hfa Insights, News & Awards


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A Short Take On Microlearning

This is a world of glances. We glance at apps and smart watches. We glance at friends and family when not glancing at apps and smart watches.

Digital tech has whittled the average human attention span down to 8 seconds — shorter than the attention span of a goldfish — meaning this sentence needs to end befo-

In a world of distractions, there is no time to linger. So if your brand is trying to make a statement, make it quick.

Microlearning allows brands to communicate in small, specific bursts of information. Rather than stubbornly insisting that your message deserves a drawn-out, revelatory interlude between nurturing brand and awestruck consumer, content can be portioned into easily digestible nuggets that provide speedy intellectual sustenance for the peripatetic mind.

Or, to put it microlearnably: baby steps.

Brief, educational moments are easier to remember than details of a five-hour download on office software (and bring your own lunch). Microlearning enables an individual to fill in a small knowledge gap. Bundle up enough of these moments, and the user can increase their expertise on a topic without risking a seminar-induced coma.

One way to create a microlearning moment is short headlines and subcopy:

Microlearning About Microlearning

  • Keep it short.

    If it takes too long to absorb, you lose.

  •  Focus on one thing.

    Complicate the story, lose the audience.

  •  24/7.

    Be available, always. You don't set the schedule, the user does.

  •  Change it up.

    Go from video to quizzes to surveys. Don't be boring.

(Boom. See how much smarter you just got?)

To reiterate that last point, variety is key to maintaining interest — especially when dealing with the goldfish-brained masses. Microlearning can take a number of different forms:

BLOG POSTS Like this one. Keep it to 500 words or less. Long copy is a lullaby for the eyes.

SIMPLE IMAGERY A series of relevant images communicates more efficiently than a bazillion well-chosen words.

INFOGRAPHICS Colorful graphics and short copy can make a quick, impactful point or simplify a complicated story.

GAMIFICATION Educational games and quizzes engage the audience and allow for social sharing, so users can become advocates.

VIDEO Short, easy-to-absorb video content makes a fast impact. Here's an example of some socially shared video content hfa created for LIQUID NAILS FUZE*IT Adhesive.

It should be noted that microlearning isn't a passing trend, it's a proven method that improves on traditional formats in numerous ways. But to keep it micro, let's limit this list to six examples.

6 Microlearning Wins

  • brain icon

    People remember lessons and adjust their behavior.

  • time icon

    Education is ready whenever users are.

  • skip icon

    Easy to skip stuff you already know.

  • bird icon

    Short attention spans are nullified.

  • pizza icon

    Users can take in as much or as little as they want.

  • track icon

    It's simple to track user progress.

The world is absorbing information faster than ever. hfa can help. Microlearning will keep your brand messaging focused and relevant — just remember to keep it to 500 words or