Achievement unlocked: How we revamped the Red Hat Learning Subscription dashboard
By Christopher Schunke
The final destination of a journey is what usually has the most focus, but it’s also important to understand the steps it took to arrive there. This certainly holds true for learning, especially as you work to achieve something as big as a Red Hat certification. You ultimately want that tangible object that says “I have the knowledge and I can prove it,” but what about the milestones that marked your progress to get to that result? The achievements earned along the way that consistently reminded you that you are on the right path? Understanding the small goals in pursuit of larger ones helps you keep motivated to continue progressing.
Track your Red Hat learning milestones
The Red Hat Learning Subscription, which brings all of the Red Hat Training and Certification courses to you to learn at your own pace, has been updated to include such milestone reminders. With a subscription, you have a full year to experience as much training as you need and we have included ways to track course progress as well as certifications.
But what about all of the additional information which indicates progress? How can we help you know if you are on track to meet your personal and enterprise goals for learning Red Hat technologies?
We have added a new feature called the user dashboard to provide a more detailed summary of your progress with content and training. These metrics provide ways to track your progress throughout the learning journey, such as:
Course progress, lab usage and exam status
Data about the amount of training content reviewed
Total time spent within the Red Hat Learning Subscription platform
We plan to continue improving this feature to help you better track your training progress and achievement of learning goals.
The new version of the dashboard you see today is only a small piece of the picture. The process to complete this is important to understanding how Red Hat Training and Certification approaches design and development.
At Red Hat, “the best ideas win”, and the Red Hat Training and Certification team capitalizes on this concept by involving internal teams in addition to the broader Red Hat community in their ideation process. Users of the Red Hat Learning Subscription have consistently asked for help planning and tracking learning goals. The idea for the dashboard was born thanks to input from customers.
So, what belongs in this dashboard? What would offer the most value for users? Different teams, including our main User Experience (UX) designers, each had their own opinions. Our process typically starts with two main questions:
What does our user want to achieve?
How can we design the ideal experience to provide that functionality?
We started with design sketches and then involved the team who develops the platform for the Learning subscription. Through many deep UX discussions, we worked to find a result that provides users with the clearest, simplest and most delightful way to achieve our goal.
At this point we pulled in feedback from the broader Red Hat Training and Certification team to ensure we addressed the considerations. For example:
How would the legal team view data privacy for this feature?
What additional input would the sales team bring to this design, based on what they are hearing about customer needs?
What considerations need to be accounted for regarding support and operations?
No matter which teams we involved, we believed that everyone had something valuable to add to our project. Specifically for the user dashboard, this has manifested itself in one of the features we added: total training hours. The European sales teams mentioned that some countries have a legal obligation for companies to provide the number of hours that users spend on training. This became an important requirement to fulfill, and also became an interesting datapoint to track for all individual users.
One major advantage that our teams have at Red Hat is that our coworkers are also end users. The Red Hat Learning Subscription is freely available to internal Red Hat associates to train on Red Hat products. These users provide incredible feedback--and true to the open culture within Red Hat--they are eager to share that feedback.
As with most features in our products, we first beta test changes with our internal training audience, which greatly helps drive improvements. With the user dashboard, our internal users helped us catch inconsistencies with the data, so that we were able to make necessary fixes before releasing. They also provided valuable suggestions to improve the user experience, as well as made suggestions for expanding the product in the future.
Finally, the end product is presented to customers, who continue to provide helpful feedback. Customer comments are arguably the most important input we need to respond to. Luckily, we have a perfect vehicle to interact with users: The Red Hat Learning Community. The community is made up of thousands of people who all have an interest in learning about open source technologies.
Since many of these users also have a Red Hat Learning Subscription, we have an entire section dedicated to facilitating their collaboration. It is here that we solicit information from the open source community to understand how best to serve them. For the user dashboard, we have released a dedicated feature spotlight which gives users a platform to discuss it, as well as provide feedback to us. We look forward to hearing from the community so we can continue to improve the product with each iteration.
Design and development should never happen in a vacuum, and it certainly doesn’t at Red Hat. Open feedback and collaboration from business leaders, internal teams, and end users are pivotal in our ability to deliver the best product possible. Having open access to these resources makes this experience an informative and enjoyable part of our product development process. We hope you enjoy these new features as much as we enjoy collaborating throughout their creation. For us, the journey and the milestones are just as important as the end destination.
For more details on our new User Dashboard, please visit our Red Hat Learning Community. [Link to the feature spotlight once ready in RHLC]
Don’t have a Red Hat Learning Subscription? Sign up for a free 7 day trial to check it out!
Name: Christopher Schunke
Title: Product Manager, Red Hat Learning Subscription
Bio Christopher Schunke is the product manager for the Red Hat Learning Subscription. He has spent his career specializing in user experience design, primarily focused on IT training. His goal is to bring Red Hat Training and Certification students a world-class learning experience platform.