clearly linked and require careful consideration. To find out more about the difference between the two, take a look at this handy guide. Because the two areas are so closely linked, we’re going to look at them together in examining how to improve your e-learning user experience.
1- Make navigating simple
Navigation needs to be intuitive and easy, no matter which page the learners or teachers find themselves on. But this doesn’t only apply to internal pages. If you are linking to external materials, embedding multimedia, or more, navigating the course still needs to be clear and simple. Also, consider how and when learners can move from one lesson to another and whether or not certain features need to be locked to shape progression.
The idea of easy navigation links with one of Nielsen’s ten heuristics (general principles for interaction design). He explains that it’s important to present options in a visible way so that users can recognize where they are in the course, without having to rely on recall which can increase the load on memory.
2- Think about consistency and accessibility
As Gearoid O’Suilleabhain from Munster Technological University explains, consistency is key no matter the platform. So, your whole course, including modules and choice of technologies, should be consistent in look, feel, layout, navigation, and more.
Likewise, content needs to stay accessible for a wide range of users right across the platform and beyond. This means taking accessibility needs into consideration at the design stage, rather than as an add-on.
3- Use the right language
The words you use are important. As Adobe explains, there should be a match between the system and the real world, including the terminology that students will encounter. Lessons should be clear, broken down into engaging ideas, and not use overly complex language.
Likewise, the tone of voice you choose is important. For example, it would be disorientating for a learner or other user of the platform to encounter some lessons in very formal English and others in conversational tones. It could even impact the way they write in their assessments.
4- Localize your e-learning platform
Sometimes, simply translating content isn’t enough to make it engaging for different users. An e-learning platform that has been created for an audience in one region may not work well for an audience in another region. This could be because of cultural references, sensitive themes, use of certain imagery, units of measurement, layout, or more.
For instance, an English learning course written from left to right will need significant changes to make navigating and interacting with the course easy for an Arabic speaker, whose language reads right to left. Similarly, if materials include examples with cultural references such as public holidays or even landmarks, they may not make sense or be engaging for users abroad.
Localization is the process of adapting content to suit a new audience, so that it feels as though it was made for them. That way, your learner can immerse themselves and get true value from your e-learning platform.
Future Group – E-learning experts
At future group, we specialize in localization, translation, and interpreting. Our specialist teams have an in-depth knowledge of e-learning and how to create a great user experience. To find out more, have a look at our service pages or get in touch.