The onboarding experience of your eLearning solutions is worth consideration as a larger part of your curriculum. When you roll out a new training program and introduce users to a new learning experience, do you really need to force each person to click through a how-to tutorial for the LMS or the module itself? Do people really need to be told to “press the next button” every single time one appears on screen, or would it perhaps be better to cue them visually with a flicker animation?
How do we determine how to best onboard people to a new training experience? How do we comfortably to ease them into it without wasting time? Here’s a few ways to consider:
1. Allow users to skip the how-to tutorial if they don’t feel they need it
This is a great approach often used by software, games, and many browser-based tools. If you decide to do this, be sure to make it easy to navigate back to the tutorial if users change their mind.
2. Use a mini tutorial and then provide more in-depth resources for those who want it
Some software and apps use this approach, especially if they have rolled out new updates they want to show off and make sure users know about and know how to use. When using this approach it’s best to keep your mini-tutorial to the most essential actions only, a maximum of 4 interactions or instructions. It shouldn’t take the user longer than a minute to complete. Any additional tutorial information can be shared in additional resources you can direct them to afterwards.
3. Use intuitive and familiar visual cues
As mentioned earlier, visual cues can be used to direct the learner to desired actions. Next or continue buttons typically belong toward the bottom center or bottom right of the screen or slide. Menu icons typically appear on the top left or top right with standard icon styles like the kebab or hamburger menus. Accent colors and animations can help indicate where the next action needs to take place.
4. Don’t overdo the audio instructions
Telling users to “Select next to continue” isn’t a terrible thing – once or twice. If you’re developing a dozen modules and you’re telling them to select next in every section of every module, it’s probably overkill. They’ll get the point. They know where the button is by now. Imagine you’re at the office and you walked up to the copier for the first time. Someone standing there said, “Press the start button to make a copy”. You wouldn’t mind the first time they told you, but you probably wouldn’t want to hear them say it every time you went to make a copy, would you? That would probably get a bit annoying.
5. Consider which learning objectives are most important to the user
Of the many learning objectives that are probably listed out for your elearning course or lesson, there are probably a few that are more important to the department or company than directly to the user. Consider sharing the most important and user-relevant goals to give them context to the training, but avoid wasting time and waning interest by keeping the shared list to a curated minimum.