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31 March 2023

5 recommended ways to boost your LMS user experience

Chris Young

Chris Young

UX Consultant

Follow these top tips to instantly improve your LMS user experience.

Continuing our series asking our in-house experts to give their tips on improving your LMS, we turn our attention to user experience. Synergy Learning’s UX consultant Chris Young gives his guidance on five steps you can take to make using your LMS a better experience for your learners.

1. Understand the power of attraction

If your LMS looks good, behaves well and delivers what your learners expect, engagement levels can easily rise by 30%. At the other end of the scale, an LMS that is bland, disorderly and unpredictable will not be engaging at all. 

The true value of good UX is its ability to increase your learners’ willingness to interact with your site. Don’t make learning experiences a hunt for lost treasure. Make it clear, make it easy and make it pop.

2. Don’t reinvent the wheel.

Great UX is very rarely the result of a sudden stroke of genius. Be inspired by what is already getting good results elsewhere. Respect the F Pattern, which is the shape in which people scan online content. Design your courses and content to cater to this. Trying to plot your own way of doing things from scratch is likely to cause you more problems than it solves. Keep it simple. 

If you don’t know where to start, try the rose, bud, thorn approach. Create a focus group within your team and ask each participant to share their favourite aspect of your LMS (rose), something that could be further developed or improved (bud), and a negative element or area that needs to be improved (thorn).

3. Keep asking ‘why?’ and ‘who?’

Pushing yourself to ask more questions will drive a better user experience. Far too many design, content and navigation decisions are based on what can be done rather than what should be done. Evaluate what is truly adding value. Use personas representing your LMS users to make the data and your decision-making processes more meaningful. This will act as an anchor when you’re generating ideas, prioritising features and discussing trade-off decisions.

Why are you doing this? Who is it for? Why are you adding 300 blocks to that page? What is the objective? What is each content element for and who does it benefit? Will 100 useful reports be useful if they’re all delivered at the same time? Is that new feature worthwhile? 

4. Take accessibility seriously

Delivering a great LMS user experience for all learners means taking accessibility seriously. Accessibility is usability for people who interact with products differently. Offering a fuller experience that considers these variations among your learners will improve everyone’s experience.

When you think of accessibility, don’t assume it’s just about screen readers. Consider content and structure, use of colour, consistency, use of headings and device-independent design. Be empathetic to the 16% of the world (and, by the law of averages, your learners) who need these considerations. Follow our LMS accessibility checklist as your starting point.

5. Always be consistent

Navigating your LMS should become second nature to your learners. Just like riding a bike, once your learners are up and running on your LMS they should barely have to think about what to do next. If you consider websites where you enjoy the user experience you’ll probably find that the consistency of your experience is a key factor. Give multiple ways of navigating to your most important content so that all users can find the information faster.

To apply a consistent approach to your LMS, create a brand you can be proud of… then be proud of it. Don’t deviate from it and let it permeate into the dark crevices of your site. If you maintain consistency, even the most obscure content on your least visited course will look just as good as the front page of your LMS.

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If you’d like to put plans in place to improve your LMS user experience, fill out the form below and we’ll be in touch.



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Whether it’s about upgrading your current platform, starting from scratch with an LMS of your choice or you need guidance on where to begin, we’ll be happy to help!


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