Why LXDesign.co and what is Learner Experience Design?

In What is LX design? by Editorial TeamLeave a Comment

LX Design the blog and LX Design the project are Texas born. No, neither of us founders are from Texas or live there. Jess and I were introduced to each other at the #et4online e-learning conference in Dallas in April 2015. We like to think that if it hadn’t happened in Dallas, it would have happened on Twitter. Between us Jess and I have more than 30 years experience of learning design under our belts in both corporate and academic environments. But over the last few years we’d both been wondering if maybe, just maybe, we are doing it wrong…

Traditional learning design methods and processes don’t seem very well matched to the increasingly complex digital services and products we both work on in our day jobs in education. By contrast, we’ve both been involved in projects and developments in industry and the startup scene that are driven by user experience design instead. With its focus on the user, the quick iteration and the basis in research we each independently saw possibilities for using UX methods in our learning design work and began to do just that.

Jess presenting on UX Methods

Jess presenting on UX Methods at #et4online

When we met in Texas at the conference, we were both presenting our work on UX and of course were eager to hear the other’s work. The conversation about UX methods in learning design continued in the accommodation we shared thanks to the unstoppable Dr. Laura Pasquini (Our apologies to Laura and her husband for not shutting up ;-). There was so much to talk about we couldn’t possible cover it in 4 days. So this blog about Learner Experience Design, or LX Design for short, is that ongoing conversation. One half of the conversation from Melbourne in Australia, the other half from Lansing, Michigan in North America.

What is Learner Experience Design?

So in the short month and a bit Jessica and I have been collaborating, we’ve been trying to work out what learner experience design is. It’s too early for us to coin a definition, or even a working definition. However we have been thinking the following:

1. We definitely want to talk about learner experience design and not learning experience design. We feel we cannot influence whether learning happens inside someone’s head. However what we can do is design and build an experience for a learner, where the conditions, interactions, activities and content all work together so an opportunity for learning can occur.

LX subset of UX design Venn Diagram

LX design is a subset of UX design.

2. Learner experience design is a subset of user experience design. It uses similar methods, approaches and thinking, but focuses on a specific kind of user, a learner. In the way that some UX designers become specialised in banking service design, or mobile app experience design, we want to specialise in learner experience design.

LX Design Intersection

LX sits on the intersection of learning design, interaction design and service design.

3. As UX design is really a combination of many different design disciplines that work together to create a user experience, we expect LX design will be too. Currently we think that with its mix of products and services, LX design probably sits most heavily on the intersection of learning design, interaction design and service design. Yes, we are still including learning design in the mix. We need the pedagogical theories and wide body of research that drive learning design. However, we now want to combine that with the newer fields of interaction design and service design, that are common to digital user experiences today.

So that is the premise for our blog. We are looking forward to having this conversation with you all in the open, here and on Twitter with hashtag #lxdesign and Twitter handle @lxdesignco. And guest bloggers are welcome. We are keen for other learner experience design thinkers/practitioners to share their thoughts and practices.


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