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Masterclass on the 23 Best Learning Design Software of 2023

12 Best Learning Design Software Shortlist

After a thorough evaluation, I've handpicked 12 top-notch eLearning design software you should know about this 2023.

  1. DominKnow - Best for streamlining content creation with robust authoring tools
  2. Brainshark - Best for boosting productivity with on-demand training capabilities
  3. Lectora - Best for its rapid eLearning development feature
  4. Adobe RoboHelp - Best for creating knowledge bases and user manuals
  5. Elucidat - Best for collaborative course design with a cloud-based platform
  6. Rise - Best for its user-friendly interface and responsive design
  7. dominKnow | ONE - Best for its versatile eLearning content management system
  8. Adapt Learning - Best for creating responsive, multi-device learning
  9. Lectora Inspire - Best for creating immersive learning experiences
  10. iSpring Suite 11 - Best for PowerPoint-based course authoring and LMS integration
  11. Articulate 360 - Best for all-in-one eLearning course development
  12. Adobe Captivate - Best for creating interactive eLearning content

As a frequent user of instructional design software tools, I've become intimately familiar with the essential components needed for crafting compelling training content. Whether it's animations, screen recording capabilities for screencasts, or the ability to incorporate gamification elements into training courses, the best instructional design software provides a comprehensive toolkit for creating engaging and informative learning courses.

These software applications are versatile enough to handle everything from creating interactive elements like multiple-choice questions to adding voiceovers to your courses. Now, wouldn't it be nice to have all these capabilities at your disposal?

What Is a Learning Design Software?

Learning design software, often used by educators, instructional designers, and corporate trainers, is a specialized tool that facilitates the creation and delivery of digital learning experiences. This kind of software is particularly valuable in designing structured eLearning courses, interactive multimedia content, and comprehensive knowledge bases.

It doesn't stop at merely being a creation tool; its sophisticated tracking capabilities help you gauge the effectiveness of your employee training programs, providing insights that are vital for crafting more impactful courses in the future.

From elementary schools to universities, small businesses to multinational corporations, learning design software empowers users to create compelling, effective, and accessible educational content. Whether it's for formal classroom education, corporate training, or self-guided learning, this software can transform the way knowledge is imparted and absorbed, fostering an engaging and productive learning environment.

Overviews of the 12 Best Learning Design Software

1. DominKnow - Best for streamlining content creation with robust authoring tools

DomiKnow Learning Design Software crearte new project feature
With DomiKnow's software users can create an eLearning course, performance support, or micro-learning content.

DominKnow is a highly versatile eLearning tool designed to simplify the process of content creation. With a range of authoring features at its core, it allows you to create, share, reuse, and collaborate on courses and learning materials in a streamlined way, making it especially effective for those looking to optimize their content creation process.

Why I Picked DominKnow:

I chose DominKnow for its ability to transform the eLearning landscape by offering a comprehensive suite of robust authoring tools. Compared to other learning design software, DominKnow stands out for its ability to simplify content creation, turning complex tasks into manageable ones. That's why I believe it's best for streamlining content creation.

Standout Features & Integrations:

DominKnow boasts a powerful suite of features including content management, responsive course design, and collaborative authoring. These capabilities ensure collaboration and consistency across all courses. Key integrations include Learning Management Systems (LMS) like Moodle and Canvas, and other platforms like xAPI and SCORM for tracking learner's progress.


DominKnow pricing starts from $97/user/month (billed annually).


  • Comprehensive authoring capabilities
  • Strong integration with various LMS platforms
  • Enables collaboration on course creation


  • Higher price point compared to other options
  • Steeper learning curve for new users
  • Annual billing can be a commitment for some

2. Brainshark - Best for boosting productivity with on-demand training capabilities

Learning dashboard of Brainshark learning design software
This is an image of Brainshark sales enablement and readiness software, that prepares sellers with the training, coaching, and content they need to make the most of every buyer interaction.

Brainshark offers an innovative platform geared toward enhancing learning and productivity through its on-demand training capabilities. Its suite of tools and features makes it possible to create, distribute, and track content, aligning well with the need for businesses to boost productivity and training efficiency.

