Unexpected Challenges In Online Training Navigation
You’ve already checked for the usual suspects. Broken links and missing back buttons. But there may be some hidden hurdles that slipped through the final edit cracks. These online training navigation obstacles pose a unique challenge to your team because they hinder professional growth. How can employees get relevant JIT support online training tools or skill-building courses if accessibility is an issue? So, which eLearning course design flaws should you look for in your online training program? Here are 7 online training navigation challenges that you never knew existed…. until you read this article.
7 Surprising eLearning Navigation Obstacles
1. Unintuitive Layout
Employees can’t get from point A to point B because the layout of your online training course is anything but user-friendly. It’s unintuitive and doesn’t align with their online training needs or preferences. For example, buttons are in different places on different screens so the employees can’t get back home. Or the resource links are usually at the bottom, but this online training course scatters them across the entire page. So, they get lost in the text blocks and graphics.
2. Laden With Links
One of the most obvious eLearning navigation obstacles that employees spot right away is too many links. They log into the online training course and immediately notice that every page is packed with so many hyperlinks that it overpowers the content. For instance, every other sentence has a link to another online training resource or activity they need to explore. If you do have numerous recommendations, compile a list and add it to the end of the activity. Include a brief explanation of what the online training resource covers and how it benefits corporate learners.
3. Unclear Directions
You can’t expect employees to automatically know the rules of online training navigation or how to progress through the online training course. Especially those who are less than tech-savvy or if you switch up the layout and/or controls. Provide clear directions for how to access and participate in the online training course. You might even include a brief online training tutorial that walks them through the eLearning navigation icons and level design. For instance, they can always access the home page or support online training tools index by clicking on the respective icon.
4. Interactivity At Every Turn
I may catch some flack for this, but I’m a big believer of purpose-driven eLearning course design. Interactivity is important in order to keep your employees engaged and impart real-world experience. However, there’s a limit. Sometimes they just want to read a personal anecdote or watch a demo video without having to click, tap, or scroll, particularly, the less tactile corporate learners who prefer auditory or visual stimuli, instead of serious games around every virtual corner. Once again, you have the option to provide an online training resources list that features interactive online training tools, instead of forcing them to participate in simulations and scenarios every two minutes.
5. Bulky Multimedia
You should always try to include some multimedia in your online training design, such as image, video clips, charts, and other visually-inclined online training resources. But you must also bear in mind that some corporate learners are accessing the online training course on mobile devices or have a slow internet connection. Even some PC users must contend with low bandwidth, which makes it impossible to download your bulky demo video. Thus, they never learn about the safety regulations or how to put on the proper gear. An accident—and countless insurance claims—later, you find out that it’s all because of a slow Wi-Fi connection. You should optimize the multimedia and give the employees the chance to download online training content for later viewing. They don’t need to sit around for ten minutes while the media loads.
6. Creative Buttons
There’s always the urge to inject a bit more creativity into your eLearning course design to achieve that wow factor. But employees won’t be dropping their jaws when they see innovative buttons. In fact, you’ll probably get an eye-roll or exasperated sigh. Of course, the buttons can reflect the subject matter and incorporate personal touches. But they should still be buttons. The employees should immediately recognize that these are the online training navigation controls because they’re already familiar with the format. For example, online training navigation icons that blend in the background and feature over-the-top fonts will only confuse employees. They may not be able to read the font or even know where to click.
7. Space-Saving Hotspots
You know that screen space is a hot commodity. There’s only so much room, so you try to cram in as many hotspots as you can. Small triggers that employees can use to access relevant online training content and unlock hidden features. But these space-savers are more like deal-breakers for mobile users. They may not even see the hotspots because they’re too small, depending on their device of choice. Keep in mind that PC users simply hover over the spot with their mouse, which triggers an interaction. Mobile learners don’t have that luxury. So, ensure they’re more noticeable in mobile learning content or point out the interaction. For instance, include a pop-up-text box to highlight the spot and provide some basic instructions.
You probably knew about some of these online training navigation obstacles because you’ve been on the receiving end. You’ve had to sit through a long online training course that was riddled with irrelevant links and bulky videos you couldn’t even watch. This article can help you avoid making the same mistake with your eLearning course design. Keep it simple, clutter-free, and concise to boost employee engagement. You should also give them a sample and gather eLearning feedback to look for hidden online training navigation hurdles.
If you want to discover more eLearning obstacles and ways to prevent them, read 7 Top Technical Difficulties In Online Training And Tips To Get Rid Of The Glitches and be prepared for the tech hurdles of eLearning course design.