Why consumer grade experiences are an L&D must-have

Four ways to provide a modern learning experience.

Nicole L'ecuyer US Head of Marketing

Why consumer grade experiences are an L&D must-have

Consumer grade experiences are central to the technology we use every day. Whether it’s Amazon, Spotify, LinkedIn, Google, Reddit or Facebook the way we interact on our smartphones have set user expectations higher than ever and the lines between work and home are now blurred.

So, last week I hosted a webinar on what L&D can learn from consumer-grade technology, and this article summarizes the important lessons we can take from these services to create a better learning experience.

1. Keep it simple

This goes for content, experiences, and platforms. If a 12-year old can’t confidently navigate through the user-experience, then it’s too complex. 

People looking for information are not professionals in training. They’re professionals in other fields and don’t have the time or inclination to progress along a learning curve to get the information they’re after. Especially when search engines like Google are setting high standards of finding information at your fingertips.

But there are many reasons why Google is by far the most used learning tool in any organization. But the main one? Simplicity.

2. Be people oriented

It sounds obvious, but learners are just people. And yet, when it comes to delivering training content, often the experience is so much different to how people consume content in their own time. Traditional corporate learning experiences tend to be more siloed, formal, lengthy, less feedback driven, and often less engaging.

By harnessing more social features we see in popular social media platforms like comments for discussion, ability for user generated content and following people, we start to replicate how humans learn from each other every day.

3. Hyper personalized

There are different levels of personalization. Think of Spotify. They don’t just break songs into broad categories (country, rock, hip hop, etc) and then make recommendations based on that. That might be somewhat useful, but it would introduce a lot of noise. Just because somebody like Hank Williams does not mean that they would like Brad Paisley, even though they are both country artists. 

So, they have thousands sub-categories and sub-sub categories that they pair with the 500 billion daily data events they capture to create individual playlists that are targeted to the individual. And that’s what makes up your Daily Mix, Discover Weekly or Uniquely yours.

Oftentimes in the L&D world, very broad skills get classified together and delivered as if they are tailored to a learner’s need. For instance, if I was looking to improve my SQL skills, as a novice I might want to focus on authoring statements & clauses. But setting up a database using WAMP might also be tagged. 

This one is really down to how smart your learning platform is and the way they manage, organise and recommend content. Next gen platforms, like THRIVE Learning and Skills Platform are powered by an intelligent discovery system that continuously learns from tags, skills, interests and behaviours.

4. Know what you're measuring

Any large consumer platform has been molded to its current form using data, and lots of it. They know what they want out of users (more clicks, more purchases, more time on site, more comments, etc.) and then can fine tune the experience they deliver to maximize those results. This creates a site that users love to engage with and will keep coming back to. The data is the key to making the little improvements at each step.

By establishing benchmarks for metrics that really matter to your organization, and continually measuring new initiatives or incremental improvements against those benchmarks, L&D professionals can make the little tweaks needed to always be improving the user experience.

There is so much more L&D can learn from consumer-grade technology platforms, after all they are so widely used for a reason! So, if you want to talk more about ways to deliver a truly modern and engaging learning experience drop me a message on LinkedIn, I love having these conversations!

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