by Oliver Kay
Notifications are a fundamental part of the SuccessFactors Learning Management System. Typically this is the very first point of contact between the user and the system so the clarity and quality of the notification bares a significant influence on the opinions the users have of the whole system.
Whilst I am a huge advocate of the utilisation of notifications, it is important to point out that there is a fine balance between what is appropriate and what is not. There have been instances in my experience where it is habitual of some users to immediately spot the notifications from the LMS and delete them without even reading them. Is this the user’s fault for not taking the time to digest the content within them? Absolutely not. The responsibility lies with the organisation. Keep reading to understand the three major steps in engaging the users with your business’ notifications.
The way to get users to read their notification is not by forcing them through means of policies and procedures but by making the notifications targeted. It doesn’t take a genius to understand that if a user comes to expect content that will apply to them then they will take interest.
Getting a user interested is easier said than done. You first have to go back to the decisions that the business has made surrounding how the Learning System will be used. For example if a user has just been rejected for a course by the line manager, is it really necessary to for the user to receive the “Approval Rejected” notification as well as the “Enrolment Cancelled” notification. Isn’t that just rubbing salt in the wound? Making the notifications targeted is about identifying what it is essential that users be informed about and disabling those that are not.
It is not just about cutting down the notifications however. Sure the user might have correctly received the notification according to the business requirements but does it convey what the business wants?
Another major step in getting the user engaged is by making the text content pertinent and on point. Users don’t tolerate scanning irrelevant quantities of text just to get to the essence of the email. They will disregard the notification after a few lines and the notification becomes, not only a waste of the user’s time, but harmful to the image of the system you are trying so hard for them to adopt. You must define a consistent style for the notifications (be it conversational or formal) and limit the text to just the vital message you want to get across.
Suggest that now you have the right emails going out with the right content. One of the most challenging but fundamental parts to the notification development process surrounds the look and the feel. Not only should you take into account what the email looks like to the user but you should also recognise that this is a fantastic opportunity to drive your brand image - whether it is the specific brand for your Learning system or the business itself.
With just a basic knowledge of HTML you can develop notifications with the font, logos, colours and much more that align seamlessly with the rest of your business, making your notifications easy to read and more informative than ever.
Some users would rather not access the Learning system or don’t even access it at all. In some cases, notifications play the only role in exposing your Learning system to the users. If you make the notifications engaging then you just might encourage them to look at the system in a different light.
That is why the quality of your notifications cannot be undervalued. Start with reviewing the business decisions that allow you to determine which notifications should be sent out. Then make the content precise and relevant. Finally, make the notification engaging to the end user using your brand’s themes.