Learning in a service organization like ours is directly proportionate to creating business impact. Our business is driven by our people and their capabilities, and how they deliver impact for our clients. To make learning more accessible, agile, and relevant, we began the journey to move to a new Learning Management System (LMS)—one that is on the cloud, is fast, and promises a better user experience.
Over the last six months, we have been focusing on “User eXperience” (UX), which is central to our ROI on the new LMS. The system (the new LMS) is for our employees, and its content and functionality must be liked and, better still, enjoyed by the user. In that context, UX aims to have a deep understanding of users, their needs, abilities, and limitations and understand what users value as well as focus on achieving business goals and objectives.
At the basic level, what is UX? The Wikipedia definition states, “User eXperience (UX) is about how a person feels about using a system. User experience highlights the experiential, affective, meaningful and valuable aspects of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) and product ownership, but it also covers a person’s perceptions of the practical aspects such as utility, ease of use and efficiency of the system. User experience is subjective in nature, because it is about an individual’s performance, feelings and thoughts about the system. User experience is dynamic, because it changes over time as the circumstances change”.
If UX is subjective and dynamic and is about how a person feels about using a system, how does one measure UX? We got some fascinating insights when we dived into understanding what UX denotes and how it can have a critical impact on the success of our LMS. Peter Morville (a pioneer in information architecture and user experience and the author of the best-selling books Information Architecture for the World Wide Web, Intertwingled, Search Patterns, and Ambient Findability) defined the User Experience Honeycomb, and explains the critical factors that influence UX. He says that for a meaningful and valuable user experience, information must be:
- Useful: Content should be original and fulfill a need
- Usable: Site must be easy to use
- Desirable: Image, identity, brand, and other design elements are used to evoke emotion and appreciation
- Findable: Content needs to be navigable and locatable on-site and offsite
- Accessible: Content needs to be accessible to people with disabilities
- Credible: Users must trust and believe what you tell them
Not all of these aspects must work together, but UX can be mapped against identified critical points in the journey of deploying an online system for users.
Our journey with the LMS is only beginning, and there are many questions about what makes it the best for our users. The main point is to question the functionality and every process against the backdrop of what is useful and valuable for the user. Therefore, to measure UX, one must measure user behavior, which reflects user ease or difficulty in using the system. We are learning how to leverage UX to make our new LMS best in class. Many of you may have gone through this journey or are even going through it now. We would be happy to hear your thoughts and learn together.