From eLearning Industry by John Laskaris
Key Decisions During The Making Of TalentLMS
In a number of previous articles on eLearning Industry we have looked at various features of the popular cloud-based eLearning platform, TalentLMS.
In this article we’’l examine the design decisions and the philosophy that shaped TalentLMS’ development and defined its feature set.
A key characteristic of TalentLMS is its cloud-based nature. We strongly believe that cloud computing brings many benefits to the table, and the continuous success of cloud and SaaS platforms in the market proves that many others share that opinion. Of course, we understand that the public cloud is not the appropriate solution for every enterprise and use case (for these, there’s always eFrontPro, the flagship self hosted LMS offering). For enterprises and organizations without complicated infrastructure needs, though, the cloud, with its automated updates and backups, instant access to the latest version, and zero maintenance needs, is a no brainer.
Most enterprise applications are notoriously difficult to use, with clunky and poorly thought-out interfaces, byzantine menus, and confusing configuration. It’s often said that enterprise employees only use those apps because they’re forced to. TalentLMS was built to be exactly the opposite: An application that’s easy to understand and use, and even more so, and application that you’ll love using. As we found out, it’s not easy being simple. In fact, it took a lot of thinking and hard work, in order to design TalentLMS so that it’s both easy to use and powerful enough to cover all kinds of training needs and business use cases. In the end, judging from the glowing customer feedback and reviews we get, almost universally praising TalentLMS’ intuitiveness and ease of use, it was well worth it.
We wanted TalentLMS to be as flexible as possible, while at the same time avoid making it a “jack of all trades, master of none”. To achieve this, TalentLMS was designed to be flexible in the right places by avoiding endless configuration options and non essential features which would only serve to confuse users. At the core of TalentLMS is its well designed model, which covers everything from users (students, instructors, admins) to courses (online and physical lessons, webinars, etc.) plus everything in between (branches, lessons, tests, skills, etc.). Leveraging TalentLMS’ simple but surprisingly capable model, admins can adjust the platform to cover every common training use case, from a small business onboarding its employees to a large online learning website.
We wanted users to feel TalentLMS as an extension of their business. For this, flexibility to mold the software to your business needs is important, but it’s not enough; you also need customizability. That’s why we added lots of customization options to our cloud-based LMS, letting users change all aspects of its interface to include their own branding, color schemes and custom themes. TalentLMS lets users setup their own: Logo, favicon, color scheme, HTML theme, js scripts, certifications, automated emails, domain, landing page, and signup page (phew), all from within a user friendly customization interface, that even offers Live Preview. Oh, and for those who want a different look quickly with minimal effort, it also includes several pre-made themes to choose from.
We placed special emphasis on TalentLMS being interoperable and compatible with all kinds of third party tools, protocols, and services. TalentLMS’ extensive integration options include Single Sign On (SSO) support based on the industry standard LDAP and SAML2 protocols, as well as support for the Active Directory protocol and external federated identity providers. TalentLMS is also able to export its data in Excel format, and import all kinds of LMS entities (Users, Courses, Categories, Branches, etc.) using a simple text-based format, while also supporting the TinCan and SCORM standards for sharing eLearning activity data. When it comes to online sales, our cloud-based LMS supports the PayPal and Stripe payment gateways, giving you instant access to all major credit cards and billions of users in over 90 countries. TalentLMS also supports the Zapier integration service, through which it can talk to hundreds of third party services, from Gmail and MailChimp to Trello and Salesforce. And if that’s not enough, there’s a powerful RESTful API that can be used to bridge it to any third party system.
Putting It All Together
Contrary to popular belief, the very basis of a software is not its code; rather it is its design philosophy, which is what drives all of its development.
In the article we’ve examined the 5 design pillars of TalentLMS. If you’d like to learn more about the platform, visit TalentLMS and take a tour of its features, or sign up for your (forever) free account and take it for a test drive.