Continuing February’s eLearning Blog theme the creative team at VMP eLearning decided to put together a list of graphic design tips. Of course, content is important, but with a carefully planned structure, e-learning courses offer real value to your audience. We love graphic design and producing videos that look awesome – who doesn’t want a video or eLearning program to be visually entertaining? Bad people, that’s who, so come to the good side, have a look at our hints and tricks, comment and add your own!
Tip Number 1: Focal Points
Focal points are helpful in drawing attention to the most important information of your e-learning programs and making the subject matter easy for the learner to decipher. Have a clear idea of which elements should be prominent when communicating with your graphic designer or creating your storyboards. Emphasise your point with colour, size and creativity.
Fun Fact: Keep the important stuff on the left and pictures on the right. Many westerners learn at an early age to read left to right, their brain will process the text quickly and the images will help it absorb the key message.
Tip Number 2: Non-Focal Points
We’ve already decided what to make stand out, but make sure what you have around your focal point is still relevant. Consistency is important for things like colour themes and fonts. Don’t go crazy with each new section; choose images and graphics that are on-topic, not just aesthetically pleasing. Harmony, not chaos is the key. Having only a few graphic design elements is okay. Actually, it’s more than okay. Don’t crowd your sections, clutter will switch your learners off, keep it simple and cohesive.
Tip number 3: Fonts and Text
We’ve all seen how flipped out certain co-workers can be when you use comic sans in emails or signs, the same goes when designing e-learning programs; unless your audience consists of primary school kids, stay away from comic sans! Your font should convey the overall tone of the course and needs to be legible. We’re not telling you to think inside the box and restrict your creativity. We’re asking you to consider if the font is readable or if people will cry when they see the font type that they have to deal with for an entire eLearning course. On the topic of people crying, do not commit the cardinal sin of throwing massive blocks of text at your learners. Keep it simple, and we can all get through this without needing therapy and a hug.
Tip number 4: Patterns and Contrast
Like we mentioned before, patterns are nice, they create order and establish themes and concepts within e-learning modules. Colour themes help learners identify their subject and things like italics can help guide learners to recognise important keywords and terms. In contrast to patterns, is contrast (haha, see what I did there?). Developing contrast helps learners stay focused and interested in your course, as well as, being aesthetically appealing. Going back to point number one, contrast can help create a focal point that you want to highlight for that particular segment.
Tip number 5: Navigate Carefully, Captain!
This is a basic, basic rule and one of the most important for Elearning course development and graphical content. Keep your navigation simple and streamlined. Make sure the purpose of your navigation symbols and keys are obvious. Your learners should be able to navigate the course without any frustration. Mess this up, and your learner will be confused and unlikely to take the information in, effectively. This goes for any hidden information, links and videos as well. Your course should be a well-oiled machine, don’t let graphical choices get in the way of productivity.
Fun fact: The one occasion where this rule is reversed is Easter eggs. Everyone loves Easter eggs, but don’t make them too simple for your learners, the fun comes with the challenge.
So there you have it, a few graphical tips for eLearning course design. Keep these tips in mind when designing eLearning courses or presentations to help boost knowledge absorption and keep your learners engaged. Remember, harmony and organisation should never be sacrificed for creativity, but never stop yourself from taking your eLearning to the next level.
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Creating digital courses that deliver the required content but not meeting the learners’ needs is a common mistake in designing and developing e-learning materials. Creating a powerful e-learning course that achieves your desired outcomes takes a lot more than engaging, interactive content. [Read the full blog article]