Responsive design enables learners to access the same piece of content across any device, regardless of its screen size or orientation.
People are at the heart of any ethics and compliance learning experience. These people are trying to balance all their daily job responsibilities with longer-term initiatives, and usually juggling more demands on their time and attention than they may comfortably have. They are often multi-tasking and on the move. So, when you ask them to learn something-to spend some of their valuable time on ethics and compliance content-you need to make sure that getting to it and consuming it is as seamless as possible.
Your program is built around sharing key pieces of information about a risk an employee may encounter, a regulation or law that governs your industry, and a cultural value with which their behavior should align. Carefully considered learning design decisions and a variety of media formats help you bring this information to life. All of these choices are made to effectively tell a story that connects this information to an employee's role and responsibilities within your organization.
For years, the technology enabling the consumption of these experiences was a constant among a world of variables-the computer at their desk. It's no surprise that technology has changed and so has human behavior. As a result, we don't spend as much time on our computers or at our desks to accomplish our goals at work. These changes create opportunities for innovation, as well as a necessity to evolve and make our content more accessible. As we create new learning content for the ethics and compliance community, designing “mobile-first” experiences is always a priority.
But we also realize that we cannot neglect what we've already done, which is create, acquire, and assemble the largest collection of ethics and compliance learning content in the world. When presented with the choice of 'innovate' or 'ignore,' the decision was as easy as whether or not to accept a bribe. Our latest technology update is designed to address an unignorable technological and behavioral shift, and remove some of the barriers and burdens around content consumption your employees may have experienced in the past.
We've broadened the scope of our mobile enablement to include responsive design across our entire content library, in all 59 supported languages, and upgraded the majority of our content library with enhanced accessibility functionality to be WCAG 2.0 AA level and US ADA 508 compliant.
Responsive design enables learners to access the same piece of content across any device, regardless of its screen size or orientation. This means they can move seamlessly between desktops, laptops, tablets, and smartphones, and portrait or landscape orientation, with content dynamically adjusting and re-orienting itself to best fit the available real estate. This device-agnostic approach also means that employees can start a learning experience on one device type, exit part-way through, and later use a different device to resume exactly where they left off. The dream of being able to deliver and consume ethics and compliance learning content anytime and anywhere is now one step closer to becoming a reality.
Our goal is to build learning experiences that can be consumed by anyone, with a diverse range of hearing, movement, and vision-related abilities, and in doing so, enable success for all the learners in your organization. To comply with WCAG 2.0 AA Level accessibility standards and U.S. American Disabilities Act (ADA) 508, our content now meets guidelines around four core web content accessibility principles and success criteria: perceivable, operable, understandable, and robust.
These changes are important for many reasons, and specifically via the perspective of regulatory compliance, because for many E&C professionals, that's the standard to which your programs are built.
The DOJ's 2017 Evaluation of Corporate Compliance Programs provides guidance to ethics and compliance professionals on what questions they may be asked if under investigation for a regulatory failure. In it, they pose a very specific question about the effectiveness of training and communications:
"Has the training been offered in the form and language appropriate for the intended audience?"
One year before this DOJ guidance was published, StatCounter, an internet monitoring firm, reported that for the first time in history, internet traffic on mobile and tablet devices exceeded internet traffic on traditional desktop and laptop computers (51.2% vs. 48.7%). While it's natural to say this behavior and growing trend towards mobile-first is driven by the millennial generation, the reality is that everyone is embracing smartphones and modern innovations to technology. Data from the Pew Research Center supports that fact.
This brings me back to the DOJ's question: if you have employees with disabilities, but the content isn't WCAG 2.0 AA level and US ADA 508 compliant, are you truly providing it in a language appropriate to them?
If most of your employees are spending more time online using their phones or tablets than their desktop computers, yet you don't provide them with properly mobile-enabled content, are you actually offering it in the form appropriate for the intended audience?
Whether or not you can answer these questions today is something only you truly know, but as you plan for the future of your organization's ethics and compliance program, I hope I can provide the peace of mind that the answers are out there.