3 Big UI Trends and the impact on Learning Technology

Sep 22, 2020 | Trends

Overview:– Unending feeds and OTT platforms like channels, the interview with Sayan Guha tells you about the top trends of LMS UI in his experienced opinion and where we are heading in the pursuit to make learning better.

HCMG:- Hello, Hi. Welcome to HCMGuru. And thank you so much for doing this with us. Would you please like to introduce yourself to our viewers?

Sayan Guha:- Sure, thanks, Indrabati. Nice to be kind of invited for this first video that you’re putting up on your media site. So something about me and my name is Sayan Guha. And I’ve been in this industry for the last 8 to 10 years. In the learning industry, I am a software engineer, and I come from the Kurukshetra University. And throughout my entire career, I have been a person who has been trying to do new things since five years in G-Cube. And I’m heading the product innovation in the LMS, and learning technologies for G-Cube. So that’s a bit about me.

HCMG:- Thank you so much for that intro. So Sayan given that you are working in the product innovation area, you please tell us what would be the UI trends for LMS in 2020?

Sayan Guha:- That’s a very interesting question Indrabati. Okay, so over the past few years, we have seen a lot of different changes in the way that platforms in general, and I’m not talking about just the LMS. LMS software has picked up from the white friends, which has come up in the last few, five or six years. And I’ll be talking about three big trends that we have seen, and how they have impacted the Learning Technologies, not only the LMS, but the LXP the collaboration tools, the entire Learning Technologies paradigm has been shifted, because of these UI trends.

So, let me talk about the first one, and I’m sure your you know, your viewers, and you must have heard of. I call it the channel approach. And this is something which has not only been seen in YouTube but has been picked up by a lot of content providers, specially the video content providers. These channels are basically based on your history of how you have consumed the content in the past.

So, if you’re looking at a lot of videos on sports, you get a lot of videos of sports being suggested to you and that is because you have seen but people like you and me have varied interests, and the algorithm works very brilliantly. But the way that it shows in the landing page of YouTube is very intuitive because you see that, okay, these are sports videos, these are news videos, these are videos about songs, even esoteric ones, these are videos, which let’s say are talking about a particular political view that you have. So, the way of suggesting and the way of segregating content on the basis of quantum properties as well as your consumption properties is something that is brilliantly done in YouTube.

HCMG:- So, what I was going to ask you, so, what you’re saying is the channel based approach that is so, you know, brilliantly used in YouTube is something that we will be seeing is being adapted in LMS?

Sayan Guha:- Absolutely. Not only in LMS, if you look at the entire learning, you know, environment, all the gamut of platforms and software’s which are available today, you know, be it a content provider like Coursera, be it a learning experience platform like degreed be an LMS like as YouTube LMS Are you would see that this channel based approach is being picked up by everybody, everyone has channels, these are your mandatory courses, these are the courses on this particular topic, these are the courses which are linked to your skills, etc, etc. So suggestions, categorization, even search is something that we are seeing that is being brought in from the YouTube from OTT platforms like Netflix from odd platforms like prime video into something which is an LMS platform or content provider or content repository as well, like Coursera, Udemy, etc. So we see that it is pervasive.

HCMG:- Right. So YouTube is What we understood one of the beginning platforms in all of the earliest platforms of social media. So what other kind of social media adaptations you think are possible?

Sayan Guha:- Yes. So, the second thing that we see a lot and has picked up.Again, I would say that the first time that it picked up was with MySpace and Orkut if you remember. I don’t know. We know millennials would not remember. So, Facebook is the one which popularized the feed or the wall concept of UI. Now,it’s a very social kind of UI. What it does is -it curates. It is a curation mechanism. It curates content, which has been socially gathered or crowd sourced. So all your friends or all your acquaintances, any connect that you have, are putting up something that they find interesting.Wherever they find.Maybe it’s their point of view, maybe some article that they found online, maybe it’s a piece of media that they want to share, and then it throws them up on a wall, an unending wall of content that you can consume. Okay, so Facebook, you can see the wall you can just scroll, scroll down, scroll down, scroll down, see all the posts that are there, you can do the same thing with LinkedIn, you can do the same thing with Instagram, all these places are basically curation engines working on crowd sourced content. And this is kind of embellished or made even better or more addictive through a kind of social, let’s say, reward mechanism. And this reward mechanism is something that you see in the likes, the comments, the emoticons that you see there, okay, the shares etc.

