For the past few years, you could hear questions like “what is Lynda.com?” or “is Lynda worth it?” thrown around on online forums that deal with online learning. The platform in question has become increasingly more popular with time, and has piqued the curiosity of students from all around the world.
Today, we are going to look at some Lynda.com reviews (I’ll also provide some Lynda reviews of my own, too) - doing so should help you answer the above-mentioned questions, and figure out whether or not you’d like to use the platform.
As per usual, we’re going to begin by talking about the company behind the platform - its goals, resolutions, and so on. Once we start analyzing the actual Lynda.com reviews, we’re going to cover topics such as pricing, notable features, recent changes, etc.
- Easy to use
- Cheap prices
- Fun and inviting interface
- Desktop app for offline learning
- Some courses are outdated
- Course pages could do with an overhaul
- Some courses are dragged out
Table of Contents
Lynda.com Reviews - Introduction
To start off analyzing the Lynda.com reviews, we should take a look at the creator of the platform - Lynda Weinman. This American author and computer instructor founded lynda.com together with her husband in 1995.
The concept behind the company was (and still is) pretty simple - it’s an online course-providing platform that hosts courses of multiple different topics for people from all around the world to purchase and study. You will find that multiple Lynda.com reviews call the site a “MOOC provider”. MOOC stands for Multiple Open Online Courses - so, in fact, this is a correct term to use when talking about what is Lynda.com.
Currently, the platform host more than 4000 different courses that cover multiple different topics - everything from software development all the way up to photography. The platform offers multiple different features, and even provides a month of free access to anyone interested in joining. All of this will be covered later on in these Lynda reviews.
So - now you have some basic information about what is Lynda.com, and who are the people behind the site. One thing is evident straight from the get-go - as I’ve mentioned earlier, the platform was conceived all the way back in 1995. The fact that it is still running (successfully, might I add!) to this day - 25 years later - should probably say a lot about the company’s business model and practices!
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Ease of Use
The very first point of Lynda.com reviews that we’ll cover is the ease of use of the website.
Often when people ask “is Lynda worth it?”, they don’t really pay all that much attention to the details and just want to know the big factors - pricing, content variety, customer support, etc. However, things like “how easy it is to use the site” and “how it looks, in general” are small parts that make up the bigger picture.
Most people that write Lynda.com reviews wouldn’t have even stayed on the site if it was hard to use or navigate, let alone buy a course and write a review about it. My point is that, although things like Lynda pricing and content quality are important, one shouldn’t forget the smaller details, either.
In this section, I’d like to cover two main parts of Lynda.com - how easy it is to find your way through the website, and… how it looks. Now, you might think - what does a website’s appearance have to do with its usage? Simple - you are not going to use a site that looks hideous, are you?
You might say - of course I am, if the site has good content! Well, to that I might answer - you won’t go far enough into the website to find out whether the content is good or not if it looks hideous! I hope that now you understand my motivation for analyzing the website’s design, too.
With all of that said, let’s begin these Lynda reviews by taking a look at the homepage of the website.
Once you enter the main homepage of Lynda.com, you’ll immediately notice some of the main course categories and subjects that you can preview. The company's very first call to action is a yellow button that invites the user to “start your free month”.
Scrolling down, you’ll encounter some of the usual sections that you could expect from an e-learning platform - top courses, learning paths, reviews, self-promotion, partner lists, etc. It’s all pretty standard stuff, but I have to say - I really like the way that it looks on this platform.
Lynda’s homepage has a black and white theme embedded in its design, and I think it suits their overall company voice pretty well. Each section is quite simplistic, but not enough to be called “generic”. Overall, it’s definitely one of the more appealing front pages I’ve seen in a while.
From here, you can choose to either pick a subject from the list, browse the categories or the learning paths (software and web development, design, etc.), or pick something from the drop-down menu. For the sake of this Lynda review, I chose to go with the Audio and Music category, jumping into the Audio Mixing Masterclass.
The course page itself was a bit… Underwhelming. Don’t get me wrong, it has all of the information that you would expect from a course page. Overviews, descriptions, instructor notes, lecture lists - everything’s in place. The underwhelming part comes in when you take a look at the way that everything is displayed on the page.
The course page is very short and to-the-point, which I would usually consider a good thing. That being said, however, it feels somewhat cold and empty. It’s not something that I would feel like clicking and ordering, especially when compared with some other MOOC providers out there.
Having said that, I admit that I might be knit-picking. Everything else seems to be fine and dandy - the platform works great, it’s easy to navigate, the design choices are mostly nice and appealing. So far, so good, Lynda!
