Tips For Visual Design In eLearning
No doubt, eLearning professionals spend countless hours choosing the right content for their eLearning courses. They also do their best to ensure that the navigability is smooth and seamless. However, there is one essential element of the eLearning course development that is usually overlooked and this in no other than the visual design.
This isn't to say that eLearning professionals don't pay attention to the aesthetic appeal of their eLearning courses. However, it is often low-ranking on the to-do's list, which means that little time is devoted to this crucial aspect of eLearning course design. Creating an eLearning course with stunning visual design doesn't have to be time consuming or stressful though. In fact, there are a few simple and straightforward tricks that can help you take the visual design of your eLearning course to the next level.
- White space is nothing to fear.
Clutter will only create confusion and chaos. That is what all eLearning professionals need to bear in mind when they think about the visual design of their eLearning courses. While you may think that crowding the pages with text, images and graphics will help you to create an effective visual design for your eLearning course, doing so can actually take away from its overall value. This is why white space should not be feared. Content that is not relevant, should be left out. If it doesn't help the learners to achieve their goals or objectives, then forgo adding it to the page. This white space also applies to text pages. Keep text short and sweet, so that your learners can effectively acquire the information without being overloaded by an abundance of concepts or ideas simultaneously. Use bullet points to break up text blocks or highlight key takeaways by bolding them. Emphasize a thought provoking quote or question by placing it all alone on a screen.
- Pay attention to colors and fonts.
Colors and fonts may seem like small details that don't rank very high on the list of your priorities during the development of your eLearning course. However, these small and seemingly insignificant details make a world of difference. Both font and color choice can stir certain emotions within your learners. As such, they are all-important part of your visual design strategy. For example, if you want to boost your learners’ creativity before an important group assignment, then you can use orange which is considered to be the color of optimism, communication, and mental stimulation. Likewise, if you use red, you can capture their attention and lend a sense of urgency. This makes red ideal for highlighting key concepts that must be learned immediately, or offering a word of caution to your learners. The same rule applies to fonts. More elegant fonts can convey a feeling of sophistication and relaxation, while modern fonts might reflect a sense of professionalism.
- Opt for images that are not only relevant, but compelling too.
There is a lot of thought and consideration that must go into the image selection process when you're designing your eLearning course. Is it on the topic? Does it reflect the brand image? Will it help to bring the learners one step closer to achieving their learning objectives? However, while relevancy is key, the image you choose should also be emotionally compelling for learners. It should make them feel connected to the subject matter and motivate them to learn more about the topic. Photos and graphics should be thought provoking and engaging, as imagery can be far more powerful than the written text. It's also important to mention that you can use avatars when trying to enhance the visual design and increase knowledge absorption. This will help guide the learners through the eLearning course and make the subject more relatable.
- Never underestimate the importance of visual hierarchy.
What appears first on the page will be viewed as the most important in the mind of the learners. As such, key concepts and ideas, questions that you want to highlight, and any other essential information should be placed at the top of the screen and should also be made to stand out from the rest of the content or imagery. Place borders around it or use a custom font to differentiate it from the other pieces of information. Also, remember that the learners will be reading from left to right, so anything on the left hand side of the screen will be perceived as being a top priority when your learners are absorbing the information. This doesn't mean that all of the content should be placed on the upper light of the screen, of course, as you'll want to create balance on the page. If you have key bits of data that they need to acquire, then place it on the left and balance it out with a relevant, compelling image on the right, for example.
- The visual design is meant to guide the learners’ focus, not distract them.
Above all else, you'll need to remember that the visual design of your eLearning course shouldn't be the star of the show. It shouldn't distract the learners from what is truly important, which is the subject matter itself. In many respects, the visual design should not be noticed at all, in fact. It should stir emotions within the learners and make them feel immersed in the overall eLearning experience, but it must achieve all of these things from behind the scenes. Make sure that every visual design element you include flows seamlessly together and accurately reflects the overall theme and feel of the eLearning course.
Use these visual design tips to make your eLearning course stand out from the crowd and be memorable to your learners. Remember that an eLearning course is a successful one, only if learners will be able to retain the knowledge they've learned and put it to good use outside of the virtual classroom.
Looking for graphic design tips? In the article Top Graphic Design Tips for eLearning Success you will find 10 graphic design tips that each and every eLearning professional should be familiar with.
Visual design is one way to direct your learners’ attention. In the article Direct Learners’ Attention: 5 Tips For eLearning Professionals you will find additional helpful tips that you can use to direct your learners’ attention, so that you are able to design eLearning deliverables that offer a meaningful and memorable eLearning experience for your audience.