Customize Your LMS to Support Your Brand

customize lms brandingHigh learner engagement is always among the top goals for training professionals. There are plenty of best practices to drive toward that goal, including customizing your LMS interface. But before we get into details on that, let’s set a baseline on what the term learner engagement really means.

Learner engagement is a measurable indicator of the quantity and quality of a learner’s participation in their training program as a whole, including its individual elements such as learning paths, courses, modules, supporting content, feedback channels, gamification and social participation, etc.

Given this definition, learner engagement can feel like the Holy Grail of L&D stats because it’s not tracked directly but through a combination of other metrics like course and module completions, LMS page views, average time spent on page, feedback / survey participation, test results, assessments, and other activities. These factors are summed according to an organization’s priorities to determine overall learner engagement.

Learner engagement affects total learner experience

As you’re considering learner engagement, remember that it’s a subsection of learner experience, which is the totality of the learner’s interactions with all facets of the learning program from technology to content to communications to people. Without high learner engagement, it’s impossible to achieve great learner experience.

There’s also an emotional component to learner experience, meaning that it includes how leaners feel about the various interactions. As described on the ATD website:

A good learning experience generates an immediate, positive emotional reaction — like curiosity, accomplishment, and a sense that the people who created the experience understand the learner and their challenges.”

This emotional aspect is what gives power to the experience. It draws people back for more because they liked it and can clearly see its value (i.e. how it helps them).

If you can connect with learners by helping them see how this relates to their job or experiences, getting them to linger in the learning environment, and encouraging them to share ideas, then learners will keep coming back. They’ll want to return, because they know it will be worth their while; they’ll gain from that experience.”

What does this have to do with a customizing your LMS?

Learners need more than courses and content. There’s a myth that if you have strong, relevant content, you’ll automatically have high engagement and therefore great learner experience. But that’s overly simple. For real learning success, the entire experience matters – and that includes the technology experience.

Learner experience is at the core of a thriving learning culture. If the experience of the LMS environment feels welcoming, familiar, and engaging, learners will embrace it and come back for more. If it feels bland, isolated, and uninteresting, don’t expect them to wholeheartedly adopt your programs, even if the content itself is great.

Custom brand Litmos Training for a better learner experience

One of the best ways to drive learner engagement and experience with Litmos Training is to custom brand it. If you have basic CSS and HTML knowledge, you can customize your instance down to the finest details from fonts and colors to headers and footers and more. Be sure to adhere to your organization’s brand guidelines! Doing so will connect learners to the uniqueness of your company’s learning culture and shoot your learning experience scores through the roof.

custom brand lms featuresSee this infographic for a visual example of each customization element below.

What Can You Customize?

  • Banner: Here’s prime real estate to communicate with learners in a big, bold way. Maybe an image with a welcome message or an HTML slider with multiple messages? How about links to featured courses or even a video?
  • Header: Keep your brand top-of-mind by customizing the global header for both admin and learner views. Pro tip: Mirroring your company’s website can make learners feel more at home.
  • Footer: Not to be overlooked – a custom footer has great potential to serve up useful information. You could use this area to link to other resources, list contact info for support, or recreate the footer from your website.
  • Logo: Get your logo loaded up from the get-go! Make sure you size it right and choose color and background selections according to brand guidelines, and you’ll be on your way to an A in Marketing 101.
  • Login: Greet learners right at the gate. Design your login screen to welcome users into their home for learning and development. You may even enable single sign-on (SSO) so they can jump right in from another system.
  • Pop-up Message: After login, this message further welcomes learners and guides them to recommended training or other key info. Custom HTML enables you to format it as you please with graphics, text, layouts, etc.
  • Fonts: Make your marketing team happy and never stray from your company’s chosen fonts. It’s an easy but effective way to fuse the brand with the learning experience.
  • Colors: Resist the urge to get creative! It’s important to stick to the proper palette in the brand guidelines to support the company’s look and feel, and to show your learners they’re in the right place.
  • Backgrounds: No need to be limited to standard gray. It’s a best practice to build backgrounds consistent with your company’s website to further increase the visual sophistication of your LMS.
  • Navigation: Determine how learners navigate the LMS by choosing from different interface options. You can set top, horizontal navigation or a vertical menu that appears as a sidebar with icons.
  • Widgets: Decide what you want your learners to see. Select from an array of widgets including News, Leaderboard, Assigned Training, Metrics, ILT Calendar, Recently Viewed, and more.

Go deep! Litmos customers can complete courses on customizing Litmos Training in the Instance Customization Pro Learning Path in the Litmos Dojo. You’ll get step-by-step instructions and access to sample custom CSS and JavaScript code snippets.