“Always start an eLearning project by focusing on the user’s experience,” says Matthew Sims, Business Development Manager at The Creative Engine. “It’s the only way you’ll be able to gauge how best to deliver effective learning.”
Whatever you are producing, from an in-house eLearning system to a public-facing educational piece, the end-point is always the user.
The end user comes first
With thirty years of digital experience building eLearning content, The Creative Engine understands that identifying the user, and understanding how they like to learn, is key. That’s why defining the user is always the first thing we work on with any new client.
“Some clients start with fixed ideas about what they want to do, but by talking these concepts through with us, we’ll often settle on something more effective,” Matthew explains. “We’ll discuss what subject matter they want to teach and who the message is going to be seen by. We’ll discuss the learning environment and the devices used to access the training. Then we’ll work backwards to get a good understanding of what needs to be delivered.”
“For example, if the eLearning content will be public-facing (especially if it’s in a store), we’ll consider who the user is, how likely they are to understand the product we’re discussing and what the client wants to achieve if it’s not a direct sale.”
This is a particular consideration when talking about new technology. We’re often asked to build content promoting connected devices and, in those cases, the nature of the hardware itself will determine whether we talk about a specific product or focus on the benefits it can deliver.
“Sonos’ connected speakers are a great example,” Matthew says. “They are cutting-edge audio products, and the technology that goes on inside them is impressive. Yet they’re supremely easy to use and sound great, so that’s what we focus on. Arming the sales representatives with this knowledge lets them fully educate their customers.
“For a more general presentation, such as the Internet of Things project we developed for Intel, we’d look at the overall concept of how these net-enabled devices can enhance your work/ life balance and productivity, and arm customers with the tools they need to make their own choices from several competing platforms.”
Accessibility and interactivity
Everything The Creative Engine does is interactive. Our design teams know how to simplify complex concepts, often by translating them from a client’s in-house language, with all its acronyms and abbreviations, into plain English, so the user won’t feel intimidated.
Then, we’ll deliver it in an engaging manner so that it appeals to the user right away. Some of our new clients can have trouble visualising this, but it helps if we show them examples of our past work, after which they’ll often want to go away and re-think what they hope to achieve and come back with a much more tailored experience for the user.
A live project for Furniture Village serves as a case in point. “When they came in for an initial meeting, the Furniture Village team had a concept in mind. Once they knew what we could do and saw the full potential of what could be delivered, they realised we could go further than their original plans.”
“We helped Furniture Village rework its idea, adding proof of learning and interactive elements throughout, so that the product would really engage its users, totally transforming its existing training material and ways of learning. Now, several months down the line, it is rolling out its first ever digital training programme alongside a major system upgrade, which influences the whole business.”
What we designed for them has freed their users from the classroom by delivering on-demand, bite-size and intuitive learning through any device, using modules between three and ten minutes long.
“Just-in-time or on-demand learning is one of the best ways to learn for today’s connected workforce,” Matthew says. “Whether they’re on a break, eating lunch, or just waiting for their next customer, they can pick up a device and dip in, and a few minutes later start applying what they’ve just learned. The payback is immediate.”
You know your users, and we know how to engage them. Call The Creative Engine on 01483 799 200 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. By working together, we can help them be more productive, fulfilled and effective.