Why I Picked Brainshark:

I selected Brainshark for its ability to elevate the traditional learning experience with an emphasis on on-demand training. In comparing various platforms, I judged Brainshark to have the most effective features for enabling flexible and accessible training modules. This is why I firmly believe Brainshark is best for boosting productivity by offering unparalleled on-demand training capabilities.

Standout Features & Integrations:

Brainshark provides a wealth of features, including content authoring, coaching, and analytics that empower organizations to conduct training when it's most needed. Its integration with prominent platforms like Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, and Seismic makes it versatile and adaptable to different business environments.


Pricing for Brainshark starts from $20/user/month + $49 base fee per month.


  • On-demand training features
  • Integration with major CRM systems
  • Rich analytics and reporting capabilities


  • Additional base fee for usage
  • May require time for user orientation
  • Customization options may be limited for specific use cases

3. Lectora - Best for its rapid eLearning development feature

Lectora learning design software
This is Lectora's mobile eLearning, it makes it easy to develop immersive mobile microlearning for users.

Lectora is a comprehensive eLearning development tool that focuses on swift and efficient course creation. Its powerful suite of features empowers users to develop interactive, professional-level eLearning content swiftly, perfectly aligning with the needs of high-paced learning environments.

Why I Picked Lectora:

Lectora stood out to me when selecting among many learning design software due to its emphasis on rapid eLearning development. It shines uniquely in its ability to facilitate the swift creation of interactive learning experiences.

Given its commitment to fast-paced learning content creation, I determined Lectora to be the best for rapid eLearning development.

Standout Features & Integrations:

Lectora brings a host of useful features to the table, including customizable templates, an intuitive user interface, and tools for developing responsive and accessible content.

It offers integration with various LMS platforms, such as Moodle, Blackboard, and Canvas, along with other tools like Tin Can API and SCORM for content tracking.

Pricing: Lectora's pricing starts from $75/user/month (billed annually).


  • Rapid eLearning development capability
  • Easy integration with popular LMS platforms
  • Customizable templates for versatile course creation


  • Pricing can be a barrier for small organizations
  • Requires a learning curve to maximize all its features
  • No monthly billing option, only annual plans are available

4. Adobe RoboHelp - Best for creating knowledge bases and user manuals

Adobe RoboHelp's software installed
Here is a screenshot of Adobe RoboHelp's software installed.

Adobe RoboHelp is a professional authoring tool ideal for developing help systems, e-learning content, knowledge bases, and more. It combines a rich feature set with an intuitive user interface to enable the creation of various types of informative content, making it the perfect choice for knowledge bases and user manuals.

Why I Picked Adobe RoboHelp:

In my quest for the best learning design software, Adobe RoboHelp stood out because of its specific strength in creating knowledge bases and user manuals. It brings a blend of functionalities that precisely cater to these needs, which many others in the market don't specialize in. Hence, I chose RoboHelp as the best tool for creating knowledge bases and user manuals.

Standout Features & Integrations:

Adobe RoboHelp offers features like a WYSIWYG HTML editor, single sourcing, multilingual output, and content management. It can integrate with Adobe Captivate to import simulations and demos, and other Adobe Creative Cloud tools for improved multimedia capabilities.

Pricing: Pricing for Adobe RoboHelp starts from $29.99/user/month.


  • Robust features for creating knowledge bases and user manuals
  • Integration with Adobe Creative Cloud
  • Multilingual content output


  • Pricing might be steep for smaller organizations
  • It has a learning curve for beginners
  • Limited integrations beyond Adobe's own software ecosystem

5. Elucidat - Best for collaborative course design with a cloud-based platform

Elucidat Learning Design Software
With Elucidat users can manage their team with advanced user management, and users can also discover the power of customizable permissions and user roles.

Elucidat stands out as a cloud-based e-learning authoring tool that enables organizations to design high-quality digital learning materials collaboratively. The solution offers a host of robust features designed to assist the rapid development and delivery of mobile-friendly, interactive e-learning content.

Why I Picked Elucidat:

I picked Elucidat because it stands out for its emphasis on collaboration. Its cloud-based platform enables multiple users to work on a project simultaneously, making it ideal for team-oriented environments. This tool makes it onto the 'best for' list because its cloud-based collaborative course design allows for real-time updates, making the course design process more efficient and effective.

