Headquartered in Copenhagen, Denmark, ClickLearn provide a market-leading platform for producing multi-format learning materials, including user instructions, e-learning and process videos for business software. Rather than relying purely on an in-application guide called a digital adoption solution (DAS) for application training, ClickLearn is choosing to provide a mixed learning experience. Joachim Schiermacher explains why.
What is a digital adoption solution and how does it differ from a traditional training solution?
A DAS is an in-application guide for your end-users. It allows you to place guided instructions of a specific process inside a web application at a specific position or under specific conditions. When activated, a speech bubble leads you through the process, and once completed, you will also have completed the task. One way to explain what a DAS is is by comparing it to a global positioning system (GPS). It will guide you and show you directions from inside the application. Almost all DASs let you extend elements of the screens with call-outs and have an in-application messaging system, so you can push notifications to your end-users.
How do you position ClickLearn in the digital adoption solution space?
ClickLearn delivers all the features of a traditional DAS, and we recommend implementing a digital assistant to enforce training. But we do not recommend a DAS as a GPS to substitute your training. In addition to the digital assistant, ClickLearn provides several e-learning formats, like video, hands-on-labs, and testing tools, alongside complete written documentation of your processes. All these formats are produced from a single recording session that any DAS requires. This is exactly what you need to create effective training and what your users need in terms of collateral to successfully learn processes inside or across your applications. We make all of this available from inside the learning management system, the application you are training on, or even in a completely targeted learning portal available for all your employees to see, try, and test themselves on.
We deliver a DAS that serves both learning and performance support, which we call intelligent user adoption. But you could also call it a DAS and training in one.
It sounds as if you are not a supporter of Digital Adoption Solutions?
That’s not entirely true. However, DASs have some fundamental weaknesses. For example, how do you deal with Windows applications? Most DASs only support web applications or have limited support for Windows-based applications, whereas most enterprises rely on both. We provide a recording technology that covers both. I also don’t believe there is a single DAS that supports on-premises installations, where you run and store your vital processes on your own servers. And then there’s also the question of how you maintain your documentation when your business systems are updated. No DAS has a consistent update pattern to deal with this.
What are the biggest issues with traditional Digital Adoption Solutions?
DASs are extremely difficult to maintain, and there are two main issues. First, it is very difficult to find out which processes are going to break after an upgrade. Imagine, that you have 200 walkthroughs in your application created with a DAS – for each upgrade, you would have to run through every one of these processes manually to make sure that nothing is broken. Unlike traditional DASs, ClickLearn provides a fully automated means of testing and updating your work instructions after an upgrade. Secondly, most traditional DASs are generic and built to work on everything. Therefore, the DAS has no clue what you are doing inside the business system, so they are parroting the instructions you put into them. ClickLearn builds on connectors that understand the underlying system and the actions you perform. This enables it to freely upgrade between system versions, provide automatic testing, and rebuild your instructions on an upgrade including a fully automated update of your video materials for multi-regionalised systems. Our product comes with an always-updated-and-never-broken warranty.
How do you see the future of software application training?
The future is mixed learning, supporting both digital assistance and speech-bubble technology as well as video-based and textual training deployed inside learning management systems, Microsoft Teams, or any corporate intranet. These are all features of ClickLearn today, so I do not doubt that we are looking at a bright future. For us, the next journey will be towards a better gamification platform to motivate your employees to do the courses.
This article was originally published in the Autumn 2021 issue of Technology Record. To get future issues delivered directly to your inbox, sign up for a free subscription.