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Keys to Building a Successful Digital Learning Experience

Building an effective and well-adopted learning experience for your users is the goal, yes?  And you want to be really successful with it, yes?  Which means people actually use it, in fact, they enjoy using it.  And as a byproduct your business runs more smoothly, and profitably.  Now you’re really getting ambitious!  OK good.

Here’s how you have to think:

Think Like an Engineer:
To create your digital learning success story you probably put on your Engineer hat right away.  And to think like an Engineer, you have to ask, “are these processes accurate?” AND “is this one process efficient?”

In order to ensure your success with Engineer-thinking you’ll need to think BIG and have a macro perspective while you are also thinking SMALL and in the details.  This is an odd discipline.  At one moment you’re asked to consider the staff implications, the totality of the client experience, and the economic result of this one process (the gist of it)…while you are also detailing the most minute details – like how someone records sales information into the CRM.

This thinking BIG and SMALL is required so you don’t get lost in either discipline.  Think BIG all the time and you’ll miss the trees.  Think SMALL all the time and you’ll miss the forest.  The trick is to switch back and forth.

Teams of different styles working together and with full awareness of their thinking modes are a helpful advantage.  If you know you’re a BIG thinker then you need a detail person to run along with you.   And the opposite holds true as well.  Many times we’ve seen process people (those charged with these projects) get completely LOST in the work of mapping process without ever getting enough elevation to actually determine if the process is a good one or not.   And we know you Visionary types too…you need to bring others in to execute in order for you to see the results.

Build Like a Designer:
Now is the less obvious idea:  You also have to build your digital learning experience like a Designer would.  I’m not kidding.  And what do Designers think about? They think about the user.  Designers obsess about the experience of the viewer.  They are oriented toward empathy as a critical element for success.  Design Thinking places your focus onto the “look” of the learning content as an indicator as to whether or not it’ll be received well.  It places your focus onto the “experience” of the learning; too many words?  too many videos?  too few images?  etc.

Building like a Designer means you have to take off your Engineer hat, “Is this accurate and efficient?”  And ask a different set of questions, “Is this easy? Intuitive? Engaging?”  Consider how “busy” your account looks.  Consider the length and quality of your videos both in terms of production value but also content value.  Consider the organizational structure?  Is this set up nicely?

Time and time again we can see a PlaybookBuilder account that was built with only one of the necessary disciplines and the results are the same.  Either ugly but accurate or pretty but limited.

Put on both hats and you’ll build learning that drives behavior and change in a more effective and efficient way.