Standout Features & Integrations:

Elucidat offers a feature called 'Styles' that allows users to apply a consistent design across all pages of a course, which helps in maintaining brand consistency. Additionally, it provides impressive integrations, notably with learning management systems (LMS) like LearnUpon and TalentLMS, allowing you to smoothly transition your course content into your preferred LMS.


The pricing for Elucidat starts at $1,200/user/month (billed annually), making it a premium solution.


  • Collaboration-friendly with real-time updates
  • Cloud-based for ease of access from any device
  • Easy-to-use interface with no programming knowledge required


  • The high cost may not be affordable for small businesses
  • Lacks some advanced customization features
  • Users may experience a learning curve due to a wide range of features

6. Rise - Best for its user-friendly interface and responsive design

Process payroll feature of Rise learning design software
Here is a screenshot of Rise's software and it offers a fast, modern, and efficient online payroll solution for mid to large-sized businesses.

Rise is an online platform that simplifies course creation with its intuitive user interface and automatic responsive design. It provides a hassle-free experience for both course creators and learners as the content appears beautiful on any device without extra customization effort.

Why I Picked Rise:

I selected Rise for this list due to its balance of user-friendliness and aesthetics. Rise stands out from many other eLearning tools with its automatic responsive design feature, which ensures that the course material is visually appealing and easily accessible on any device.

I believe Rise is the best for user-friendly interface and responsive design because it allows course creators to focus on the content, without needing to spend excessive time on design.

Standout Features & Integrations:

Rise has some standout features such as the ability to create interactive and multimedia-rich courses with ease. It also offers a vast library of customizable course templates to speed up the course creation process. As for integrations, Rise works with Articulate 360 and offers smooth LMS integrations, allowing course creators to directly export SCORM, AICC, and xAPI packages.


The pricing for Rise starts from $399/user/year (billed annually), equating to roughly $33.25/user/month.


  • Extremely user-friendly interface
  • Automatic responsive design, ensuring content is visually appealing on any device
  • Abundant customizable course templates


  • The pricing may be steep for small businesses or individual users
  • Limited offline capabilities
  • Some users may find the design options slightly restrictive

7. dominKnow | ONE - Best for its versatile eLearning content management system

dominKnow | ONE
This is a screenshot of Domiknow One's responsive eLearning without limitations.

dominKnow | ONE is a comprehensive eLearning authoring platform that offers an all-in-one solution for creating, collaborating, and managing eLearning content. Its robust content management system (CMS) sets it apart, facilitating the creation and control of various forms of learning materials.

Why I Picked dominKnow | ONE:

I picked dominKnow | ONE because it offers the versatility not found in many other eLearning tools. It has a powerful CMS that handles a variety of eLearning content types, such as courses, simulations, and test/quiz. I believe dominKnow | ONE is best for its eLearning content management system as it efficiently manages multiple forms of learning materials within one platform, streamlining the course creation and distribution process.

Standout Features & Integrations:

The key features of dominKnow | ONE include an intuitive interface, a variety of responsive content templates, and built-in project management tools. Also, the platform allows for collaborative content creation, providing real-time updates and version control.

On the integration side, dominKnow | ONE supports SCORM, AICC, and xAPI standards, and it integrates well with a range of Learning Management Systems (LMSs).


The pricing for dominKnow | ONE starts from $997/user/year (billed annually), which translates to about $83/user/month.


  • Versatile content management system (CMS)
  • Supports collaboration and project management within the platform
  • Wide range of integrations with LMSs


  • Steeper learning curve for beginners
  • High price point could be prohibitive for small organizations or individuals
  • Limited customizability in some templates

8. Adapt Learning - Best for creating responsive, multi-device learning

Adapt Learning's software dashboard
Here is a screenshot of Adapt Learning's software dashboard where users can preview, publish, and export any course.

Adapt Learning is an open-source eLearning authoring tool that specializes in creating responsive and adaptive eLearning content. Its focus is on delivering the same learning experience across all devices, which makes it the perfect tool for creating learning content intended for multiple devices.

Why I Picked Adapt Learning:

Adapt Learning made my list because of its unique approach to responsive design. Unlike many other tools that simply adjust content to fit different screens, Adapt Learning truly creates a learning experience that's optimized for any device.

