Improve L&D Outcomes by Understanding 3 Aspects of Learner Engagement

Home / Learning Technology Trends / Improve L&D Outcomes by Understanding 3 Aspects of Learner Engagement

Aren’t User Interface, User Experience, and Learner Experience the Same Thing?

User interface and user experience are often confused or thought of as the same thing, but in fact they are two very different terms. As a matter of fact, learner experience is also an independent term as well, but all three are deeply related, especially as we blend people, processes, and technology in an eLearning context.

This is something we cover in depth in our recently released white paper, The Critical Importance of Learner Experience in eLearning, a document that covers all of the elements of an effective, engaging eLearning experience in the 21st century.

So while some may think it sounds like splitting hairs, let’s establish the difference between learner experience, user interface, and user experience:

  • User Interface (UI): On the most basic level, UI can be thought of as the way in which a user and a computer system interact with one another. If we’re to use an analogy, imagine going to a grocery store’s produce section to find the right apple. You see the colour, smell the scent, and taste the taste of a particular apple. This is the most immediate, superficial level of how you interact with that apple.
  • User Experience (UX): This goes one step beyond UI and is more holistic and comprehensive. UX includes the entire spectrum of interaction with a computer system, including how easy or pleasurable it is to use. And it is the top reason companies switch their LMS. If we’re to take our supermarket analogy to the next level, UX would cover how pleasing we found that apple to use and taste; how we have used it in different salads and meal combinations; and our complete, aggregate impression of how we have consumed that type of apple, over time.
  • Learner Experience (LX): This builds on UX and takes it in the direction, specifically, of learning and eLearning. It is not limited to computer-based interactions, and instead covers the entire learner experience, from eLearning (online, software-driven), to social and experiential learning, to traditional classroom-based learning. We’re reaching here with our apple metaphor, but in the name of continuity, LX applied in the produce aisles would cover our long-term experience with our chosen apple, how it tasted, how we used it, and most importantly how we were taught to use it in different contexts and situations.

So while all three elements are similar and overlap in certain ways, as you can see there is a distinction between each of them. For a complete understanding of the role of the most integral of the three terms in terms of how it can improve L&D outcomes, download our free white paper today.

Want to learn more about what makes an effective learner experience? Download the white paper free today for a comprehensive overview.