While we all know that you should never judge a book by its cover, we also know that it takes a lot more effort to actually start reading a boring looking book. When it comes to eLearning, you definitely want to avoid this feeling for your learners! You want them to think immediately “Wow – this looks great. I really want to take this course” – no matter how dry the topic may seem. You also want that thought to continue throughout the whole course. This means that the design needs to be applied wisely, not only for the overall look and feel, but also to support learning processes to enhance the whole experience and learning outcomes. Continue reading to learn about the dos and don’ts of eLearning design and how to avoid common mistakes.
Shapes and Colours
Perhaps the most obvious yet commonly overlooked design aspect of eLearning courses, is the shapes and colours you include. Using too many shapes or too many colours, or not aligning objects or text in a sensible way, can cause a cognitive overload for learners. This can result in frustration and will lower information retention – which is the opposite of what we want to achieve! A professionally and well-designed course on the other hand, that works with the right colour and contrast, makes the right use of white space and distributes the visual weight equally; provides ideal support to the absorption and retention of content. This gives learners a great chance of performing to their highest ability when it comes to assessments and the application of learned skills. (Also read: eLearning Design: Getting the Most from Custom Courses)
Consistent with Brand Values
Another important element to consider when designing slides for online learning, is to ensure that they are consistent with your brand values and corporate style guide. If font, colours, logos or the graphic style are poor quality or inconsistent over the course of different modules, it will look unprofessional and ultimately not represent your business properly. This can easily disengage your employees, up to the point that they don’t take the training or your business seriously. (Also read: E-Learning for Employee Development and Satisfaction)
Collaboration with eLearning Providers
So how do you avoid these unprofessional designs? Work with an eLearning provider of course! (Can you guess who?) While professional graphic design is crucial for the success of your online course, it is not something that happens overnight, so a collaborative process between the client and eLearning provider is necessary. This collaboration establishes the best practice to make sure the end product will speak to the target group in the right way, by representing your business and work culture correctly.
So, make sure you work with a professional graphic designer who has experience in instructional design when developing your online course. If you need some guidance or would like to talk to one of our design professionals, VMP eLearning is happy to chat– just contact us today!