The Docebo Discovery Lab: The Experience Is Everything

• 5 min read

Uncover how Docebo’s unparalleled product experience comes to life.

You’re about to try a new restaurant that a friend has been talking up and you can feel your excitement growing. If you had to plot where your emotions are on a scale of ‘disinterested’ to ‘ecstatic’, they would likely be tipping towards the upper end.

You arrive at the restaurant and it’s underwhelming: no swanky decor, no inviting ambiance – overall, nothing special. But then you order your food and it’s amazing, full of flavor and cooked to perfection, so your emotions pick up once again.  

The journey of emotional highs and lows throughout the night is similar to your experiences with a product. Sometimes you’re enjoying the experience, but sometimes it might be complicated and confusing. The goal is to create a consistently positive experience and at Docebo, this task is handled by a team of product experience designers led by Head of Design, Andrea Biraghi.

“We live in a very complex world and design has an important role in this complex world – making things less complicated, more understandable and more enjoyable. Everything is about the experience,” he says.

“When you think about something like artificial intelligence (AI), it usually does things in the background or not in a very tangible way for people. The role of design is to enhance the impact of AI by making it valuable and tangible for people, from the simplest everyday actions to more complex uses.”

“We’re always trying to take away unnecessary things and keep the important ones – less, but better.”

“Within a product that solves a lot of challenges, there might naturally be some complexity. What we are trying to do is reduce this complexity through a great, consistent experience across the whole product that saves people time.”

Rethinking Product Experience

Product experience plays a more vital role than ever for companies today and is supported by applying the concepts of Design Thinking. This is a framework for creating a solution by first developing a thorough understanding of the people or users for whom you’re designing products or services.

The Double Diamond model is one approach to Design Thinking developed by the Design Council, which is divided into 4 distinct phases:

  1. Discover – insight into the problem
  2. Define – the area to focus upon
  3. Develop (and test) – potential solutions
  4. Deliver – solutions that work
And Design Thinking is big business in the enterprise space.

Research from McKinsey reveals that design-centric companies (those that emphasize product and service design) increased their revenues and shareholder returns at nearly twice the rate of their industry counterparts. And you’ve likely heard of some of the big names who are major proponents of the Design Thinking: Apple, Coca-Cola, Ford, IBM, Intuit, Procter & Gamble, Nike and more.

“It’s based in human-centered design,” says Andrea. “The idea we are bringing to the table for the whole process across the organization is to put the person first, and then build things around them.”

Design Thinking At Docebo

So, how does this all take shape from ideation to final product at Docebo? Co-creation is a fundamental pillar of Design Thinking so a committee comes together to discuss the desirability, feasibility and viability of a particular solution. This helps to inspire the right conversations, engage the right stakeholders and begin realizing possible innovations.

The committee includes:

  • CEO Claudio Erba, who outlines his vision, strategy and expectations for the new solution.
  • Business product owners and other key members of the product team who understand the needs of the market, technical feasibility and can pull together requests from customers and the global customer success team.
  • The security team to ensure compliance and privacy regulations are considered. Additionally, the DevOps team provides input on infrastructure requirements.
  • The Sales team to help understand what could be prioritized for the market.
  • And the design team, who guides the conversation around potential user experience and facilitates communication among different stakeholders with the same goal in mind.  

Then the fun begins.

The process kicks off by trying to understand what challenges customers have, either through direct conversations or through those speaking with them. Then they narrow this down to a specific challenge that needs solving.

Now, ideas and hypotheses are brought forward, tested, modified and tested again. With each iteration, they decide if it’s best to stay on that path or alter their course based on feedback.

“You create a lot of choices, you test them with people, and then you settle on the best performers. That’s the most important part of the user experience so you always understand what their needs are. You define and then you start designing.”

That Looks Familiar

One of the design team’s key principles is to give a user clear and meaningful information when they have to interact with Docebo’s learning platform. One of the ways to do this is to create patterns that people are already familiar with as a way to make the experience more intuitive and easy to use. This follows Jakob’s Law of user experience where “You can simplify the learning process for users by providing familiar design patterns”.

For example, let’s say you’re buying something online. You would expect the process to involve putting products in a virtual cart, then you might have to register or log in, then input your shipping information, before finally adding your credit card data and confirming your purchase.

“At Docebo, we are trying to create common patterns. If we can achieve visual consistency and functional consistency, it will be easier to produce a greater overall experience,” says Biraghi.

Principles of User Experience in Docebo

But the huge challenge with Docebo is there are two user experiences, the admin experience, and the learner experience. There is less control over the latter because it’s ultimately up to Learning and Development admins to create this for learners. But this is where Biraghi says it is important to empower admins by giving them plenty of flexibility and possibility to build great learning experiences that drive successful outcomes.

So, how can learning admins create engaging experiences? Biraghi says to tear a page out of the Design Thinking playbook: go straight to the source.

“Talk to your learners and ask them what their needs are. What do they want? What are their expectations? it’s very myopic to have an idea and think everybody will love it,” he says.

“Putting together a course with 40 slides and then having a test at the end will have zero impact on someone’s performance and growth at a company. If you create an experience in which people can interact and don’t feel forced to learn, your programs will be more successful.”

“When learners see this as a real differentiator that improves their performance and fuels their professional growth, they will be yours forever, and the continuous learning mindset will blossom.”

Innovation is at the heart of everything Docebo does. The Docebo Discovery Lab explores the technology (and the people) behind the projects guiding us into the next generation of learning technology.

Ready to dive into an unparalleled learning experience?