This made it stand out in my comparisons. In my opinion, it's the best tool for creating responsive, multi-device learning, as it enables content to truly adapt to the learner's device for an optimal learning experience.

Standout Features & Integrations:

Adapt Learning's primary feature is its ability to create truly responsive and adaptive eLearning content that provides a consistent learning experience across multiple devices. It also has an extensive range of themes and plugins to tailor learning to specific needs. As for integrations, Adapt Learning is built to support SCORM, xAPI, and AICC, making it easy to integrate with various Learning Management Systems.


Adapt Learning is an open-source tool, so it's free to use. But remember, as with all open-source software, while there is no cost for the software itself, there may be costs associated with hosting, customization, or support.


  • Truly responsive and adaptive content for a consistent multi-device learning experience
  • Open-source with an active community for support and updates
  • Extensive range of themes and plugins for customization


  • May require technical knowledge to use and customize
  • Potential hidden costs with hosting, customization, or support
  • Might not be the best option for those looking for out-of-the-box solutions without customization needs

9. Lectora Inspire - Best for creating immersive learning experiences

Lectora Inspire's central dashboard
This is a screenshot of Lectora Inspire's central dashboard.

Lectora Inspire is a powerful eLearning authoring tool that excels in crafting immersive and interactive learning experiences. Its advanced features facilitate the creation of unique and captivating content, aligning it with the purpose of engaging learners deeply.

Why I Picked Lectora Inspire:

When selecting tools for immersive learning experiences, I found Lectora Inspire a standout. Its capabilities go beyond basic authoring, offering features that help in designing immersive, interactive, and scenario-based learning modules. I believe it is the best for crafting engaging and immersive eLearning content, as it is robust and feature-rich, allowing for deep learner engagement.

Standout Features & Integrations:

Lectora Inspire offers a variety of engaging elements such as branching scenarios, quizzes, interactive videos, and augmented reality experiences. These make it possible to create immersive and interactive content.

As for integrations, Lectora Inspire supports SCORM, AICC, and xAPI, and it can be integrated with many Learning Management Systems.


The pricing for Lectora Inspire starts at $99/user/month, which is its lowest monthly price (billed annually).


  • Robust features for creating immersive and interactive content
  • Supports creating augmented reality experiences
  • Good integrations with popular Learning Management Systems


  • Higher price point than some other tools
  • Might have a steeper learning curve for new users
  • Some features might be complex for basic eLearning needs

10. iSpring Suite 11 - Best for PowerPoint-based course authoring and LMS integration

iSpring Suite's software installed on a device
This is a screenshot of iSpring Suite's software installed on a device and users can build a video presentation format to reach millions of viewers online.

iSpring Suite 11 is a comprehensive eLearning development tool that integrates with PowerPoint. It allows for the creation of interactive and multimedia-rich courses, making it an ideal tool for those heavily relying on PowerPoint for course design and who require LMS integration.

Why I Picked iSpring Suite 11:

I chose iSpring Suite 11 for its exceptional PowerPoint integration and compatibility with various Learning Management Systems. This tool differentiates itself with its intuitive PowerPoint-based course authoring feature, which lets users convert presentations into eLearning courses swiftly.

Considering these factors, I am convinced it's best suited for PowerPoint-based course authoring and LMS integration.

Standout Features & Integrations:

iSpring Suite 11 supports the rapid creation of interactive courses, quizzes, dialog simulations, and video tutorials, all within the familiar PowerPoint environment. It also enables SCORM-compliant course creation for easy LMS integration.

When it comes to integrations, iSpring Suite 11 pairs well with popular LMS platforms like Moodle, Blackboard, and Canvas, thanks to its broad support for SCORM, AICC, xAPI, and cmi5 standards.


The pricing for iSpring Suite 11 starts from $67/user/month (billed annually).


  • PowerPoint integration for course authoring
  • Supports SCORM-compliant course creation for easy LMS integration
  • User-friendly interface that's easy to navigate


  • Might be limited for users not heavily relying on PowerPoint
  • Higher price point could be a barrier for small organizations
  • Advanced features may have a learning curve for beginners

11. Articulate 360 - Best for all-in-one eLearning course development

Content library of Articulate 360 learning design software
This is a screenshot of Articulate 360's content library.

