Monterey Technologies Inc.’s (MTI) human systems integration engineering has decades of experience in providing and applying our user-centered design process. Our goal is to develop systems that are intuitive and minimize overall users’ cognitive workload to maximize usability. We help our clients understand who their users are, how they will interact with the product, and employ the best design practices to build a sound and meaningful user experience.
As systems become more complex, increased training is needed. Training has traditionally been done in person in classroom settings. Although this method of teaching has high collaboration and interactivity levels between and among the students and facilitators, classroom instruction can be costly and time-consuming. The best way to meet the training needs of busy employees is to deploy digital training. Digital training is flexible and allows learners to have complete control over when and where they complete their training. It makes the need to continuously freshen employee skills easy – an update to the course can be easily accessed and reviewed right away by the learners. Assessments from course evaluations can be used to rapidly adjust the course materials.
Our digital training approach incorporates the ADDIE instructional design method, which has five stages:
- Analysis – analyze training needs, audience, and tasks, and create a course plan
- Design – determine instructional methods and content presentation, and create a storyboard and prototype
- Development – create e-learning content
- Implementation – upload course to learning management system and configure settings
- Evaluation – evaluate course results on four different levels
It will also be asynchronous; learners will complete the training course at their own pace and according to their own schedule.
We recommended three roles to efficiently create the course – an instructional designer (ID), a human factors engineer (HFE), and a user experience designer (Ux designer). The ID is the most involved in the process; they are in charge of creating the course plan, designing the course, and managing the learning management system (LMS). The HFE is mainly involved in user investigation, testing, and validation, overall ensuring the usability and architecture of the material. Lastly, the Ux designers are involved in the design and development phase, assisting with the style guide, storyboards, and prototypes. The Ux designers are more focused on the user needs and user interactions with the course, whereas the instructional designer focuses on the actual content of the course.
The training course is done in several iterations. The first iteration is a small pilot where a small chunk of the course goes through the design, development, implementation, and evaluation stages. A stakeholder meeting is conducted upon the completion of the evaluation phase to validate the course design thus far. Following the approval of the stakeholders, the next iteration begins, following the same steps as the first iteration with another small chunk of the course. The small chunks iterations are repeated as needed until the stakeholders feel confident of the produced content so far. The last iteration adds the remaining pieces.
Before starting the first phase of the project, a formal kick-off meeting with the stakeholders and SME is suggested to introduce the team and discuss expectations and logistics. There are also a few recurring administrative related tasks, including a weekly sync-up telecon, monthly progress reports, and support meetings with the SME as needed. Lastly, a system overview to fully grasp the learning domain will likely last about several weeks.