Online training organizations are in trouble. With more competition entering the marketplace, it’s now harder than ever to sell courses. The only way to remain competitive (without reducing prices) is to find ways to differentiate your online training.

Let’s look at five ways you can create online training that stands out from your competitors.

1. Build for all devices: desktop, tablet, mobile

Today’s learners want to access resources on a range of devices. Make sure your online training is responsive so it adapts to desktop, tablet and smartphone screens. This gives you a great advantage over competitors who offer desktop-only learning. Use an authoring tool that lets you build multi-device online training that works on all devices. You shouldn’t need to spend time and resources building separate courses for each device.

2. Create bite-sized modules

Bite-sized online training is flexible with smaller, targeted training deliverables (five to 20 minutes in duration) focused on a specific topic. It can be produced quickly, giving you an edge over competitors who are developing large, slow-to-market courses.

Modern learners love bite-sized learning. It’s easier for busy learners to consume on a mobile or tablet device.

3. Use gamification elements

Applying game-like mechanisms—such as points, status and badges—to your training makes it more engaging and enhances the learner experience. Gamification activities motivate trainees to strive to perform well. Trainees derive a sense of achievement from overcoming obstacles and progressing towards an end goal.

Some ideas you can try include:

  • Badges incentivize learners as they progress through a course or master a topic.
  • Leaderboards allow learners to see how they are performing compared to their peers. Look for authoring tools and learning management systems that let you use leaderboards to entice learners to take up more courses or improve their ranking.

4. Use branching scenarios for easy navigation

Your online training navigation must be simple to use so learners can focus on your content without distraction. Navigation must be intuitive and engaging, and branching scenarios can help to create a high level of engagement.

Medieval Swansea is a great example of easy navigation. The forward and back navigation make it feel like you’re panning around a landscape rather than moving from screen to screen.

Elements that create a high level of engagement like this will give you an edge over competitors that employ a boring “click next to continue” methodology.

5. Invest in design to make online training look better

Good-looking online training visually stands out. This is one way you can quickly differentiate your training from competitors. For example, take a look at these two learning examples:

basic training module vs. Duolingo training module

On the left is a basic-looking training module. On the right is a training module inside Duolingo. Notice the difference! Duolingo really stands out with their beautiful design.

Content and context are two major factors in determining whether your online training will satisfy your customers’ needs, but the aesthetic appeal is also important. Put simply, good-looking training appears professional and sets good expectations. Poor-looking training can come across as amateurish, regardless of how good the training is.

If you fail to differentiate your online training, you risk losing business to your competition. The best way to stand out from competitors is to first understand who your customers are and work out what they want from their online training.

Do they want mobile learning? Do they want bite-sized learning? Do they want gamification?

Use this insight along with the ideas presented in this article to create online training that meets customers’ needs and stands out from competitive offerings.