When designing a SaaS product, several goals present themselves: The tool must be accessible and easy-to-use by the broad spectrum of customers, the experience needs to become standardised while following a succinct and predictable design pattern which makes the software familiar with our users right out of the box. It therefore becomes imperative to focus on a small and achievable set of goals that ultimately become part of the product’s DNA, and a hospitality LMS is no different.
Here’s what we’re focussing on with Innform.io
1. The experience
A crucial factor for the success of a learning platform is its ease of use for the trainer and the learner.
The Innform design team is taking user experience a step further. We want to make a delightful, fun and inspiring experience which makes learning and training rewarding – as it should be. We believe that by making content creation and its management as hassle-free as possible, the trainer can refocus on the people, their development and identifying skill gaps. It can give trainers the freedom to experiment and vary their methods. This leads to an unpredictable and engaging training experience which can have a significant positive impact on people’s attention and knowledge assimilation.
It should come as no surprise to learners, that ‘boring’ elearning experiences do not work. Confusing and badly designed interfaces on the other hand, can actually harm the process. We mapped out the usual suspects of bad UX practices around elearning tools and we’re determined to avoid each and every one. These include unclear goal setting, never-ending learning paths, old and recycled content and poor feedback features.
Which brings us to our next point: Communication.
2. Closing the employee-manager loop
Good things come with clear communication, and learning is definitely one of those things. Built within Innform is two-way communication features like Mentor-based Learning and Mood Polls.
Why is this two-way communication so high up our list?
Before Innform, co-founders Michael Azzopardi and Sebastian Hefel designed several eLearning tools for global hospitality companies like Accor Group and Uniworld Cruises. The critical event that often lead to the tool being adopted by learners, involved fast direct or indirect communication between learners and trainers. This can happen in one of two ways: Direct mentoring (Q&A) or polling (requesting the opinion of your learners). When a feedback loop is establish, trust can develop. Trust is the first thing trainers should strive for, it comes before any transfer of knowledge can take place.
3. Easily customisable learning paths that actually work
Like most users, learners enjoy brief and entertaining video courses. However video courses come at a cost to trainers: they are often expensive to produce and hard to update after the course has been created and shared with a workforce. Many times, course content becomes expanded, tweaked and tailored for one group or another. Within Innform, we aim to provide a blend of course content not excluding text-based courses. The latter offer the most flexibility and agility for urgent and evolving learning to take place.
Offering a rich mix of course content is therefore important for learning paths (a combination of content stringed together and delivered to a workforce over time), so that trainers can eventually evolve the learning content over time, avoiding expensive content becoming out-of-date.
Read more about ready-made courses and custom content.
4. Keeping a low price point
We believe in making Innform affordable for companies of all sizes. This means that by design, we need to strike a balance of flexible and customisable tools and powerful best-fit standards. The product roadmap we are proposing with Innform is not packed with features, yet it includes the essentials. We are offering the best functionality to customers right from the start and with one subscription, and not as an add-on.
So we have our eyes on the price point because we want Innform to reach as many companies as possible. Innform will be affordable, and yet will offer unlimited storage and content. How? By providing the market with very well designed essentials and keeping the tool compact.
This comes with research to understand what customers truly need, which leads us to the final point.
5. Really involving the hospitality community
In the next few weeks, Innform will be rolling out a community portal for hospitality employees and managers to contribute to the design of Innform, to feedback, propose features and ask us anything. We want Innform to be a tool shaped by you and for you, the hospitality expert. The community portal will go hand in hand with Innform Beta which launches in July 2018.