Learning Conversations By Design – Product Matrix

LCBD Product Matrix


As instructional designers it is our jobs to solve business issues with learning solutions.  

Based upon the business issue, the audience profile, and the project’s logistics and needs we make recommendations to our clients and process partners as to the best solutions.  

Many times the decision maker has a preference of what learning solutions they would like to see.  If the learning solutions they desire to see to be produced do not align with your recommendations there may be a failure to train as effectively as you and the data have designed for.  

As instructional designers it is our duty to stand firm to our analysis and recommendations.  

This struggle is real.

Failure to clearly and forcefully make the logic behind your recommendations heard by your clients and process partners could cause them harm in increased risks, increased costs, and decreased customer satisfaction.  A failure on any instructional designers part damages our entire learning industry.

Don’t be that guy.

This matrix below is a guideline that is intended to help instructional designers design conversations with their process partners so that they fully understand what the proposed learning solutions are, the reasons these solutions are valuable to their learners, and the efficacy of the solution in combating the impact of the business issue.  It also provides instructional designers a placeholder for what the typical cost is to build any particular solution as well as the duration for building them.

Customize this product matrix template to your situation and adjust its wording based upon how and who you work with and for.  

Expand upon it.  

Shrink it.

Share it.  

As instructional designers it is our jobs to solve business issues with learning solutions.

Share with me your success stories and flops.   

I want to learn more about you.


Thank you,

Bill Corrigan






Product Matrix


“Based on the business issue, your audience’s profile and project logistics needs, we are going to recommend that you provide your learners with a…”  “This solution is a…” “The reason(s) this solution will be valuable to your learners is/are because…” “This solution is effective in combating the  impact of business issues because …” “We have found that the typical cost to build [solution name] is [insert cost] for [insert tier definition]…”  “It typically takes [insert duration] to build a [insert tier, solution]…”
Name of Solution Solution Definition Solution’s Instructional Design Rationale Solution’s largest selling points Solution’s Costs per tier Solution’s Build Duration, by tier
Learning Center 24/7/365 website which is used to house all instructional content developed by the [learning department]. Can be accessed vis desktop/laptop/tablet/phone. When content needs to be available to wide range of users, geographically dispersed. When content is electronic and users must be able to get to it quickly.  [The learning team] manages the content on the learning centers, so that our process partners do not need to. Highly organized structure allows users to find information quickly. Single location for all training documentation.  Original Build: 120

Updates: 60

Original Build: 90 days

Updates: 30 -60 days

Help File Online document providing procedural help on using a system. Can be context-sensitive within a system, or reside outside the system as documentation.  Use when just-in-time help is needed with system procedures; Use when procedural, step-by-step information needs to be accessed regularly by a wide range of users.   Context-sensitive help can be accessed at the point of need; Help files provide the user with step-by-step instructions for a procedure, and can be accessed from within the system.  Per topic: 2 hours 90 – 120 days. 
Webcasts  A recorded solution which may include video, audio, animation, images; delivered asynchronously via the Web.  Best used for content that has/needs high impact, is short, and/or is complex and must be explained in video or audio for the audience to best understand it. Audience must be technically adept and have high speed connection to the internet.  Using webcasts provides a more personal experience when a video element is included. Webcasts are visually more exciting than paper-based solutions such as Help or User Guides. Better learning experience because of audio and video components (more learning styles addressed).    Up to 10 minute webcast: 50 hours 60 – 90 days
E-Learning A self-paced online course.  Use when there is more than one objective, the content is relatively static, and the end users are experienced using online solutions. Also used when the content is complex and requires animation or complex imagery to explain.  Provides an interactive, engaging experience. Can include simulations, providing better transfer of knowledge through experiential learning.   Tier 1: one-hour course containing static images and text, one animation, no audio. 100 hours

Tier 2: One-hour course containing static images, text, up to 5 animations, audio voiceovers. 160 hours

Tier 3: one hour course with unlimited animations and audio, simulations. 200 hours.

90 – 120 days for any tier, 1 hour finished product.
New Account Training Consultative analysis and related courseware  that utilizes a blended learning solution to train new users of a product or service or existing users on a new product or service NAT mitigates risk by ensuring that firms have the operational competencies that are required to do business with and through [your organization] without doing harm to themselves to [your organization], themselves or the industry. Enables the objective validation of knowledge transfer prior to allowing a firm to access [your firms] products and services [functions/features/systems]. TBD – case by case basis TBD – case by case basis
Webinar/Webcast Package
  • A live, instructor-led seminar up to 1 hour in length delivered online using Web-conferencing technologies
  • Corresponding recorded informational “chunks” available to customers 24/7 via [your organization’s] Learning Centers
Ideal for supporting dynamic content, major systems rollouts and/or process changes.  

  • Quick to market
  • Affords learners the opportunity to interact directly with an SME
  • Enables level 1 assessment(s)

Recorded learning assets available 24/7 via the Web 

Webinars provide a more personal experience, since the trainer is live. For audiences who are new or may need to be able to ask questions, webinars provide a personal touch. They are also recorded and posted as Webcasts so they may be reviewed later. 53.5 hours*

* Per 1 hour webinar.  Any initiatives requiring more than one Webinar will require additional work (TBD case by case – all tasks will not bear repeating).

10-30 days
Assessment Questions posed, typically at the end of a training, but can be stand-alone, to assess the knowledge gain of the users.  Used when there is a need to measure learning or establish baseline needs for training. Can be added to any solution. Assessments are necessary to measure the success of a program.  Based on what is needed, and if assessment is added to another solution, or is standalone.  TBD – case by case basis
iBook A media rich guide that is delivered via tablet/laptop/phone/desktop. Use for small chunks of content which require media rich delivery. The audience must have tablet access.  Provides a high-impact training experience for users who are technically adept and have access to tablets.  TBD – case by case basis TBD – case by case basis
Mobile Learning Site A type of learning center, this is a mobile site from which users may access content on their mobile devices.  Use for a user base who needs to access content on-the-go or at the point of need, and have access to mobile devices. Highly organized, bespoke structure allows remotes users to find information quickly.  TBD – case by case basis TBD – case by case basis
Quick Reference Guide A paper-based solution which is a printable list of procedural steps to complete common tasks. 

A brief guide for most commonly used, important procedures that are done often, point of need.

Use when the information to be conveyed is procedural, short, and done often. Content that changes often is not recommended for print products.  Provides quick and easy access to commonly completed tasks. Can be formatted for mobile use, if users have access to mobile devices.  20 – 60 hours, depending on size. 60 – 90 days
User Guide A guide that catalogs all functions and features of the system.  Use for new system implementations where no documentation exists. Better used as the basic information to build other learning products, and not as the main training form for all end users.  Provides thorough documentation of the entire system and all functions.  100 – 150 hours 90 – 120 days