Meeting The Need For Speed In Learning Experience Design

Need For Speed In LX Design

Exploring eLearning Content Creation Challenges

We’ve established that business changes are coming fast and furious. Now consider that everything in our consumer world is being optimized toward instant delivery. It’s hard to fault stakeholders for wanting the same thing from learning. And it’s no surprise, then, that the biggest and loudest challenge for learning experience designers is the pressure to get more done faster.

Yet it’s through these types of challenges and constraints that innovations emerge. We’ve seen it in blending off-the-shelf and custom content in learning journeys. Or surrounding LXP content curation tools with social learning programs to integrate practice and reflection. Learning experience designers are working with a broader set of tools, embracing new ways of working, and taking calculated risks—balancing business needs while keeping learners at the center of their craft.

We asked L&D leaders about their top 5 eLearning content creation challenges. You can download our eBook to see what they had to say. In this article, we’ll delve into a few of the findings.

eBook Release

2023 Learning & Development And Learner Experience Trends Report

Gain insight into what’s working (and what’s not) from other L&D leaders with examples and tips you can use in your organization. Your learners will thank you!

The Future Of Learning Is Self-Directed And Learner-Owned

The days of simply dishing up mandatory courses are waning, and the push is on for learners to take responsibility for their own growth and development, from setting goals to taking action. The rise of alternative education platforms like Coursera indicate “employees want to own their own career path and reskill or upskill for themselves,” says Annie Hodson, SweetRush Director of Client Solutions. Still, the challenge remains to get tools and resources easily available to learners so they can direct their own transformation.

“Creating a learning culture and making learning a normal part of work. Outside of new hire training, it is hard to drive continuous learning. We need to ensure we have relevant content that is easily accessible and easy to consume while still being effective and more than a ‘check-the-box’ activity.”—L&D Leader

“We have a variety of tools and systems available but at the same time that makes it hard for our learner to know where to start. It would be great to start with ‘Learn how to Learn’ again with our target audience. [That’s] what we are trying to do this year.”—L&D Leader

Early Signs Of The Return Of In-Person Training

We’re three years into the pandemic-fueled digital transformation of learning. Content creators have a better understanding of their learning design toolbox for remote/hybrid learning. Designing for remote and hybrid work environments took the biggest fall in our survey, from #3 in 2022 to #9 this year.

So now that we’ve got more tools and experience than ever to make digital learning better, it’s time to bring face-to-face (F2F) learning back, right? Maybe so.

“We are starting to get more requests for F2F training because people miss all the ‘learning’ that happens organically during these types of events,” said one L&D professional. And yet, their team is “focused on scaling learning experiences, which is heavily reliant on digital tech.”

This renewed interest in F2F coincides with a new report that indicates working from home may be plateauing in the U.S.

Organizations that had little or no telework [1]:

  • 72.5% from August to September 2022
  • 60.1% from July to September 2021

As employees return to the office (whether by choice or not), they’ll naturally start to ask for more in-person learning opportunities.

(Not Enough) Time On Our Hands

Learning experience designers are definitely feeling extreme time pressure (case in point: “The idea that we can put together a 3-month onboarding curriculum with certifications in 60 days.”). ICs cited their #2 challenge is lack of time for needs analysis, and time to create learning shows up again at #7.

But they’re not alone.

It’s stakeholders. “Getting partner stakeholders to invest the necessary time for projects to move forward.”

It’s SMEs. “…they are the ones with the knowledge, and some of them do not have the extra time for this.”

And it’s learners. “Time commitment for the employee is the #1 piece of feedback we receive. They do not have time to test, pilot, or even take.”

Changing our fraught relationship with time will require a balance of approaches.

  • Building the business case for the time investment by putting purpose at the center: why does this program matter? Why, in the midst of our other priorities, should we focus on it? What does success look like, and what will it take to achieve it?
  • Taking a step back to look at our constraints, and then experimenting with new ways to make our work better and more efficient. (Our CoDesign experience, for example, significantly accelerates the learning design process.)
  • As our Learning Architect Team Lead Gail Eisenstein says, “Given the fast pace of everything, looking at how to make a program feel manageable—to the learner and to the learning operations apparatus within the organization that needs to execute the program.”

“As we are focusing a lot of our work on digital, we especially have the challenge that if we work on a learning program for several months, [by] the time we release something, it could be that it is already outdated. The biggest questions that keep us up at night are:
How do we get content out faster?
How do we then ensure that this content is engaging?
How do we get the learner to apply the learning quickly?”
—L&D Leader

Download The Report

Download our 2023 Learning & Development And Learner Experience Trends Report today if you’re ready to keep learning and changing together and overcome your biggest eLearning content creation challenges. We also invite you to check out our webinar WebVR = L&D’s VR Gateway To The Enterprise! to discover why VR is such a powerful tool for learner engagement.



[1] Remote Work Dropped from 2021 to 2022. Is a Plateau Coming in 2023?

eBook Release: SweetRush


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