5 Great Examples of Microlearning

Microlearning has been coming up in conversation a lot lately. As a digital learning method that is fairly easy to implement, it is gaining speed and popularity. As a technology, microlearning is proving to be very efficient in the areas of new software adoption and for educating users in an ongoing context.


No one seems to be able to decide exactly what it is that microlearning includes or what it is made of, but the need to understand its efficiency and how it works is growing. In the following examples, you will find a variety of microlearning experiences in different formats and methods of delivery.



Tooltip introducing Google Drive

Google is among the first Internet giants to ignore the approach that on-page guides are poor UX practice and have embedded tooltips and mini-guides in every new product they rolled out.


Notice a few things about this form of microlearning:


  1. True to its name, it delivers short, concise, almost laconic information.
  2. The user is in full control of the situation – he can continue the product tour, opt out and knows the exact step he is on all the time.
  3. It is highly contextual – it points to where you should be looking and it only pops up for new users.

  google drive microlearning example


Firefox is teaching secure browsing

The Mozilla-sourced browser is a known advocate for internet security and privacy. They integrate short messages in the Firefox home page that prompt users to read more about such topics.


What Firefox is doing differently – they use effective microcopy and a tongue-in-cheek tone to grab users’ attention. These snippets of information, delivered lightly, combined with a compelling call to action (link to article), are a clever way to approach a subject as “heavy” and as intimidating as online security.


firefox microlearning example


Facebook offers page owners advice

At some point in the last couple of years, Facebook realized that their business users are not getting as much as they could out of Facebook and that loads of features remain unused. They decided to improve the interface and the ad-engine, and they also looked for ways to make information more accessible.


Facebook’s use of microlearning items is brilliant – they embed snippets of information, mini-tutorials, tips and recommendations in the best places. They make sure to design those snippets in a way that blends well with the user experience and which seem a natural part of it.


Let’s look at the tip-box for page managers (which you will only be able to see if you manage a business page on Facebook). These are suggestions combined with best practices and ideas on how to improve one’s page performance.


facebook microlearning example



Release Notes improve performance support

Product release notes and in-app page guides are in fact the most common form of microlearning. We meet them everywhere, everytime we download a new version of any app.


Through release notes we can learn about product features we didn’t know about and stay informed about product improvements and upgrades. Of course, it helps to deliver just-in-time messages and release notes in context.


In this example, an Iridize beacon grabs the user’s attention and then unfolds into an in-app message.


Iridize beacon in release note


Thesaurus.com offer bite-sized word of the day

Microlearning can exist outside the realm of performance support and just provide an opportunity to learn for learning’s sake. Like in this example, where Thesaurus.com offer any users who enter the site a word of the day (usually rare, multi-syllable words).


This way, users feel they come away richer than when they came into the site. They received added value when they merely expected a service. It is a bite-sized treat, one that is easy to digest and to contain.


thesaurus microlearning example


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Noa is Iridize's Head of Content. With a background in digital strategy planning and database management, Noa translates Iridize's vision, stories and data into words. Digital learning and user experience are a particular passion of hers.