Tapping into the Subconscious: How To Design eLearning Based On Persuasive Learning
The use of persuasive design is widely used in a variety of industries. Marketing experts will use it to get customers click the “buy” button. Copywriters will use it to create an emotional connection with their readers. Web designers rely upon it to attract visitors and keep them coming back. However, one of the most powerful applications of persuasive design is within the world of eLearning, because it gives learners the opportunity to acquire new skills and knowledge and to enhance knowledge retention.
The Science Behind Persuasive Learning
The secret to the success of persuasive learning is that our hearts often rule our heads and consequently, our emotions often have a direct impact upon our decisions. In many respects, our subconscious mind governs a vast majority of our actions and thought processes, and this is why persuasive learning is so powerful and has the ability to make eLearning experiences more effective. It taps into our subconscious and influences us to be curious about a particular subject or analyze a specific problem.
It's important to remember that our brains are always carrying out a precarious balancing act. Not only must logic be taken into account, but also our emotions. However, what we feel tends to trump what we think. For example, when learners are engaging in eLearning experiences, their emotions are what will motivate and inspire them to become active participants, and then their logic will follow along. In short, we make choices based upon our emotions, and then support those choices with logic and practical thought processes.
5 Tips of Persuasive eLearning Design
- Use stories and scenarios to create an emotional connection.
If you create stories that a learner associates with a particular emotion, you are automatically creating a sense of immersion and interactivity. The same goes for emotionally centered eLearning scenarios. Make them connect with a character or see the consequences of their actions after making a decision. If at all possible, use examples that they can relate to or empathize with. Just remember that, while these stories and eLearning scenarios should be emotionally compelling first and foremost, they should also be relevant to the subject matter. Otherwise, they won't offer any real value.
- Integrate compelling imagery.
Every learner can be persuaded by compelling imagery. This is because visuals often have more of an impact upon our brains than text. When we see an image that is striking or thought provoking, this can almost immediately affect our decisions and thought processes. Consider this: if you were a learner who had just begun an eLearning course, wouldn't the image of a successful business professional in your industry motivate you to learn? Regardless of whether you were inspired by the image, or even envious of the success that the person in the image had, you would feel an emotional connection to the image. This would persuade you to want to know more and to acquire the information, so that you could enjoy the same benefits as the person in the photo. In addition to images, you may want to consider using a wide range of multimedia elements to increase immersion and appeal to all senses. For instance, you can integrate video and audio components that create a more interactive and engaging eLearning environment.
- Choose your colors and fonts wisely.
While the images and the content tend to steal the show in eLearning courses, it's often the details that make all the difference. Even the fonts and the colors you choose can have a direct impact upon your learner's subconscious. For example, you can choose blue if you want to calm your audience before a big exam, or you can use red to excite and motivate them. The same can be said for the font usage. If you choose a custom font that is creative and elegant, this will stir different emotions than a font that is simple and modern. So, pay close attention to the fonts and the colors that you will choose, as they can have the ability to not only create visual appeal, but to also build an emotional connection.
- Keep the design simple and clutter-free to draw the learner's focus.
Don't be afraid of white space on the screen. Only include what's relevant and avoid using too many images or graphics on any one page. Cluttered design creates a sense of confusion and chaos, which can make the learners immediately disengage from the eLearning experience. It also draws their focus away from the core content that they actually need to absorb. As such, if you're trying to integrate persuasive learning principles into your eLearning course design, keep things simple and straightforward so that the learners devote their attention to what truly matters. Otherwise, your efforts will be in vain, given that the learners won't be able to focus on the emotionally compelling elements you've integrated into your eLearning course.
- Keep text concise and powerful.
The final tip for designing persuasive eLearning courses that I have for you is to keep your text blocks short and simple. Avoid verbose or lengthy paragraphs, as these will only overwhelm or confuse the learners. Use bullet points and headlines to draw their attention and make your text powerful and meaningful. Choose words that incite emotion within the learners and compel them to learn. Ask thought provoking questions. Remember that words have the ability to inspire, engage, and immerse your learners, while poorly crafted text can do the exact opposite.
Persuasive learning can give you the ability to create inspiring, motivational, and effective eLearning courses or online training events for your target audience. By using these tips and techniques you'll have the opportunity to make every eLearning experience worthwhile and emotionally engaging.
Are you interested in exploring the human brain? In the article 6 Scientifically Proven Brain Facts That eLearning Professionals Should Know you will find the 6 scientifically brain facts that you need to take into consideration before creating your next eLearning course.
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