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Easy does it

The phrase 'content is king' has been used so

many times by now that it's almost lost all

meaning - but is it still true? With learners

having access to so much information and so

many different ways of getting hold of it, does

the 'official training' we shove in front of their

faces have much of an impact, however good

it is? Well, I'm not ready to depose His

Majesty Content just yet, but that doesn't

mean we shouldn't be giving more thought to

how content reaches learners and to their

overall experience of learning.

I'm not one of those people who spends

hours and hours on social media every day

(I'm not I swear!) but there's no denying that

there's always something intriguing about that

little red notification icon. Do I keep checking

Facebook because everything I read on there

is so interesting? Decidedly not; but I do keep

going back. Why - maybe because it's so

easy. If I had to type the URL into my taskbar

every time, or remember my login details, I

wouldn't do it half so much. And the pull of the

little red notification is undeniable.

These tiny conveniences might seem

meaningless in the grand scheme of things,

but people are drawn to experiences that

make things easier for them. We use Uber,

Just Eat and banking apps because they

remove minor inconveniences like picking up

the phone, or remembering personal details.

Do I really buy everything from Amazon

because everything sold on Amazon is

better? Or is it because its user experience

(UX) design makes it so easy for me to find

and buy what I want? Maybe we're lazy,

maybe we just have so little time that we'll

grab every spare second that's going, or

maybe we just demand a better experience

as consumers - whatever the reason, the

easier it is to use a service, the more we use it.

There are some very important lessons for us

here as learning designers. Whether we're

designing a course, a programme or a video,

we tend to think of it as something complete

and self-contained, but of course it isn't. We

should be asking ourselves how does this

module, quiz, game etc. fit in with everything

else the user is learning and doing right now?

Where does this piece of learning sit on their

learning platform and how can we make it

more easily accessible? How can we make it

fit smoothly into their workflow so that

checking what's new on the learning platform

becomes like checking what's new on

facebook: natural, absurdly easy and

automatic.

Rosie Scott

Senior Learning Designer

Learning Pool

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