Choosing Functionality Over Features

elearning-misconceptionsOne of the challenges of any software company is to develop something that is as applicable to as many people as possible, but at the same time keeping the program clean, light-weight, and just-plain-functional.

I know this to be true as it is something we have to consider on a daily basis.

To be honest, it stinks telling people “no”. Ideally we want our WordPress LMS to be applicable to as many use-cases as possible. But if there is one thing that my years within the elearning industry has taught me, it’s that no training situation is universal, despite the similarities.

“Check Out All These Features”

It isn’t uncommon for the software programs themselves to become bigger than the support capabilities – and in the end the user suffers. You see this kind of feature bloating all over the place, from elearning software to WordPress themes – and it is very enticing!

However, think about some of your favorite software programs today and you’re likely to find something that is simple, yet powerful. It has the features you need (and then some), but not at the expense of usability.

I think this is the reason why elearning software programs like Articulate Studio have done so well in the past, and were able to nab market-share from industry powerhouses Adobe.

For a long time, Adobe Captivate had many more features than Articulate, but it was ultimately intimidating. Articulate recognized this and created a solid offering built on simplicity.

The landscape is shifting a bit as Adobe has revamped Captivate in recent versions, but the damage had been done. Articulate boasts an extremely loyal and avid user-base because of some smart early positioning.

For an example outside of the elearning space, you need to look no further than PayPal and Stripe. Stripe is a new player in the field, but its use is exploding because they took what PayPal does and made it simple. Sure, they lack all the same robust features, but their offering (and message) is resonating.

Features Versus Functionality

The next time you get a piece of elearning software, measure the features against the functionality. It is reasonable to expect a learning curve with any new software, but this can be easier to manage if the support that is in place can keep up.

Read about the support and see if it aligns with both your expectations and personality. You could save yourself future headaches by just doing this one simple evaluation process.

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About the Author:

Justin Ferriman is the co-founder and CEO of LearnDash, the WordPress LMS trusted by the world's leading organizations, such as the University of Michigan, Digital Marketer, WPEngine, and Infusionsoft. Justin has made a career as an elearning consultant where he has implemented large-scale training programs for Fortune 500 companies. Twitter | LinkedIn

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