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First Impressions Are Everything, UX And UI Design Is Where To Start

Kevin is a brand representative who travels to different grocery stores in the Midwest to promote his company’s products—chocolatey, gooey cookies that kids love! He has to make sure the products look organized and are on the lowest shelves so kids can get their hands on them, and mom and dad can’t say, "No." When he started in this role, Kevin had the opportunity to do a ride-along with Josh, a brand representative in another territory. Josh seemed to be buds with everyone in his stores and they were all willing to help him out. Now that Kevin is on his own, he can’t make the same connections as Josh. He’s noticed that the grocery store associates don’t seem to want to talk to him when he’s in the store. And, they look annoyed every time he asks them to move the cookies to a lower shelf. But it’s their job! And, he’s just doing his.

Clearly, Kevin needs some help. He can’t be in the store all the time, so he relies on the grocery store associates to help him out. Sadie is a learning consultant in the organization’s global L&D team and is presented with this problem by Kevin’s regional merchandising manager. What can she do to help Kevin and other brand representatives?

eBook Release: 7 Better Learning Principles For Custom eLearning
eBook Release
7 Better Learning Principles For Custom eLearning
Convince your stakeholders that it's in the organization’s best interest to produce eLearning that is interactive and focused on the learners' performance

Job Shadowing Is Great, But It Isn't Enough

Kevin’s onboarding was effective in some ways—it provided a solid foundation and a model of correct behaviors. The problem is that now Kevin is on his own, he has realized that he is not Josh, and the connections Josh made are at different stores with different associates. Kevin needs practice. However, practicing on grocery store associates will further undermine his goal of building connections. To help Kevin connect with store associates, he needs to see how his actions play out in a risk-free and safe environment. A great way to engage Kevin is to design an interactive, video-based eLearning course that provides him with opportunities to make choices when connecting with associates. This “choose your own adventure” strategy will immerse Kevin in the experience and provide emotive feedback for Kevin that will hopefully make an impression and alter his behavior—it’s also Efficient, Relevant, and Fun!

Sadie recommends to the regional merchandising manager the interactive video concept with the following 4 scenarios:

  1. Building rapport in the store!
  2. Don’t just give a high-five, associate recognition that matters!
  3. You’ve got a problem? How to ask an associate to help you.
  4. Associates do need an education! How to help them, help you!

Sadie works with members of the merchandising team and brand representatives to identify realistic scenarios. From these scenarios, she develops the script with relevant decision points and realistic, associate feedback—Sadie is on a roll!

Just Because It's A Video, Doesn't Mean It's Engaging

Sadie programs the course into a split screen with the video window on the left and a multiple-choice decision point question on the right. Video has an immersive aspect that draws the learners in and makes the content “real” in a way that other mediums can’t match. So why would Sadie not utilize the whole screen for the video? The point of using video is so that learners can feel immersed in the situation—like they’re really there. The principle of engaging means that the course is aesthetically pleasing, captivating and appealing. For maximum effect, your video should take up the whole screen, not just part of it. Text and graphic elements, if needed, should be positioned in the foreground of the video as a transparent overlay so as to not completely conceal the scenario in the background. Video editing techniques can help you keep the pace of the course steady and prevent learners from feeling bogged down; speed up the video, or cut out little things that don’t need to be retained.

It Can't Just "Be Pretty"

Before Sadie gets started on the course design, she retrieves the company’s brand guidelines from her marketing department. Smart move, Sadie! The brand guidelines will help her select the right colors, fonts, and images to use in her course design. This will help her remain in compliance with the brand as well as give her a starting point rather than starting from scratch. It is important for Sadie to follow visual hierarchy principles including size, placement, and color. This will help the learners minimize distractions and focus on what’s important, the interactive video. Also, a simple and consistent navigation style will reduce the learners’ effort and keep them moving through the course smoothly. If a menu is necessary then create a simple hamburger drop-down navigation. In my 20 plus years of designing custom eLearning courses, one thing has not changed, the first impression is everything. If you have a course that does not engage the learners aesthetically, it is very difficult to pull them back in. By designing and publishing a polished course—one that resonates strongly with your audience—you prevent distractions, build credibility, and keep them focused on the learning objectives. Want to really captivate your learner? Download our eBook 7 Better Learning Principles For Custom eLearning to truly optimize your custom eLearning processes. You can also watch the supporting webinar "Maximize Learning Effectiveness Using The 7 Better Learning Principles" and unlock the full potential of performance-based learning.

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