No matter how good a site looks, or what amazing features it offers - if the content is bad, no one’s going to (re)visit it. This is why most successful online course providers focus on their content to keep it up-to-par and in-line with their user base. Those who choose to ignore their students and focus solemnly on the marketing aspect of their business, well… Let’s just say that these sites don’t tend to last all that long.
In general, a lot of Lynda.com reviews are dissatisfied with the quality of the content on the platform. These issues stem from a couple of different things.
First of all, some Lynda.com reviews claim that the content on the site is very outdated. Students say that a lot of topics and information provided within the courses themselves simply isn’t relevant anymore. This mostly applies to tech-related courses and lectures - since the tech industry is advancing and updating every single day, it surely is hard to keep up.
This doesn’t justify Lynda.com, though - if you’re charging money for courses, you should make sure the information will be useful to the people who decide to learn it.
Another issue that a lot of Lynda.com reviews seem to exclaim is that some courses are way too slow. This critique is mainly aimed at instructors who tend to explain a very basic and simple topic for more than ten minutes. Naturally, this isn’t Lynda’s fault - however, the company could have stricter course guidelines in place so as to prevent similar situations from happening.
These are a couple of the main points that the majority of Lynda.com reviews claim to be the main problems with the content. It is worth mentioning that, even though there are obvious issues with the quality of some of the content on the site, there are still a lot of students that are happy and satisfied with what they’ve learned.
Unique and original features aren't really something that an e-learning platform HAS to possess, but it would definitely be a plus if it did. As a MOOC provider, you could just set up a course page and be done with it. However, if you’d want to increase the traffic (and, in turn, the revenue) that your site generates, you are surely going to have to introduce some unique aspects that would make it stand out of the crowd.
Not a lot of Lynda.com reviews mention this, but the platform actually does possess an interesting, albeit not all that unique of a feature. This feature is called learning paths.
A learning path is a set of courses that are gathered and placed into one, specific “umbrella” course. For example, if you were to look for a learning path that deals with writing, you might find one that is taught by three different instructors, all covering separate themes and topics. Some of those courses might be unique to the learning path, others - simply gathered and placed together to create the path.
Learning paths usually take up long periods of time to successfully learn and finish. However, they are also seen as the “tougher” alternatives to individual courses - if you study a learning path, it’s almost the same as you would be studying a subject for your college credits.
Lynda offers multiple different learning paths to its users. As I’ve mentioned earlier, this feature isn’t unique or exclusive to the platform - many MOOC providers offer this option, although it might be named and displayed in a different manner. That being said, it’s still a nice feature to have!
Another feature that’s definitely worth mentioning is that Lynda also offers students the ability to learn offline. All that you’ll require is a desktop app. Honestly, I’ve come across very few Lynda.com reviews that would have issues with the desktop version of the platform - most of the students seem happy that this option is available!
The pricing plans of a learning platform can easily be something that “makes it or breaks it” when it comes to having a constant customer base. Naturally, the price of courses is also the most common issue that students have - it’s difficult to get it right! Let’s take a look at what Lynda.com reviews have to say about this aspect.
Lynda pricing is actually really straightforward. It’s a subscription-based plan that consists of two options - a basic and a premium one. The basic option costs $25 per month and unlocks all of the courses on the website.
The premium version costs $37,50 and should be seen as an upgrade to the basic option - it offers all of the benefits of the basic plan, but also includes extra course material and some files to learn and study from.
Honestly, the majority of Lynda.com reviews are happy with the Lynda pricing plans. And rightfully so - most MOOC providers would charge much more than that!
Lynda's pricing plans have changed since the platform merged with LinkedIn Learning. The current pricing options can be seen in the screenshot above.
Now that we’ve covered everything from features all the way up to Lynda pricing, there’s one final thing to consider before deciding is Lynda worth it. All of the above-described and talked-about aspects come together to form the learning experience of an online course-providing platform. And what do user Lynda.com reviews say about the learning experience on the site?
There are actually a lot of mixed feelings when it comes to whether or not people have pleasant experiences with Lynda. Although the majority of students claim that the site definitely helped them learn something new for a very affordable price, there are also people who are dissatisfied with the quality of what they’ve learned.
This shouldn’t be a surprise, however - we’ve covered the main known issues with Lynda’s content earlier on in the review.
- Well-established in the industry
- A wide range of features to choose from
- University-level courses
- University-level courses
- Suitable for enterprises
- Paid Certificates of completion
- Simplistic design (no unnecessary information)
- Good quality of courses (even the free ones)
- A few different features to choose from
- Nanodegree Program
- Suitable for enterprises
- Paid Certificates of completion
I hope that the Lynda.com reviews provided in this article were helpful to you and that you are now better informed about the platform, in general.
If you've decided that you're not too big of a fan of Lynda, and would instead like to choose a different online learning platform, Coursera and edX are two of the top options to choose from. Make sure to check them out!