Digital learning trends: what we expect to see in 2023

Published by Tony Bartholomew on

Digital learning trends: what we can expect to see in 2023

Table of contents

We can’t predict the future, but…

This isn’t quite a “Digital learning trends for <insert year here>” article. You can find lots of them online and we don’t think it’s our place to predict the future for the types of clients we work with. They will all face their own unique challenges in the coming year.

Here instead are the topics we’ve seen grow in importance for our clients over the last 12 months and which we expect will form a large part of our client conversations and work in 2023.

1. Thinking Gen Z

We need to think carefully about the employees we’re designing for, as many of them are now the first generation to have grown up with the internet. The way they interact with content, want it to be delivered, and expect it to be created is constantly evolving. Many of them may even be used to creating content themselves.

“30% of 18 to 24-year-olds and 40% of 25 to 34-year-olds consider themselves content creators.” HubSpot’s 2022 State of Consumer Trends Report

They’re used to platforms that are dynamic, innovative and highly visual. Therefore, if we design experiences that don’t fit these expectations, we are doomed to fail. We need to meet them in their world – and not try to pull them into what’s been done before. Relevance and authenticity are key.

2. Video, video, short form video

While the appetite for and application of video is by no means a new digital learning trend, what we have found interesting is the desire for ever more short-form or “snackable” video content. This appears to be a wider trend across advertising and marketing. It was recently reported that YouTube Shorts now has 1.5 billion monthly active users and sees more than 30 billion daily views. (Google Internal Data, Global, April 2022.)

Wyzowl research found that 86 percent of businesses use video as a marketing tool, and 92 percent value it as an important part of their strategy. We’re seeing that it’s the same for our clients’ internal comms and learning. It’s all about avoiding setting up a premise or establishing elaborate storylines and instead grabbing attention and providing clear calls to action in as little time as possible.

3. Be well at work

If 2022 was the year of the Great Resignation, 2023 has already been talked about as the year of the Great Exhaustion. Articles abound on burnout and quiet quitting, while the debate continues around the benefits/pitfalls of hybrid working. Regardless of the media takes on these topics, what is definitely happening (possibly as a reaction) is that mental health and wellbeing have shot to the top of our clients’ employee agendas.

At LPI’s Learning Live event last year, a poll showed mental health had shot up the leaderboard to position two in terms of key delegate subjects in comparison to the previous year. We’ve definitely seen an increase in the demand for digital content on this topic, and have worked on a number of projects aimed at demystifying and encouraging mental health conversations in some of our biggest global client organisations.

4. Don’t comply… celebrate!

A request to help create engaging and effective compliance learning experiences continues to form a big part of the RFPs and tender opportunities that come our way. What we’re finding heartening is a digital learning trend towards more and more clients starting to take a more enlightened approach to compliance that is less instructional; more cultural.

Current compliance programmes we’re working on are seeing us focus far more on a sense of shared organisational identity for bringing alive important risk topics. Positioning is around a call to action and a design for behaviour, rather than poring over an abstract and dry policy. By highlighting far more “This is who we are and this is how we do things”, it’s helping show far more what being part of the organisation means and what the norms of conduct are.

5. Behaviours – not content

As a behavioural design agency, we’re trying to take our clients on a journey. We believe we add most value when we can shift their focus away from content and learning objectives and towards organisational behaviours. Good behaviours accelerate business, and we’re seeing our clients now realise that the starting point for success on any project is to begin by working with us to identify what behaviours they want to see.

With that is coming a move away from one off interventions, lengthy courses and one-size-fits-all deliverables. The demand is growing for regular interventions that are timely and targeted. It’s out with metaphorically beating people with a stick, and in with working with how humans tend to behave to develop new habits – cleverly designed boosts, piggybacking existing tasks, and well-planned and useful nudges are all becoming part of our regular design armoury.

Get in touch to find out how we use behavioural science to deliver engaging, measurable digital learning experiences.

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