For a learning and development manager there is nothing worse than having your administration or users complaining about a system that is difficult to use. You want to find a system that will make your life easier, not add more stress.
Poor functionality and usability are the primary reasons people are turned off software systems. It’s important to factor this into your buying decision (and if possible get your users to assist in the evaluation process).
An effective training management system is functional and easy-to-use for all users, from admin staff, to management and other users. A poor TMS will be clunky and confusing. To avoid a poor system, make sure none of these usability warning signs apply to your current system.
The 9 Warning Signs:
- Navigation: The navigation menu needs to be clear and easily understandable. You want your internal staff, trainers and users to be able to find what they are looking for straight away.
- User Controls: Poor user controls include having to type in data that should be available in a list, or already saved in the system.
- Titles, labels and warning: Is there missing or unhelpful information?
- Validation: If the software allows inappropriate or missing data to be submitted it can be a time consuming task to look through all the users and delete any information that is irrelevant or inappropriate. With the right system you’ll be able to filter out this type of information.
- Tracking: You can’t get back to where you were, and there is no function that allows you to see your past history and the pages you’ve viewed. Having this function is a real time saver.
- Consistency: Different pages and forms look, work and behave differently. In order to remain consistent with the rest of the system, each function must look and feel the same. This helps people repeatedly learn and understand how to use the system.
- Clarity: Screen and pages are busy and confusing. For the system to remain usable to all users, pages need to remain clear and concise. Keeping it fresh and manageable for users to digest.
- Documentation: Documentation is out of date, poor or missing. Having complete and up to date documentation is key to remaining compliant with standards and for compliance reporting.
- Online help: Help is out-of-date, poor or missing. Having an easily accessible help feature giving users access to useful information and a full support team will greatly increase the usability of any system.
Do an audit of your current system and see if it’s currently ticking all the boxes in terms of usability. If it’s not, and you have a frustrated admin team and users that find it too difficult, you may need to update or make changes - speak to your provider.
Consistency is key. Make sure you are taking active steps to ensure your system is usable to all.Read more about getting the right TMS in our eBook ‘21 Vital Questions to Help you Select the Right Training Management System’.