Waveform spotlight: Samaritans’ Wellbeing in the City

Waveform spotlight: Samaritans’ Wellbeing in the City

In this clip from our recent webinar, Learning Technologies Consultant Nick Eastham and Head of Visual Design Lara Gobbi take a look at Samaritans’ Wellbeing in the City Learning Tool and its high-end layout and design, courtesy of our flexible, extensible e-learning authoring tool framework Waveform.

Watch the video above, or check out the transcript below:


LARA: I wanted to show the slow loading of the Samaritans course.

NICK: This is something we did for the Samaritans recently. You click start…

LARA: … and you’ve got this intro video but you’re not forced to watch this, but it’s beautifully shot…

NICK: I think you want to watch this, you look at this and you think ‘This is a drama unfolding here. Who are these characters?’

LARA: I think the UI/UX in me wants to know what that interactive menu does…

NICK: Yeah yeah but I like the fact that you don’t get presented with a menu and some buttons to click – this draws you in. It’s beautifully shot, beautifully scripted, you’re interested straight away. But as you say you have got just minimal controls, you don’t want anything cluttering up the screen. You want to know where you are and what else you’ve got going on to look at here.

LARA: I think it’s great. You can see straight away, right? You can see where you’re at, what’s what, what’s left to do, not that daunting ‘Next Next’ experience.

NICK: Can I show you as well what this looks like in mobile? Because this is all responsive as well. If you want it on a phone, here you are. You would have that in landscape, you’d switch that round, the menu works both landscape and portrait, it’s a beautiful thing.

LARA: I wonder if they can see – I don’t know if through the webinar interface you can see the video as hi-res as we can see it… But trust us! It’s very good quality!

NICK: Yeah if you wanted to see a demo outside of the webinar, this one in particular is public-facing so we can give you links to see that

LARA: I have a confession – when I interviewed for this job I saw it and fell in love with it straight away. So this is still one of my favourites. That’s the loading I was talking about before, as you scroll down you’ve got these elements that are slowly loading in, and then you’ve got the video experience, this non-binary option, where do I want to go? Do I go up, down, left, right? You as a learner can decide your learning journey. I think that’s beautiful.

NICK: It’s all full-screen – this doesn’t look like e-learning as I’ve known it. I’ve been in e-learning for twenty years plus, and you don’t often see e-learning like this. It’s been received really well by the client and the Lord Mayor of London. The fact you can build this to look this good on the desktop but also great on the phone? You couldn’t do that with any other authoring tool.

LARA: What we haven’t spoken about is the gestures. I love the other Samaritans course on mobile, that works so well. This spinning wheel, I have just recently used this for another project too, it works so well. This gives you that whole feeling that you’ll spin and god knows what you’ll land on, but actually it’s done in a smart way so that you land on all the different sections that you need to land on: it tricks you into learning all the information you need, and it works so nicely on mobile. You just drag it.

NICK: There was a bit of dilemma here really – how do you fit something round, and the content that each of these sections displays, onto your phone at the same time? This is what we came up with: of course you don’t need to see the whole wheel do you, you just need to see the thing that gets selected each time, and that’s beautiful. That works just as nicely on the real phone, spinning it with your finger, and it was important that we could create this for the Samaritans because this is something they use in their training already, something their people recognise, so it wouldn’t have been as good to just give them something that was kind of similar to it – if you built this in another authoring tool you’d be restricted to a built-in component that that authoring tool could give you, and I don’t think you’d find anything that would come all that close to this. But we could build this. These are CSS animations, tweens, standard web stuff – but we can build that into an e-learning interaction.

LARA: One thing we haven’t mentioned is how much the brand can be present in this way. You don’t have this very strict framework. You can skin anything. Look at these full-screen experiences and you can have the brand all over it. Straight away you open it and it looks… branded! That’s a big win with clients. I’ll go back to the Samaritans project any day, I’m a big fan of it. It just feels like you’re on a website, and that’s how we learn these days. A lot of the things we’re reading on, it’s that scrolling experience, something immersive. And Waveform allows us to keep up with these trends, right?

NICK: Absolutely.

LARA: We can always push those creative boundaries.

NICK: The learning designers know that they can just look at the best stuff on the web and we can replicate it. The best of online advertising, marketing…

LARA: These things work, and it’s about embellishing them, making them more engaging.

NICK: Just the fact you’re not clicking Back and Next in this course. You’ve got a course, and you can see from the menu that it’s a linear thing.

LARA: You can also see the top left corner, you’re on Question 2 out of 4, so you know exactly where you are, there’s not that feeling of ‘How long have I got to go? How long is this experience?’ Yeah. Big fan.

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