Should you brand or white label your LMS?
If you’d like staff and customers to experience your LMS as an extension of your brand, you need to personalize it. Strong branding helps users to feel familiar with a learning management system, easing adoption obstacles by building trust. When you invest time creating attractive eLearning content, the look and feel of your LMS is equally important. How far personalization should go is a big decision. You’ll need to decide if including branding elements like a logo, company colors and custom URL is enough. You should also consider if you need to white label your LMS. Here are the most important factors about both options to help you decide.
Branding your LMS
Learners experience your LMS as the home of their training programs. That’s why it’s important to give your platform a strong visual identity. The design decisions you make at the beginning will create the environment users encounter every day. How learners feel about the LMS will shape their response to your programs as a whole. The strongest identity you can create will be consistent with your brand. But the ability to personalize a platform varies between LMS vendors. Some providers, interested in building their own brand, allow very limited customization. But if you use LearnUpon, you can update your portal with a unique look and feel in minutes. Essential branding elements to consider include:
- Login page: As the gateway to your LMS, the login page is an important user touchpoint. With LearnUpon, you can customize your login page so that it’s consistent with the rest of your user experience. You can change the width of the login screen and add your company’s logo and custom welcome text.
- Portal: As a space where users will spend most of their time, the look and feel of the learning portal itself will have a big impact on user experience. To personalize your portal, you should be able to add elements like a customer banner image and your company’s logo.
- Client portals: Branding features are often most important if you need to create sub-portals for clients or customers. In that scenario, you’ll need to decide if you should include your own or the customer’s branding, or perhaps even a combination of both if you choose a dual-branding route.
But branding should be more than a once-off decision, implemented with your LMS. To make sure that the look and feel of your LMS stays strong, remember to think about:
- When: Schedule regular reviews to make sure your LMS branding stays current. If your LMS includes an old logo or message, it will create a negative impression of the quality of your training programs, even if that’s unfair.
- Who: Charge one admin with the task of maintaining the branding of your LMS portal. While a cloud LMS like LearnUpon makes branding simple, you should still assign this job to a member of your team who understands design and your company’s standards.
When to white label an LMS
Simply branding an LMS isn’t always enough. Some use cases require a white label feature to remove all references to a vendor or indications that a platform wasn’t developed inhouse. With the ability to white label varying between vendors, you should make this decision before selecting an LMS. White labelling is usually required by learning providers that want customers to experience the LMS as part of the service they deliver. The main benefits include:
- Custom domain: If you choose to brand your LMS, the URL of your portal will be something like “http://mycompany.learnupon.com”. With LearnUpon, white labelling allows you to use your company or business website domains to customize the URL completely, to something like “learning.mycompany.com”.
- Personalize emails: In many cases, your chosen LMS provider will send emails from their domain. For example, emails from a LearnUpon portal are sent from learnupon.com. White labelling allows you to fully customize these system communications with addresses and names from your own company, like the details of a HR Manager or Director. That means you can also create a custom reply-to-email address of something like “email@example.com”.
- Client portals: You should also consider the implications of white labelling for child or client portals. One important decision will relate to the structure of portal domains. You could choose to make each a subdomain of your own website, for example “http://client1.mycompany.com” or you could use the client’s preferred URL, something like “http://elearning.client1.com”.
These white labelling features have proven particularly useful for eLearning providers and training companies that need to deliver a cohesive, branded experience to a broad range of clients.
Beyond branding and white labelling
A good LMS will offer lots of other customization options. At LearnUpon, we make it easy to integrate your LMS with the most popular software systems used by our customers. And you can hook up to our API to create eLearning processes tailored for you.
If your requirements are unusually specific, you may need to consider developing a custom LMS inhouse. But that’s a major decision that’s not to be entered into lightly. All will depend on your organization’s resources and budget for everything from architecture and design to building and testing a custom solution.
Like to see how LearnUpon would look with your company’s branding? Request a demo now.