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Learning Experience Design Part 3: The Impact of Custom Content

Caitlin Carter| 6 min read

When to Go All-in on Branded Learner Experiences

Welcome to the final post in our three-part series exploring why LX,  or “Learning Experience,” is critical to creating a thriving company community. In part three, we examine the impact of custom content and provide thoughts on when to go all-in on these high-impact, branded learner experiences.

In part one, we looked at LX in a literal sense through the importance of branding in site design. In part two, we zoomed out to consider LX as a result of site admin prioritization on the breadth and types of content filling their learning libraries.  

Custom content can create an immersive, branded learner experience. The learner will get this from the content itself, but the effect extends to the organization it originates from. Referring back to: “Part 1: Design your learning experiences to foster community,” we understand that organizations wishing to create a strong community need to put their brand front and center. In the world of training and employee learning, this can be done via both site and content design. The use of brand colors, fonts, and logos throughout the site are very important — but you can go further!

Reaching the Learner Through Experience

Consider the two experiences of a learner watching a position-based onboarding video:

In the first video, there are real actors, but the scene is generic. Uniforms are a non-specific color, equipment and location layout is generally applicable.

In the second video, the smiling real actors are clearly at one of your locations, wearing your uniform, demonstrating actions in your business. Could they even be current trainers? 

Which scenario leaves your learners feeling welcomed and invested in your brand? 

Do you think one versus the other engages the learner more? 

Which one gets them excited about their new job? 

If you know the answer to those questions, it may be time to consider when and where it’s worth going all-in on custom learner experiences.

The Impact: Feeling a Part of Something Authentic

It’s impossible to have missed the conversation about the importance of being represented and how that impacts our sense of belonging. This has an effect on our personal and private lives — and this conversation is not just for Hollywood, our news media, or big advertisers — it needs to be considered at the corporate level as well. Today, people want to work for socially responsible organizations. Companies need to invest in their people, create a community, and ensure a sense of belonging that their employees can bring their “whole selves” to work. This is a safe space that they can feel a part of — and it needs to be well thought out and authentic. 

 We’ve explored ways to create immersive learning experiences from branding and content perspectives. If you want employees to feel connected, like a team — and to rally around your vision and mission — then it’s worth strategically investing in ways to immerse them in learning.

A branded learning community filled with a broad range of content will capture learners from their first day, and give them a reason to come back for more. You’ll be able to develop a community around a culture of learning and growth, and retain top talent that feels supported and able to develop themselves. 

The final step is tactical investment in custom content. When you realize it’s time to go the extra mile, pause to consider: What are the critical touch points where you want learners to leave feeling brand pride and part of something authentic? How will this impact our goals and overall success? These key moments will be the highest impact for your dollars spent.

What Are My Options?

If you have a creative team with video, interactive, learning experience design skills, and knowledge of your branding and training goals, you’re in luck. Have fun! Most of us don’t. That doesn’t mean you can’t find a third-party team to help you. 

We suggest finding a partner with deep training content skills — and this is more than video work. It has to do with understanding how to create a range of media types that together impart knowledge and train on the topic at hand. Do they know how to break down complex processes? Can they succinctly convey the most important steps and understand where to drop in a knowledge check? If you’re searching, Wisetail’s LXD team is one to emulate, if we do say so ourselves. For decades this team has been building training that works hard; highly immersive, interactive, fully-branded material for hyper-brand conscious organizations.  

Make sure you find a collaborative process with information sharing and review rounds built-in. Ultimately, you should have control over the content and final deliverables so that it meets the specific business objectives of your organization. An experienced team will take your knowledge and turn it into content that delivers on your training goals.

Adding Up to an Exceptional Experience

Companies that opt to create in-house training may discover that it’s not as cost-effective or convenient as they thought. A lot depends on the team you have in place versus how much hiring and contracting you need to do. You may suddenly find yourself contracting designers, searching subject matter experts (SMEs), and purchasing authoring tools. 

Either way, custom content is an investment. You’ll want to make sure you’re getting the most bang for your buck and can justify the expense. eLearning Industry posted a helpful article on how to measure and analyze the ROI of custom eLearning. It’s worth reading, and as you’ll see, learner experience is a key element.  We also have a few considerations to use in your assessment:

  • Learner Experience (LX) = engagement = retention. Assess inflection points in your employee growth trajectories. Are there win/lose points where custom branded content could make all the difference in an employee’s experience. 
  • Invest in evergreen content (meaning content that rarely changes and can be used over and over for a long period of time). We mentioned first touch onboarding content, or even key position training earlier. You might consider aligning custom content work with other process and equipment purchasing cycles. If you have new equipment and workflows connected to it, it may be time to invest in updating the related training material.
  • Consider the training that has a direct or dotted line to your end customers. Prioritizing content for teams that work with your customers could be a dollar-for-dollar investment when they, in turn, deliver exceptional customer experiences and create lifelong brand super fans!
  • Are you going through a merger or acquisition? If big changes are afoot, it can be easy for people to feel lost or disassociated. It may be time to invest in content that brings the new or joined brands to life, and shows the business remains invested in its people. 

Did you know Wisetail has an LXD team with deep, custom training and content chops? Check out our LXD services section on our website here. If you’d like to talk with them about your high-priority custom content needs, you can contact the LXD team via The Drop. Otherwise, get in touch via email,