ISD & UX Design Competencies Overlap

As a Learning Professional, the focus is how best to motivate people to or through the learning experience and effect positive lasting change. Similarly, as a software developer, user interface design and easy, welcoming interface flow was the key to application acceptance or design success. Logical application flow to maximize process effectiveness was paramount for user adoption. Likewise, in eLearning design, the flow of training activities, engaging project based scenarios or learning activities orchestrated via strategic use of adult learning methodologies is another facet to course design success. Human centered design thinking is a creative approach to problem solving. As a UI/UX designer it is Human-centered design that provides the framework igniting these three phases into design success.


The Inspiration Phase is total immersion into the lives of the people that you're targeting to better understand their needs.

In the Ideation Phase, it is the interpretation of customer behaviors, motivations and needs discovered via surveys, observation, and observed task analysis that offer insight to identify opportunities to design and prototype possible solutions.

In the Implementation Phase the UI/UX design (and eLearning!) solution emerge to vibrant, active Life!

LNA Core Competencies Venn

Core Process - Functional Overlap

As seen on the ISD page, when a team has decided on a design solution via Research & Analysis or the initial conceptual and schematic research and design phase (represented for clarity in the green overlap area of the Venn diagram ), it's time to develop, build and test a prototype design to prove it can work. This process will be repeated until any and all the problems are resolved.

Motivation and Learning Theories

ISD and UI/UX designers code or create learning experiences with the fundamental human performance drivers in mind. In order for an experience to produce measurable change, one must know the factors or fundamental principles that make change happen. For example, an employer may want to eliminate a performance gap or introduce a new software tool to employees that will support a productivity increase. A UI / UX client may want to turn the percentage of full website product shopping carts turn into actual website product purchases. A designer must understand the target audience, select the appropriate learning methodologies and recognize what performance drivers are at play to produce measurable behavior change post experience. Training can address lack of skills or lack of knowledge, but another key factor is motivation. People must be motivated to participate in the experience in order to effect change.


As Designers, we want to facilitate behavior change. Dr. BJ Fogg, founded the Behavior Design Lab at Stanford University. The Fogg Behavior Model highlights three Core Motivators: Sensation, Anticipation and Belonging and presents the idea of a Motivation Wave. People in general are not motivated to change unless it is urgently required that they do so. In order to help people succeed with any sort of behavior change, we want to plan and design activities that correspond to a "Motivation Wave".


As Dr. Fogg puts it, "help people succeed on the most desirable behavior that matches their current motivation". Current motivation implies flow. The best course design or UI/UX design is going to harness the current definition of experiential "flow" and create experiences that: "structure future behavior, reduce barriers to achieving the desired behavior and increase people's capability to accomplish challenging tasks they must master to achieve the new behavior".