Designing for learnability

When communicating complex subjects such as Healthcare, Employee Benefits and Financial Services, it is crucial to understand the many levels of learning and the steps involved in users making an informed decision.  Understanding how users learn and digest information can help us to design an experience that supports the user throughout their learning process.

Most websites invest the majority of their effort into streamlining the very last stage of the learning process: the action phase. It’s understandable: businesses make money through conversions. However, the company that best supports the user throughout the entire learning process has the upper hand in converting that loyal user into a paying customer.

Tyler Tate, UX Designer.

As designers we have to be constantly thinking from the viewpoint of the end user.  Here are a few examples of learning-oriented tasks which users carryout during their learning process:

Explore  –  The very start of the process.  We help the user to explore and discover information; not just the information that they are looking for, but also things they don’t know that they are looking for – the “unknown unknowns”.

Re-find  –  Putting an intuitive, concise system in place which allows user to re-find information that they would like to revisit later.

Organize  –  Organizing items and ideas into categories is key to the learning process.

Compare  –  Side by side comparison aids users in the analysis process.

Annotate  –  Annotation enables users to enrich collected items with their own notes and ratings.

Collaborate  –  We don’t often make decisions in a vacuum.  We ask the opinions of friends or family, we search for other peoples opinions online, we read reviews and look at feedback ratings.  This helps us as users to gain a wider viewpoint and feel more assured in our decisions.


By understanding these tasks we can integrate elegant solutions into our innovative learning experiences.

A further element that establishes a climate for self-initiated experiential learning is emphatic understanding. When the teacher has the ability to understand the student’s reactions from the inside and has a sensitive awareness of the way the process of education and learning seems to the student, then again the likelihood of significant learning is increased.

Carl Rogers, Psychologist.

At Axcept Media we are experts in teaching through interaction and engagement.  We specialize in guiding users through the learning process, helping them to digest the information and make confident, informed decisions.