Articulate 360 is an extensive eLearning tool that offers a variety of features for comprehensive course creation. It includes everything from an authoring tool to a library of course assets, making it the go-to solution for all-in-one eLearning course development.

Why I Picked Articulate 360:

I selected Articulate 360 for its breadth of features and capabilities that support all phases of course development. Its uniqueness lies in its suite of integrated apps and resources, providing an all-encompassing platform for course creation.

Given these reasons, I judge it as the best fit for those seeking an all-in-one solution for eLearning course development.

Standout Features & Integrations:

Articulate 360 offers several crucial features such as Storyline 360 for custom course creation, Rise 360 for web-responsive courses, and a vast asset library with millions of images, videos, and templates. The platform integrates well with LMSs, with support for SCORM, AICC, and xAPI, enabling smooth deployment of courses.


Pricing for Articulate 360 starts from $59.99/user/month (billed annually).


  • Comprehensive tool suite for full-course development
  • Extensive asset library with customizable templates
  • Integration with most LMS platforms


  • Might be overwhelming for users seeking simple solutions
  • Cost could be a barrier for individuals or smaller organizations
  • Relatively steep learning curve for utilizing the full feature set

12. Adobe Captivate - Best for creating interactive eLearning content

Recording window of Adobe Captivate learning design software
This is a view of Adobe Captivate's recording window.

Adobe Captivate is a powerful eLearning authoring tool known for its ability to create dynamic, interactive eLearning content. It allows developers to craft unique, engaging digital learning experiences, fitting perfectly with its reputation as the ideal tool for interactive eLearning content creation.

Why I Picked Adobe Captivate:

I chose Adobe Captivate for its robust capabilities in creating highly interactive eLearning content. It offers a level of interactivity that many other tools lack, allowing course designers to engage learners more effectively. This high degree of customization and interaction is why I determined Adobe Captivate to be the best tool for interactive eLearning content creation.

Standout Features & Integrations:

Adobe Captivate features include responsive course design, converting PowerPoint to eLearning, and advanced quizzing scenarios. It integrates with Adobe Creative Cloud, which offers additional resources for content creation, as well as with major Learning Management Systems (LMS) for content delivery.


The starting price for Adobe Captivate is $33.99/user/month (billed annually).


  • Advanced interactive content creation capabilities
  • Integration with Adobe Creative Cloud and various LMS platforms
  • Features for converting PowerPoint presentations to eLearning courses


  • The software can be complex for beginners
  • The pricing may be high for individuals or small organizations
  • The complexity of the tool may lead to a steeper learning curve

Other Notable Learning Design Software

Below is a list of additional learning design software that I shortlisted, but did not make it to the top 12.

  1. Vyond - Good for creating animated videos for eLearning
  2. Easygenerator - Good for beginners needing a user-friendly course authoring tool
  3. Gomo Learning - Good for designing responsive and adaptive HTML5 eLearning content
  4. EdApp - Good for microlearning and mobile-first eLearning content creation
  5. Whatfix - Good for creating interactive walkthroughs and onboarding materials
  6. Evolve - Good for developing responsive eLearning content with a sleek design
  7. LearnDash - Good for integrating eLearning functionality into WordPress sites
  8. Moodle - Good for open-source LMS needs and customization
  9. XMind - Good for creating mind maps and brainstorming eLearning content
  10. TalentLMS - Good for blended learning and a scalable LMS solution
  11. Raptivity - Good for interactive content with customizable templates

Selection Criteria For Picking the Best Learning Design Software

I've evaluated dozens of eLearning tools with a specific focus on functionality, features, and usability for course creation, course delivery, and learner engagement. The following criteria were instrumental in my decision-making process:

Core Functionality

  • Course Creation: The tool should enable you to design, author, and publish engaging online courses.
  • Course Delivery: The tool should facilitate the easy distribution of courses to learners, ideally through multiple formats.
  • Learner Engagement: The tool should offer features to keep learners engaged, such as quizzes, interactive content, and social learning options.

