Canada Association of Tourism Employees

On-line Coaching Navigation: Surprising Challenges

Unexpected challenges in online training navigation

They have already searched for the usual suspects. Broken links and missing back buttons. But there may be some hidden hurdles that have slipped through the final cut cracks. These navigation barriers to online training present a unique challenge for your team as they hinder professional growth. How can employees get relevant JIT support, online training tools, or skills building courses when accessibility is an issue? So what eLearning course design flaws should you be looking for in your online training program? Here are 7 online training navigation challenges that you never knew existed … until you read this article.

7 surprising eLearning navigation barriers

1. Unintuitive layout

Employees don’t get from A to B because the layout of your online training is anything but user-friendly. It is not intuitive and does not suit their online training needs or preferences. For example, buttons are in different places on different screens, preventing employees from returning home. Or the resource links are usually at the very bottom, but in this online training course they are spread across the page. So you get lost in the text blocks and graphics.

2. Loaded with links

One of the most obvious obstacles to eLearning navigation that employees can see right away is having too many links. You log into the online training and immediately notice that every page is crammed with so many hyperlinks that they overwhelm the content. For example, every other sentence contains a link to another online training resource or activity that they need to explore. When you have numerous recommendations, make a list and add it to the end of the activity. Include a brief explanation of what the online training resource covers and how it will benefit corporate learners.

3. Unclear directions

You cannot expect employees to automatically know the rules of online training navigation or how to navigate the online training course. Especially those who are less tech-savvy or who change the layout and / or controls. Provide clear instructions for accessing and participating in the online training course. You can even add a short online training tutorial to walk you through the eLearning navigation icons and level design. For example, you can always access the home page or support the index of online training tools by clicking on the corresponding icon.

4. Interactivity at every turn

I may have a few weaknesses for this, but I’m a big believer in purpose-built eLearning course design. Interactivity is important in motivating your employees and conveying real experiences. There is a limit, however. Sometimes they just want to read a personal anecdote or watch a demo video without clicking, tapping, or scrolling, especially the less tactile corporate learners who prefer auditory or visual stimuli rather than serious games on every virtual corner. Again, you have the option to provide a list of online training resources that includes interactive online training tools instead of forcing them to participate in simulations and scenarios every two minutes.

5. Bulky multimedia

You should always try to include multimedia in your online training design, e.g. B. Pictures, video clips, diagrams, and other visually-oriented online training resources. However, you also need to keep in mind that some corporate learners access the online training on mobile devices or have slow internet connections. Even some PC users are struggling with low bandwidth making it impossible to download your bulky demo video. So you never get to know the safety regulations or how to put on the right equipment. One accident – and countless insurance claims – later you discover that everything is due to a slow WiFi connection. You should optimize the multimedia and give employees the opportunity to download online training content for later viewing. You don’t have to sit around for ten minutes while the media loads.

6. Creative buttons

There is always a urge to bring a little more creativity into your eLearning course design to achieve that wow factor. But employees won’t fold their jaws when they see innovative buttons. In fact, you will likely get an eye roll or an annoyed sigh. Of course, the buttons can reflect the topic and set personal accents. But it should still be buttons. Employees should immediately recognize that it is the navigation controls of the online training courses, as they already know the format. For example, online training navigation icons that fade into the background and have overdone fonts only confuse employees. They may not be able to read the font or even know where to click.

7. Space-saving hotspots

They know screen space is a hot commodity. There’s only so much space so try to cram as many hotspots as you can. Small triggers that employees can use to access relevant online training content and unlock hidden functions. But these space savers are more like deal breakers for mobile users. You may not even see the hotspots because they are too small depending on the device you choose. Remember that PC users simply hover over the spot with the mouse, which will trigger an interaction. Mobile learners don’t have that luxury. So make sure they stand out more in mobile learning content or point out the interaction. For example, add a pop-up text box to highlight the spot and provide some basic instructions.


You probably knew about some of these navigation barriers to online training because you were on the receiving end. You had to go through a long online training course riddled with irrelevant links and bulky videos that you couldn’t even watch. This article can help you avoid making the same mistake while designing your eLearning course. Keep it simple, clear, and concise to increase employee engagement. You should also give them a sample and collect eLearning feedback to look for hidden navigation barriers to online training.

If you want to discover more eLearning obstacles and ways to avoid them, check out the top 7 technical difficulties in online training and tips on how to fix the glitches, and be prepared for the technical hurdles of eLearning course design.


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