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NogginLabs was founded on the notion that custom e-learning design and development is the ultimate horizontal industry. Time and again, each new project, client, and industry proves it. The biggest advantage of the e-learning horizontal is cross-pollinating ideas from two wildly different domains. A restaurant service simulation for iPad may influence a high-fashion online retail challenge. E-learning for financial advisors in a bank could inspire a mobile outreach program for cancer survivors. This variety also keeps the creative folks at NogginLabs fresh. Fresh learning ideas and designs come from a set of constantly changing constraints.

Is custom e-learning worth the trouble?


Is custom e-learning worth the trouble?

Lindsay Bland

When you need online learning, you have options. You can build it internally, or you can partner with a vendor. If you determine that you don't have the internal bandwidth to create what you need, you begin the hunt for a company or product that can fulfill your need. Some e-learning companies sell pre-made modules on common training topics (compliance, anyone?), while others use off-the-shelf rapid development tools, such as Articulate Storyline, Lectora, or Captivate. Then there are custom e-learning developers, like NogginLabs. We build to suit your unique needs. So when is custom e-learning worth it?

Customized. Made to order. Bespoke. Personalized. Tailored (wouldn’t it be fun if this blog post was just a list of synonyms for custom?) To be frank, you need custom e-learning when you’ve decided that checking the box isn’t going to cut it anymore.

Nobody likes to admit it, but the truth is that there is a lot of terrible e-learning in the world, and it’s a direct result of someone deciding to just check a box. We all know this e-learning. It’s the glorified PowerPoint, it’s the read-and-click-next-to-continue course that we’ve all figured out how to cheat our way through. You wait until the audio completes and then you jam on the Next button to advance. No thought or action required, but completion is registered and a mysterious box somewhere gets checked.

And you know what? Maybe that’s exactly the kind of e-learning you need. If you believe that behavior can’t be changed on the job, then stick with mediocre e-learning. If your goal is bigger, if your version of success involves measurable change, and if you respect your learners, then custom e-learning is worth it.


Simply put, custom e-learning developers can build whatever you want or need. We’re really only limited by your timeframe, technology environment, and budget. We are not held back by the design and programming constraints that exist in off-the-shelf development software. You don’t need to fit your expectations into a pre-existing framework. Let’s take a closer look at the advantages of custom e-learning.


What! She’s starting with cost?! You’re darn right I am. When you need e-learning, you have three options. Build it yourself, purchase pre-built courses, or partner with a custom e-learning developer. At first glance, building it yourself or purchasing pre-built e-learning might appear to be the more affordable and efficient options. But the many advantages of custom e-learning are often worth the upfront investment, and custom solutions can be cheaper in the long run. How? Because performance-based online learning can cover more content in less seat time than a traditional e-learning course can, and you own the content at the end of the day. There are no monthly or annual licensing fees, no royalty costs, no cost per user, nada. When you partner with a custom e-learning developer, the cost includes initial development fees, which are commonly higher than licensing courses or development software, but the long-term investment is often much lower.


Nothing turns an adult learner off quicker than an inauthentic scenario that makes them think “oh my boss would never say that” or “customers would never let you talk to them for that long.” Custom e-learning lets you craft genuine scenarios and case studies set in authentic environments that are designed to carefully reflect the real on-the-job experience. This allows us to give learners an opportunity to see the outcomes of their choices and decisions, and receive meaningful feedback that they can then apply in the real world.


Your company spends a great deal of time and money developing and communicating your brand. Shouldn’t your e-learning support your culture and brand? With custom e-learning, you have the ability to design every aspect of the learner experience, from the tone to the number of clicks it takes to complete an activity. You can choose to have hand-illustrated characters, 3D avatars, or custom photo and video shoots that feature real employees. The point is, you get to choose it all and ensure every aspect of the course supports your unique culture and brand.Your company didn’t come from a box, so why should your online learning?