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About LAS

LAS is an award-winning provider of elearning consultancy, design, development and training services in the UK and internationally. 

Established in 2005 as LearningAge Solutions, we work with some of the best known organisations in the world to boost their performance through the innovative use of learning technologies. Working in partnership with our customers, we draw on proven principles from human behaviour, how people learn and how the brain works to create impactful digital learning solutions with real return on investment.

About Georgina Wilding

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Georgina is an experienced Learning Designer, having scripted a multitude of solutions for global clients and varied sectors. With her background rooted in the modern mix and blended learning, she works to bring a 360 degree experience to today's educational platforms.

Digital transformation - The high street shut down & technological advances  

By Georgina Wilding
Posted 22 June 2018

It’s difficult to go a day without hearing a mention of the high street and the changes we’re seeing there, be it reading statistics such as The Guardian’s recent ‘6,000 shops close in 2017; toughest year for UK high street’, or BBC News explaining ‘nearly 650 shops and restaurants have either shut or are at risk of closure since the start of 2018.’ It’s therefore easy to see why this feels like a problem, and to many people it is; but what are organisations learning from the closure of so many stores, and what does this have to do with digital transformation?

You guessed it, online shopping. We live in an age where we can order our milk online, book taxis through an app, and even find a date at the swipe of a phone screen. However, rather than simply addressing accessibility, some organisations are going even further, using the age of digital transformation to innovate the way we shop online, and keep themselves far from the fate of the closing high street, but how?

Outside of the work I do as a Learning Designer, I’m also heavily involved with literature – running poetry workshops in schools and libraries, hosting open-mic events, and representing my city as Nottingham’s First Young Poet Laureate. The latter often requires me to attend meetings with the likes of the Mayor, international Good Will Ambassadors, UNESCO representatives and more, and for such an occasions a commanding outfit is of course a must. Have you ever spotted a look and wished you owned the entire thing? I have, and rather than booking a day out to trawl through the rails of the high street, or having a sea of tabs open on my laptop, I’ve turned to the organisations who have introduced a new digital technology allowing us to shop the look in one fell swoop: the image search.

Retailers like Macy’s, Tommy Hilfigers, and ASOS have used their online storefronts to host image search technology. Users simply photograph an image of an outfit they’ve seen elsewhere, and the technology searches the retailers stock for similar items and lists them out for the user to purchase.  With the power of technology making way for innovation such as this, it’s no wonder that high street retailers are staring at an even bigger gap between what they’re doing with their bricks and mortar, and what’s happening online without them.  

However, it’s not just the high street that can learn lessons from this digital transformation, but us too, as learning providers. The world around us is changing at an incredibly fast pace, and learner fatigue can only be set to increase if we can’t create solutions that keep up. Gone are the days of 12 hour e-learning suites (hurrah), and instead we’re looking at just-in-time apps, social learning platforms, even YouTube style how-to videos where learners can get the information they need, when they need it, without saturation. Could we see a learning environment where users upload a photograph of, say, a piece of machinery they’re trying to install, and as a result are provided with an Augmented Reality FAQ over the top of the image, taking image search technology even further still? Absolutely.

The key here, during this time of Digital Transformation, is to actively work with our target audiences, asking them questions like:

1. What do you need from your learning solutions?
2. What software do you use out of work that could benefit you in work?
3. What problems are you facing in your role, now?
4. Do you have any ideas to promote change?

Only by taking this holistic approach to digital solutions, working to understand our teams and pushing technology to provide what they need, will the behaviours we require be adopted, and become part of the very culture that we’re trying to cultivate. Now more than ever, fluidity is key, and providing a digital solution that stands the test of time will only happen for the businesses that truly understand their teams.

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