The other day I had a chance to catch up with Juliette Denny and ask her a few questions. Juliette is the CEO and Founder of Growth Engineering a UK-based company.
Here is a quote from their Facebook page
“We are arch-enemies of dull online learning. Our aim is to make users love their learning. Education can improve lives and remove boundaries. It can create opportunities that you never thought were possible. It is the route towards self-development and career-progression. We want to make your learning journey as easy and rewarding as possible.”
So you can see why I wanted to have a conversation…. Here is what unfolded in part one of our discussion.
Kapp: Can you tell us a little about your company, Growth Engineering. What do you do, how long have you been around and what is your Academy product?
Denny: We wage war on dull online learning! We are on a mission to move Learning Management Systems from Dullsville to Excitement City. We want to create a world where everyone loves their LMS and the eLearning that sits on it. We want users look forward to their online learning in the same way they do the next massive movie blockbuster.
Our Academy platform LMS is built to delight and excite users. It puts the user experience at the heart and focuses on using gaming mechanics like badges, levels and leaderboards to make the learning journey fun. Collaboration and competition are key parts to the user experience, as the learning only happens when its reinforced, shared and used over time.
Kapp: A gamified LMS is a great concept, can you tell me how you developed and implemented the concept of a gamified LMS?
Denny: At Growth Engineering our vision statement is “Be your best” we believe everyone is happier if they are living their potential, and to do that we need to develop and grow. And to develop and grow, we need learning spaces that inspire learning, where it’s engaging to learn. The companies we work for also need us to learn and develop to ensure they can compete, innovate, flex and become stronger.
But to get organizations and their workforce to be engaged in their learning and development we need to challenge the assumption that education / training and fun are mutually exclusive domains. That Adult education must be a serious pursuit that where fun is banished and only the dry dusty and bland live. In order to “Be your best” you need to have an environment, which arrests your attention, and gets you engaged with your development.
Kapp: To me the Academy LMS has a really fun and unique interface, can you tell us a little about the interface and how you decided to use the user interface that you choose? (In fact, some of the screen captures and description of the LMS can be found here.)
Denny:Unlike most LMS’s the Academy platform is built to delight the user first and foremost, as if the user does not like it there will be nothing for the L&D folks to report on! Everything we design on the platform has the user at the heart.
The user interface for the platform is evolves but rests on these questions:-
1. “is it intuitive such that I become curious to explore?”
2. “Does it make me want to participate?”
3. “Would I recommend the experience?”
4. “Does it make be feel good about myself?”
We want users to love it, so it needs to be current, relevant and personal to them and their world. The focus when you login in is the dialogue stream where they can see all the learning activity from their team mates, and the leaderboards showing who has done what.
Kapp: How can someone learn more about your product and what it can do for them?
Denny: We love it when we get new visitors to the website and people commenting on what we do and we are always delighted to talk to L&D folk about the stuff that is challenging them. SO please do drop by and say Hi through
Our door –
Our website –
Email / phone –
We also have some easy access videos, here are some of the latest ones which give a good overview of what you can expect! Check them out here!
Kapp: What advice would you have for students in an instructional design program about LMSs and gamification?
Denny: If you put the user at the heart of everything you do, users will love what you produce and you will build a reputation for delivering rock star quality learning experiences. Don’t settle.