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Be Aware of Your Audience’s Needs – DFDS

DFDS is a huge organisation. You may have travelled on its passenger ferries but you may not be aware of its Logistics activities which moves freight as well. Its routes extend to Scandinavia in the north, Italy in the south, Ireland in the west, Russia to the east and involves visiting 21 countries. It employs six thousand people, half that number as mariners.

While Nimble has been used for health and safety training, our DFDS clients Richard Baines and Russell Challenor, point out they’re now expanding its use. Instructional training is one new focus, indeed some of their courses have already received MCA accreditation.

In their visit to our Stonehouse office, Richard and Russell remarked on the journey they’ve travelled in their use of Nimble. Originally Richard chose Nimble for its ease-of-use – he’s on record saying, “I’m not that computer literate and I found it surprisingly easy, so much so, I enjoy using it.”

Another recent development has involved the tricky issue of translation, an essential requirement for a multi-national organisation and one complicated by a range of different levels of understanding from their workforce. The guys point to the ability to duplicate courses and tweak and edit them to meet this range of challenges. For instance, taking photographs of areas of a specific ship so that mariners will recognise the location when addressing safety concerns such as trip hazards. Or in the Fire module, images of extincteurs – fire extinguishers if you aren’t familiar with French! Images provide good ways to communicate with people, regardless of their language or level of education. They illustrate the importance of being aware of your audience’s needs!

Obviously, branding is used consistently in all their materials, but Richard and Russell have moved beyond this. They’ve developed an in-house style in the format and layout of their courses so their learners gain confidence and become accustomed to the familiar form of all the modules. This approach has improved consistency in usage by other managers as well as making access easier for them too.

Richard and Russell’s development of Nimble highlights the value of thinking beyond the basic compliance mindset of elearning. It can do so much more. As Richard and Russell have shown, it starts by identifying the issues and exploring ways for Nimble to provide solutions.