Review: UX + LX App (And a Look at the Future of Learning Design)

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Disclaimer: I’ve downloaded the UX + LX mobile app to my devices for personal use. I didn’t receive compensation for this review.

UX + LX icon
UX + LX mobile app (FREE, available for iOS and Android devices)

According to Pew Research Center, more people own smartphones than computers. When people don’t have anything to do, we pull out our ubiquitous devices. Imagine if we had as many learning apps as games and other apps—every moment would be an opportunity to learn (personalized learning, here we come!).

As Tara share in her post about universal design for learning, mobile learning, or mLearning, looms before us. Yet we still design learning within the confines of a learning management system (LMS) accessed by a computer. 

UX + LX takes us outside of the traditional LMS and into a true mobile learning experience.

Kristin Anthony (of the Dear Instructional Designer podcast) developed the app as a learning project for herself. At the same time, it’s meant to be a tool for instructional designers interested in learning experience design.

UX + LX Content and Experience

Learning experience design (LXD) applies user experience (UX) to instructional design. It creates learning experiences rather than teaching tasks that might not be relevant to the learner. A Web Developer and LX Designer herself, Kristin models good practices in her app.

UX + LX Screen Shot

The app’s tagline, “Bite-Sized, Practical Lessons in User Experience” delivers just that. Currently, the app includes two lessons: “What is UX and Why do I need it?” and “Which One’s Which?” You could easily do a lesson on a break (they take 6 minutes and 12 minutes respectively).

Videos enrich the experience, but for whatever reason the sound didn’t play for me in the app. The videos open in YouTube, so it wasn’t too disruptive.

As a writer, I’m sensitive to the need for clear, concise microcopy to remove barriers to learning. I appreciate Kristin’s UX writing—she provides only what the learner needs at the moment it’s needed.

The app delivers what it promises as a learning module. Each lesson includes readings and knowledge checks with informative feedback. It’s a good introduction to infusing UX and LXD into instructional design. My only real complaint?

It’s too short!

With only two lessons, you wonder “wait, is that all?” when you finish. This confusion could be fixed with text that says “That’s it for now. Check back soon for more content!”

UX + LX shines on the iPad Pro—colors pop on the retina display, content sits well in the white space, and swiping to the next screen feels natural. It gives a similar impression on the iPhone XS’s OLED screen.

Design, the Iterative Process

Good designers seek improvement, and Kristin’s open to feedback. Her release notes outline the process she went through to develop and release the app.

Kristin shared the UX + LX app code on GitHub to include others in building and maintaining the app. The places where she struggled with xAPI (including sign-in via social media) still seem buggy. If you have any ideas let her know!

She’s open to publishing other’s UX lessons in her app, saying “I’d love to publish a lesson from you! Let me know if you’re interested in helping out with lesson creation.”

It’s through this type of collaboration we’ll see mLearning improve and grow.

The Future of Learning Design

It’s no question we’ll see more courses delivered as learning apps, and it’s sure to change the skillset of learning design teams. UX + LX helps us peer into the future of instructional design, eLearning, and learning experience design. I recommend that you download it to see what that future holds.

Do you want to see more reviews on Model eLearning? Have you downloaded the UX + LX app? How do you think mLearning will shape the delivery of learning content? What trends in learning experience design excite you? Let us know!

References

Anthony, K. (n.d.). UXLX: I released an xAPI-enabled app on Android and iOS [Blog post]. Retrieved from https://www.knanthony.com/blog/uxlx-i-released-an-xapi-enabled-app-on-android-and-ios/ 

Pardal, S. S. (2018, July 18). Learning experience design: What you need to know. Retrieved from https://elearningindustry.com/learning-experience-design-what-need-know  

Pew Research Center. (2018, February 5). Mobile fact sheet. Retrieved from http://www.pewinternet.org/fact-sheet/mobile/ 

Author: Jessica Bishop, Instructional Designer

Jessica is a proud Michigan native. She met her husband Matt (who grew up 20 minutes from her) at a college two hours from home. Misty, their Siamese cat, is paranoid (and adorable). In her free time, Jessica likes to craft, read, write, and walk.

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