Learning Management System Design Ideas
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Functionality and content are usually the main priority when it comes to setting yourself and your software for success. However, the design is not something to be taken for granted. It has a particular way to promote uniqueness while enhancing a product’s user experience and functionality. In terms of purpose - the design of the learning management system (LMS) is not that different.
LMS is an essential aspect of the eLearning industry - for higher education or corporate training. It allows students or employees to elevate their learning experience, provides convenient and easy access to knowledge, and helps teachers prepare, manage, and track courses and curriculum. Imagine the frustration of both sides provoked by crappy (read: inferior and overly complicated) design. To avoid such a nuisance, the LMS design must, above all, be easy on the eyes and undemanding of a user.
What is LMS UI?
The learning management system’s user interface provides the first impression and shows how a person interacts with it. UI components include welcome screens, menus, icons, search fields, and many other elements. They can ensure a smooth and simple harmony of the system by being intuitive and straightforward. Any unnecessary action only hinders user experience.
A clear sign of unambiguous UI is next to no need for any special training or extra long tutorials on system navigation. A couple of helpful UI tips - keep your courses properly organized, GUI elements consistent, and decrease the number of clicks needed for an action. The iterative design process can help since the repetitive cycle of prototyping and then testing the product refines the functionality and improves the end quality.
Primary aspects and ideas to follow to produce a successful LMS design are attractiveness, easy navigation, intuitiveness, branding, and responsiveness.
1. Attractive Design
The visual content should always be appealing. Whatever one may say, attractiveness still matters in every aspect, especially in technology and software. People may use a tool out of sheer necessity, but that does not mean they ought to enjoy it. The other side of the extreme is putting everything a designer knows into their LMS - animations, bizarre layouts, flashy graphics, neumorphism or skeuomorphism, everything they learned, you name it.
Simplicity is still highly valued and will most likely never be out of style, which has to be cohesive. Every element that will impede the learners from taking their courses has to leave. Beware the use of colors - bold and distinct, but still, elegant system coloring means effective learning. The design of learning management system must complement the functionality, not interfere with it.
2. Navigation/Ease of Use
Another fundamental feature of an excellent LMS website design is navigation, which shows how easy the user will find any platform’s desired element and complete any action. The navigation should be effortless and free of any technical issues to avoid people leaving prematurely. Make sure all the links are relevant and operational, and the learning path is logical and clearly accessible. The navigation bar must have everything needed and to the point, but not every single item available, to not clutter the space and confuse the user.
Easy navigation and usability already start at the login page since it is the first thing a person does after visiting the LMS platform. Users usually want a minimalistic login with a substantial “white space” area to accentuate the text’s importance and with the ability to take the user to the training section immediately after.
From navigation control to student dashboard - intuitive design contributes to a helpful familiarity. Every LMS item, especially icons, should be effortlessly recognizable and/or self-explanatory for learners to reach the information without a hassle. Menu structure throughout the system has to be consistent but still change appropriately to accommodate various learners.
For instance, it is known that the menu is supposed to be on the left side of the screen, or the most important signs are the bigger ones. To establish the system’s intuitiveness, the design must consider the target audience - its age, academic environment, cultural background, and socio-economic position.
Branding makes it personal to both customers and employees. LMS website design can either be fully customized or have a few company elements incorporated in the overall theme - logo, color sets, shapes, or graphics. It can additionally contain company descriptions and mottos, some encouraging messages to learners and teachers.
Brand and software alignment also helps with business promotion by putting your company at the center and establishing the learning materials and ideas as your own. In the end, LMS is still supposed to help produce profits, and clients associating the product with your organization will aid in the path to widespread recognition and more customers.
5. Responsive Design
The primary goals for the learning management system design are adaptability and responsiveness. Nowadays, they are not innovative concepts but rather a necessity. The system must be accessible on various devices without slowing down the user, which might mean custom designs for different screen resolutions. One of the first notions to consider in the design process is planning for mobile-friendliness.
There were over 14 billion mobile phones and smartphones worldwide in 2020, and the number is steadily growing. Sufficient responsiveness may also mean adapting the design and responsiveness to tablets and much older versions of smartphones and operating systems.
How to A/B Test an LMS design?
The cost to design an LMS depends on the system’s complexity, whether it is readymade or custom, and the designer’s expertise. An effective way to assess that design to see if it works on potential or existing learners would be A/B testing. This type of testing is usually implemented to rate and improve pictures and graphics, color schemes, presentations, headlines, available courses, navigation, and layouts.
The meaning of A/B testing is easily understood from its name - examining two types of LMS design and measuring the reactions. It is an excellent opportunity to gather new information about the system that wasn’t obvious during the prototyping or the design process. To make A/B testing more effective:
- try testing only one design segment at a time as the multicomponent testing cannot specify the problem, only the general response;
- establish clear and possibly long-term goals beforehand to avoid losing the meaning in the data acquired;
- try to keep away from moving too fast in testing without a correct way of measuring the results - for instance, start with a simple test and use it later to assess another more significant option.
The education system must keep up with the times, meaning constant strive for innovation and high user customization levels. Design is evolving along with people’s needs, and not only what is offered is vital to the client, but how it is offered. Producing a user-friendly design reduces both student’s and teacher’s stress and delivers a personalized and thoughtful experience.