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New Buzz Word Alert: LXD

It wouldn’t be the training industry without the introduction of new buzz words every year! Here is a new one if you haven’t heard it yet:

LXD: Learner Experience Design

What is it?

LXD is about applying principles of User Experience Design (often referred to as UX Design) to the learning process.

UX.jpgUX is a term that has been used for a while to explain an approach to design where diverse fields such as psychology, service design and graphic design are brought together to understand a user, their context and what they want to achieve. This helps put them at the centre of design in order to create the best overall user experience – making things work for the user, and not the other way around. I always thought this picture helped explain the potential mismatch of not doing UX well.

So LXD takes things one step further and applies the same ideas to the learning environment. We need to ask ourselves “how do learners best reach the desired learning outcomes?” And this is not just about online learning – it should be applied to every context that is being used including face to face training and any social learning.

How do I use it?

As is often the case with new buzz words, you may already be doing this (and now you know what it is currently being called). You are using LXD if you are:

  • Considering the target learner group for any training: background experience and previous training, demographics, preferences, motivations, needs
  • Putting yourself in the learner’s shoes and experiencing the training from their perspective
  • Mapping out progression of learners through different training and through this particular training – seeing how the parts and the whole fit together and support each other
  • Including some learners, some subject matter experts and other trainers in the design process. Too often we end up designing in a vacuum and fill in any gaps with what we assume to be right or think will work.
  •  Testing training ideas by observing learners complete the training to see what sticks, then refining or changing things based on the learner’s experiences of completing the training. Real user testing is crucial!
  • When creating online learning or print materials considering not just content, but also the visual design and using brain supporting strategies such as colours, grouping, white space, images and learner interactions
  • Allowing learners freedom to determine what they complete or what they skip, based on their own assessment of their abilities… (as long as they can do it, does it matter how they learnt it?)
  • Focusing on what creates behaviour change and skills development rather than content (I love this diagram below! It really explains what needs to be included in training and what we can live without/put elsewhere). Click on the picture to go to a great presentation by Julie Dirksen from Usable Learning that explains it more.




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