Sustainability Driven Customer Interaction

This scenario-based e-learning experience was designed for a recently rebranded conceptual organization to train its experienced and new employees on the sustainability-driven customer engagement narrative.

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The client is a conceptual for-profit service company that rebranded itself as a sustainability pure play. The problem has been identified by working in collaboration with a subject matter expert (SME) working in the industry. The company was not meeting target revenues as it was not winning enough sustainability-driven client projects. I performed a needs analysis and interviewed real-life subject matter experts to help find a customized solution to the problem.


I determined that there was a lack of skill and knowledge which was affecting the performance level of sales employees resulting in not winning enough client projects. I proposed scenario-based learning with embedded resources to tackle the issue. That would provide a safe environment for sales employees to practice the company's new narrative and close the knowledge gap.

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My Process

I used the ADDIE model to guide my process through this project. I started off by conducting the needs analysis. During that phase, I interviewed SMEs working in the industry. After my discovery interview, I created an action map and further collaborated with the SME to identify high-priority actions. I then went on to write a detailed storyboard and created a prototype of the course. After going through several cycles of iteration and feedback, I designed and developed this scenario-based e-learning course.

Action Map

For this project, I used MindMeister to create an action map with the input I received in the needs analysis from the SME. Action mapping was guided by questions like what the learners needed to do, and what that performance skill looked and sounded like.

Final version of Action Map

Next, I identified if the actions were due to a lack of knowledge, skill, or both. The action map helped bring out the best learning solution and helped from falling into the information dump trap as mentioned by Cathy Moore in Map it.

Text-based Storyboard

I created a detailed text-based storyboard to outline the scenario for e-learning to serve as a blue-print for the project. I wanted to immerse the learners in a situation as close to reality as possible, yet not make it boring. Since the training was for experienced and new people, I introduced a mentor character and provided links to important resources on demand. I not only used negative and positive consequences but also added a branching scenario to give the communication between the learner and potential client a more natural feel. I also added detailed programming notes that helped me plan a user-friendly and intuitive interaction with the project. Writing the storyboard was an iterative process for me. After my initial draft, I realized it could be made more engaging by adding elements of gamification with a visual progress bar. To enhance the learning experience in storytelling, I also added the animated whiteboard video. 

Snapshot of storyboard

Visual Mockups

Since the organization for the project was fictional, I created the company from scratch. I gave it a name, created a mood board for color inspiration, and designed a style guide keeping in mind the readability of the chosen typeface and also to maintain consistency throughout the project.

In order to create an immersive yet fun experience, I used real pictures for the background with animated characters. I used Adobe Illustrator and Adobe XD to customize my characters and icons and to create low-fidelity wireframes. Based on the feedback I received on my visual mock-ups I changed the shade of blue to meet W3C accessibility standards for color contrast ratio.

Interactive Prototype

Next, I created an interactive prototype to collect feedback on functionality. I used Articulate Storyline 360 for this purpose. In my prototype, I used several slides including a branching scenario question with its consequences, a mentor slide, and a Vyond video. I included a slider in my prototype to gamify learners' experience. This served as a visual progress bar to keep learners engaged. I collected feedback on functionality at this stage before moving into the next stage in my process.

Full Development

Last but not least I applied the feedback I collected on the prototype. I polished the enter-exit timings of a few elements in the timeline to get the desired results. I also challenged myself to implement a javascript to generate a downloadable PDF certificate of completion. It took me a few hours of troubleshooting and testing on Amazon Web Server before finalizing it. The animation slides had many different elements that needed to be animated and matched up with sound effects. I made adjustments to the timeline in the storyline to get the desired output. I placed sound effects during the email consequence to create a complete audiovisual experience.

I inserted a celebration gif in a successful consequence slide to enhance the user experience with moments of delight.

I created an on-brand PDF certificate of completion in Canva. I used Visual Studio Code to modify and implement javascript in Articulate Storyline 360. This was the part that took some time as I had to debug the code and re-run it multiple times before I got the desired output. At the risk of sounding geek, I enjoyed every bit of troubleshooting this phase of my project. I have used a text-entry variable in my project to create a unique customized and immersive learning experience.

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Results and Takeaways

Since it was a conceptual project, it ends here with full development. However, in a real client situation, I would evaluate the impact of this project. I would collect data on revenue generated before and after project implementation. I would collect learners’ feedback through interviews and surveys to evaluate the effectiveness of the project and make necessary adjustments to the project. For me, the most enjoyable part of the entire process was troubleshooting at different stages of the project and finding solutions to tackle those issues. Every stage of my process is guided by paying attention to details, seeking feedback, and prioritizing accessibility.

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