Dan Healy, User Experience (UX) Designer at Kallidus, shares insight into usability and user testing.

‘To design an easy-to-use interface, pay attention to what users do, not what they say…’ Jakob Nielsen

Watching and learning

Since joining Kallidus as its first User Experience (UX) Designer, I’ve spent a lot of my time watching and learning. I’ve been watching people use our Learning Management System (LMS) and learning about what it’s like to use it too. In the five months that I’ve been at Kallidus, I’ve spoken to more than 40 different customers to find out more about their current user experiences of our LMS.

My experience as a UX Designer has taught me that watching and learning is the best way to find out how to create a product that will truly meet people’s needs. As Jakob Nielsen says, there’s a huge difference between what people say and what their actions tell you. That’s why it’s so important to use your eyes rather than your ears when you’re asking people what they think of a product.

Learning-led design

I’ve used all of the things that I’ve learned about our LMS to design a new, leaner version of the product. This new version puts the learner at the centre of the experience and aims to deliver journeys that will make it as easy as possible to learn. Whether it’s doing a compliance-related course or finding something to develop your career, the new version of Kallidus LMS should make this as easy as possible.

Testing one, two, three…

The beauty of technology is that it never stops evolving. We need to keep pace by making sure that any changes we make work for our users. That way, we can always provide the very best in product usability for our customers.

What’s usability? It’s all about making sure that a product is as easy to use as possible. We do this by testing our software by asking willing volunteers from across our customer base and beyond to use it to carry out realistic tasks. It’s a great way of getting to see what our products are really like to use, and this kind of approach sets us apart from other software providers in our sector.

In January, we ran our first usability testing sessions, working with an award-winning digital agency and members of the public. This has been really successful in highlighting areas where we can fine-tune LMS usability, and we’re now testing our new LMS prototype with customers who know the current system really well. Each time that we discover something that needs to be improved, we tweak it and test it again.

We couldn’t do this without our willing volunteers and I’d like to thank you all once again for getting involved in shaping our next LMS.

What next?

As you’d expect, we’re looking to do more testing so that we can make the new version of Kallidus LMS even better. If you’d like to get involved in some of the testing, sign up to my UX Group by contacting me at product@kallidus.com

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