Key Features

  • Integration: The tool should easily integrate with other platforms, such as learning management systems (LMS), HR systems, or websites.
  • Reporting: The tool should offer robust reporting features to track learner progress and course effectiveness.
  • Mobile Learning: The tool should support mobile learning for access to courses on the go.
  • Customization: The tool should allow for customization of course layout, design, and content to align with your brand and specific learning objectives.


  • User Interface: The tool should offer a clean, intuitive interface that makes course creation and management straightforward. For eLearning tools, features such as drag-and-drop course builders, easy-to-use design templates, and interactive content editors are crucial.
  • Customer Support: A tool should provide prompt, helpful customer support to address technical issues or queries. This can come in the form of live chat, email support, phone support, or an extensive online knowledge base.
  • Onboarding: For more complex eLearning tools, an effective onboarding program or resource library is important to get users up and running quickly. Clear tutorials, how-to guides, or training webinars can significantly enhance the user experience.

Most Common Questions Regarding Learning Design Software

What are the benefits of using learning design software?

Learning design software provides several benefits including:

  1. Efficiency: They streamline the process of course creation and delivery, saving you time and effort.
  2. Engagement: With features such as quizzes, interactive content, and multimedia support, they enhance learner engagement and retention.
  3. Flexibility: These tools often support mobile learning, enabling learners to access courses anytime, anywhere.
  4. Integration: Many learning design tools easily integrate with LMS, HR systems, or websites, creating a learning ecosystem.
  5. Insights: Robust reporting features offer insights into learner progress and course effectiveness, informing future course development strategies.

How much do learning design software tools typically cost?

The pricing for learning design software varies significantly based on the specific features, the number of users, and the level of customer support provided. They usually employ a subscription-based pricing model charged either monthly or annually.

What are the typical pricing models for learning design software?

Most learning design software tools follow a subscription-based pricing model. Some offer tiered pricing, where different levels of functionality and features are available at different price points. Others may charge per user or per course, or provide unlimited access for a flat fee.

What is the typical range of pricing for learning design software?

The pricing for learning design software can range from around $20 per month for basic tools to several hundreds of dollars per month for more comprehensive, enterprise-level solutions.

What are the cheapest and most expensive learning design software?

The least expensive learning design software typically starts from around $20 per month for basic functionality. On the high end, comprehensive solutions with advanced features can cost several hundreds of dollars per month. For instance, Adobe Captivate starts at $33.99 per user per month, while Articulate 360 starts at $999 per user per year (around $83 per user per month).

Are there any free learning design software options?

Yes, there are free options available, like Moodle, which is an open-source learning management system. However, keep in mind that while the software itself may be free, there may be costs associated with hosting, customization, and support. Also, free versions of paid software often come with limitations on features or the number of users or courses.

Other Design Software Reviews


To conclude, the selection of learning design software is a crucial aspect of creating engaging and efficient eLearning courses. The tool you choose should not only be able to deliver your content effectively but also provide additional features such as integration with other systems, user-friendly design, and insightful reporting.

Key Takeaways

  1. Define Your Needs: The 'best' learning design software is subjective and depends largely on your specific needs and context. Define the core functionality you require, your budget, and your desired level of support before beginning your search.
  2. Consider Usability and Support: Even the most feature-rich software can fall short if it's not user-friendly or lacks adequate customer support. Consider the learning curve and the level of support provided by the software vendor.
  3. Evaluate Key Features: Consider the unique selling proposition of each tool. Some excel in interactivity, some in integration, and others in user experience. Identify the features that align best with your eLearning objectives.

By keeping these factors in mind, you'll be well-equipped to choose the learning design software that best fits your needs.

What Do You Think?

While I've strived to provide a comprehensive list of the best learning design software currently available, the landscape of eLearning tools is vast and constantly evolving. So, if there's a tool that you believe deserves a spot on this list, please don't hesitate to share your suggestions. Your input will not only enhance the quality of this resource but also help others in their search for the right learning design software. I look forward to hearing your recommendations.

By Hannah Clark

Hannah Clark is the Editor of The Product Manager. Following six years of experience in the tech industry, she pivoted into the content space where she's had the pleasure of working with some of the most brilliant voices in the product world. Driven by insatiable curiosity and a love of bringing people together, her mission is to foster a fun, vibrant, and inspiring community of product people.

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