Custom e-learning is a pretty specialized field, so it's only natural that our prospective customers have lots of questions for us. Most of you haven't been through a development process that's anything like ours. I've rounded up some of the most common things people ask us about to help set the stage for what to expect from NogginLabs.
Custom means custom
First things first: we are truly a custom software development shop. This means we aren't customizing existing stuff—we're designing and building something brand new, just for you. That's one of the big differences between us and other e-learning vendors. We are not sticking your branding and content on a off-the-shelf product.
How long does it take?
Everybody has deadlines. Some deadlines are hard and fast, and some exist because somebody said, "We need a deadline or we'll never get this done!' We always try to find out as much as we can about your deadline. For one thing, it may dictate design decisions. Maybe there just isn't time to build a mobile companion app AND 6 hours of custom e-learning, but if you have any flexibility we could plan to release the app later. The more information we have about your needs, wants, wishes, and business drivers, the better we can plan and develop a solution tailored to you.
So to come back to the question of how long it really takes, here's a good rule of thumb. It generally takes about 18 weeks from kickoff through final delivery to create one finished hour of custom e-learning. Which isn't to say that 2 hours takes 36 weeks, and that time frame can be impacted by many aspects of the course design.
It's also worth noting that we don't generally kick off a project the first day you call us. We go through a scoping process, any procurement requirements on your side, and all the other things it takes to get to a signed contract. Most project kickoffs are scheduled within two to four weeks of you signing the contract.
How much does it cost?
There isn't an easy answer to this question because it all depends on what we're building! We like to think of our design and project scoping process like working with a custom home builder. In many cases, clients come to us with a set budget in mind, and we present them with course designs that are doable within that budget. We believe constraints force innovation, and time and budget are very real-world constraints that impact the design of almost every course we develop.
How does the process work?
Our design process is very collaborative. You don't turn over content and receive a finished course in return. You are the expert in your content, your audience, and your learning culture; we are the experts in adult learning, design, and software development. Together we move mountains (er, engage your learners). You and your team have many chances to give input and view work in progress along the way—there shouldn't be big surprises on final delivery day! One thing that's important to know is that we ask all of the team members on your side to be involved in the project from day one. Not only do we want your feedback and edits, we want them early and often! This is what makes that whole thing about not delivering any surprises possible.
Any other questions?