NCCER Accreditation Program

Learning Management System

Project Overview

I embarked on a strategic initiative with the National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER), a distinguished non-profit foundation dedicated to advancing craft workers through comprehensive education, training, and certification programs. Recognizing the imperative of adapting to modern standards, NCCER identified a decline in user engagement, particularly within their Accreditation Programs, attributable to an outdated user experience design.

My role in this project involved a meticulous examination aimed at uncovering the root causes behind the diminishing user engagement observed after the initial course in the program. Leveraging thorough user research methodologies, I discerned a prevalent user frustration stemming from the excessively text-heavy nature of the courses. This design flaw posed a significant obstacle for users, impeding their ability to absorb crucial information and navigate the step-by-step processes seamlessly.


 Design Process 


Determine Requirements  

Stakeholder Interview

Preceding the formulation of design solutions and engaging with NCCER's user base, we prioritized the undertaking of Stakeholder Interviews to glean insights into their perspectives on the project and gain a comprehensive understanding of the overarching objectives for this particular product. Our aim was twofold: to discern their perspective on user frustrations and pain points. The insights derived from these interviews played a pivotal role in shaping the design direction, ensuring alignment with the company's overarching goals and fostering a product that effectively addresses user concerns.

💡 Key Insights

  • Despite program assignments to numerous craft workers, the completion rate remains suboptimal.
  • Initiation of the program by craft workers is observed, yet post the first course, engagement levels exhibit a decline.
  • Stakeholders express a clear imperative for a user-friendly product that efficiently and effectively delivers content, emphasizing the need for enhanced usability and seamless information dissemination.


UX Research

The subsequent phase in our process involved rigorous product research. In this stage, I conducted a Heuristics Evaluation and executed Usability Tests on the existing design. Through a combination of user interviews and usability tests, we garnered valuable insights into users' thoughts, perspectives, as well as identified pain points and frustrations encountered during their interaction with the product. The Heuristic Evaluation allowed for a comprehensive analysis of the product's current state, facilitating the identification of features requiring reevaluation to enhance overall usability and user experience.


Heuristic Evaluation

Heuristic Evaluations serve as a critical tool in assessing the functionality and user-friendliness of a product. In our quest for a more profound comprehension of the challenges at hand, I conducted Jakob Nielsen's 10 Usability Heuristic Evaluation on NCCER's Accreditation Program. This method involved a meticulous examination of how an average user would navigate through the program, providing valuable insights into usability aspects and pinpointing areas for improvement.

💡 Key Insights

  • Product using unfamiliar wording
  • Users are unsure of next steps during the program
  • Product presents too much information on multiple pages


Usability Tests

In the realm of UX research, usability tests serve as invaluable indicators of how real users navigate and engage with a product. In the context of this project, I orchestrated five comprehensive usability tests utilizing NCCER's existing Learning Management System to evaluate their Accreditation Program. The test participants comprised NCCER members recently assigned to complete either a Sponsor Representative Program or an Instructor Program. Through these rigorous usability tests, we systematically unveiled users' pain points and frustrations, gaining crucial insights into their experiences when interacting with the product.

💡 Key Insights

Throughout the course of the usability tests, my focus was on understanding the typical user navigation within the Learning Management System (LMS) to access their assigned program. I tasked the five participants with traversing the entire process – from receiving the initial 'congratulations email' to enrolling in their first live video training. Through a series of probing questions pertaining to each page, I discerned that users encountered challenges in successfully executing tasks in the following areas:

  • LMS Dashboard
  • Intro to ICTP/Sponsor Rep
  • Intro to NCCER
  • Required Download
  • Sign Up for Live Training

These insights became pivotal in formulating targeted improvements to enhance the overall user experience.


UX/UI Design

 UI Design Solutions

LMS Dashboard

The initial dashboard presented to users upon their initial login to the Learning Management System (LMS) featured a grouping of assigned courses, assessments, and practicals in close proximity. This design elicited frustration among users, requiring them to scroll to locate their specific courses.

To address this challenge, a strategic solution was implemented to segregate the user's courses from assessments and practicals. Additionally, users were empowered with the capability to employ filters, enabling them to selectively view relevant content and alleviate the inconvenience previously associated with navigation.


Intro to ICTP/Sponsor Rep

Upon discovering their assigned course, users are directed to an introduction page outlining the program's contents. A notable grievance expressed by users pertained to the overwhelming volume of information presented simultaneously, potentially leading to the oversight of crucial details.

To address this concern, a strategic solution involved a reassessment of the information structuring and presentation on the page. The transformation included breaking down lengthy paragraphs into concise bullet points, facilitating ease of digestion and retention of information. Additionally, users were afforded the option to selectively view sections, mitigating frustrations associated with information overload and allowing for a more user-centric experience.


Intro to NCCER

The Introduction to NCCER constitutes one of the numerous courses within the Accreditation program. Similar to the feedback received for the Introduction to ICTP/Sponsor Rep page, users expressed frustration with the extensive content on the page. Usability tests also revealed instances where users skipped steps, necessitating a return to review sections to identify incomplete steps.

To alleviate these frustrations, a design intervention involved restructuring the presentation of information on the page. To guide users through the correct flow, checkmarks were implemented to indicate successful completion of each section. In cases where sections were not completed, subsequent sections remained inaccessible until the user fulfilled the necessary steps, ensuring a more seamless and error-free user experience.


Required Download

Within each course, users are tasked with downloading the required materials before commencing the lesson, and it is imperative that all materials are downloaded before progressing through the course. During usability tests, users conveyed the difficulty in keeping track of downloaded resources, often inadvertently skipping a resource and proceeding to the next section of the course. Consequently, when attempting to complete the course, users encountered error messages indicating incomplete tasks.

To address this challenge, a design solution was implemented to enhance user awareness regarding downloadable materials. The titles of the resources were formatted with bolding and underlining, clearly indicating clickable links. Clicking on the title reverted it to normal text, signaling that the material had been accessed. Additionally, a checkmark was introduced to signify that the resource had been successfully downloaded, providing users with visual confirmation of completed tasks.


Sign Up for Live Training

The final step in the 'Welcome to NCCER' course training involves signing up for a live virtual training. In the usability test, users voiced frustration with the signup process, citing confusion regarding the required information.

To address this issue, a design solution was implemented by introducing an information icon to provide additional guidance. While this icon feature was consistently present throughout the course, it was notably absent in this specific section. Offering users the option to access information on the necessary details to fill out alleviates frustration and enhances the likelihood of course completion.



Following the presentation of my UX/UI solutions to stakeholders, the project was temporarily halted to prioritize other initiatives. In an alternate scenario, I would have preferred to conduct additional usability tests on the current layout to identify prevalent user frustration trends. Subsequently, I aimed to re-interview users to gather insights on the new design, seeking opportunities to enhance user flow and make the product more intuitive for a comprehensive user experience improvement.


Case study created in 2022

Nicole Hernandez



Using Format