ENABLEMENT LMS

User Experience

BACKGROUND

The sales team, support team and our partners are constantly learning. There is always new information they need to consume to effectively do their jobs but we didn’t have a way to serve up that content as quickly as they needed it. After searching for a pre built solution, we found there was nothing that met our needs. We determined that a custom learning management system needed to be created in house. I’m very lucky that I had the opportunity to be involved in this project from the first meeting. This enabled me to have a full understanding of the requirements, goals, objectives and desires of the stakeholders and product owner. My role was to design a solution for an internal learning management system. I worked with executives, stakeholders, product owners, project managers, development teams, other internal design teams, and quality assurance to make sure all pieces we’re in their correct place. I lived and breathed ECC.

GETTING STARTED

I believe the key to creating something great is understanding why it is needed, who it will help and what problem it will solve.

Because I started working on the LMS prior to it having an official product owner, my first activity was to sit with leadership from sales, support and partners and hear about what they wanted and where their pain points were.

The information that was gathered at those meetings became the starting point for the project. From there I created something similar to a competitive analysis to gather a better understanding of trends and patterns within existing LMS’s.

WIREFRAMES & PROTOTYPES

After all of the requirements were gathered and the initial interviews were complete, I went right in to wireframing in Axure to get all of my ideas on “paper”. (Personally, I like to create the interaction as I go to allow myself and users to walk thru the flow very early on to make sure there aren’t any glaring gaps in the architecture.) Shortly after I started working on the wireframes we were assigned a product owner. I met with her and my PM and reviewed all of the data I had gathered. She provided her input on what she envisioned as well. I took her ideas and continued on the wireframes. Typically by this stage I would be working based of requirements provided by the business unit, but since this project had started prior to that I worked very closely with my PM to assist in writing the requirements where needed. I met a few times a week with my product owner to review the progress.

THERE’S NO “I” IN TEAM

One of the key features of success (in my opinion) to any product is the relationship of the team. I believe that myself, the PM, the developers front and back, and QA have to be in sync, trust each others abilities and decisions and have transparency. To do this, I made sure to hold weekly UX/UI reviews with the team prior to meeting with the business unit to make sure we were all in agreement of the development costs associated with my decisions. Sometimes the meetings were easy, and sometimes they were a battle but at the end of it we all knew what the expectations were and that enabled us to create a great tool.

VALIDATE & ITERATE

When the wireframes got to a place that the business unit was satisfied with I went into user research. There were multiple types of users that would need to be interviewed. I created a research plan and reached out to my users. All sessions were conducted virtually. After the interviews were conducted I compiled my findings, crafted my suggestions and presented them to the product owner and business team.

We learned we were on the right track in most areas and found areas to improve on. A few new features were born from the research and other features were tweaked based on it. One of the key findings that was a constant theme from our student users and training managers alike was that the user didn’t want to search for the courses they needed to take. Through constant communication with our users we were able to learn of and provide solutions that weren’t apparent to the business unit.

SETTING THE TEAM UP FOR SUCCESS

The last, but certainly not least, part of my process is to make sure my team has what they need to be successful. In the case of ECC, it was to provide them with all of the deliverables they needed to make sure all designs, patterns and interactions were accounted for. I did this through various methods. I provided them with wireframes, a full working and up to date prototype, hi defs in working format along with pngs redlined. I created a guide in confluence and documented all interactions with visuals and descriptions. After I turned all of these assets over to the team, I worked hand in hand with the developers and QA to make sure everything was implemented as designed.

CONCLUSION

ECC was a success. It has had a high adoption rate and continues on an upward trajectory. The Sales team, Support team and Partners it enables are benefiting from the courseware it offers. I am continually working to enhance and improve the experiences our users have.

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