A curation engine, which works with crowd sourced content, and has a social handle of rewarding whatever we put up in a mechanism which makes us feel good – that is why we are on social media to get the likes right. This is also something which is happening in the learning landscape.

Our learning is again, there is a principle called the 70-20-10 principle, in which we say that 10% is your structured learning, 20% is your informal learning and 70% is something which is learning on the job. 20% of this informal learning which is happening is something which we let’s say, I will talk to a colleague or ask him for an opinion or tell him how to work this particular Excel file and get that information. This informal learning is something which can be really, really well leveraged through a social media UI, like a wall.

A wall would help people to share knowledge, it helps people to interact with other people. And also give that kind of an incentive for people to share knowledge because they get a lot of likes and comments and etc. And we, as human beings kind of love that. So we are seeing this again, in terms of degreed,LXPs do that there is a lot of sharing, there’s a lot of interaction, which happens there. We have seen LinkedIn learning do it very well, by integrating with a social platform like LinkedIn, on the basis of the information which is collected, there is a lot of suggestions, which comes back to the first thing which is about suggestions and AI working in a channel based UI, which is integrated well with this wall to get the information and then suggest accordingly. So we are seeing a lot of trends of learning using the wall as a beautiful collaborative social learning platform and UI as well as a way that you can curate and crowdsource learning, so that the most relevant things are sent to you, so this is another trend which is happening.

HCMG:- And what is the third trend that you think is going to pick up?

Sayan Guha:- So, the third thing that is happening is basically the absence of the UI and when I say that the absence of a UI means that obviously we need some kind of, you know, mechanism by which you communicate with a platform like a learning platform etc. But what if we used the existing mechanisms for communicating with each other, and then utilize it to communicate with the platform as well. So, a lot of organizations in the mid 2010 started off with this trend. And they said that, remember the DOS prompt and where you had to type in everything and get the result. We are right now very used to something like this, because we use WhatsApp a lot, we use Facebook Messenger a lot, etc. emails, we use emails not only as a mechanism to communicate with each other, but as a notification mechanism. Also, because there are a lot of automated notifications, which come as emails to us, we use things like text messages, we use things like app notifications, etc. And these are all communication mediums which do not require a UI per say.

Okay, so this is what is going to happen in the next few years, I think, and already happening with a few of the platforms. You will not ever see the UI of the learning platform that we’re working on, you will not see how the landing page looks like you’re not going see how to access the course etc. You will have a WhatsApp bot, you will type in, let’s say, hey, my VR assistant. And what it will do is that it will be all the things that you can see and do, let’s say, Siri, or Google Assistant, or Cortana is something that you should be able to do with your LMS also, and you need not actually gooutside of Siri or Google Assistant or Cortana, you can actually talk to Siri, and then ask Siri to connect with the LMS and give you the options.

So these kind of things which don’t require a UI, where you are talking to the platform as if you will be talking to another person where you are utilizing the immense advancements that we have done over the last few years in terms of natural language processing, the way the bots have actually started speaking to us, and we cannot distinguish whether a person is sitting at the other end or if it is AI algorithm is going to really, really take this UI thing by storm where designers will not be thinking about the color, theshape of the cards etc. But interactions will be designed the what we call as an interaction like we the way that we are talking. So, these interactions will be designed by UI people rather than the visual field. So that is, I think going to be again, one of the big trends of UI in the coming years.

HCMG:- Thank you so much Sayan Guha that was a very, very interesting session with you. And we hope that our viewers, enjoy your views and learn from your views as much. If we get any questions regarding this session, we will get back to you with those questions again.

Sayan Guha:- Sure, anytime. Thank you so much for doing this session. And hopefully you get great success with this new platform of use. I’m really looking forward to it.

HCMG:- Thank you, so much.

Key Takeaway:-

  • Youtube like channel-based approach in UI for content categorization.
  • Unending feed like social media helping in informal learning.
  • Absence UI which can be replaced by interactive AI like Siri or Cortana. Read more about it here.