So you want to develop an eLearning course huh? But you are not a graphic designer, and need some tips on eLearning Design to get you started? Let me introduce to you a three-part series on eLearning Design tips for the non-designer that may be of some help. Sound good? Okay, first let’s start learning about elements for creating good slides.
5 Elements for Creating Good Slides
1. Create Ideas, Not Slides
When given a storyboard, think of the most appropriate way of presenting the idea found in that slide and make sure it doesn’t get lost in the design. Simple is always better than overcrowding. If you find yourself looking at a page full of text, ask yourself, “Is there another way of displaying this information? Could I use a click and reveal to break up the content on the screen?” These are effective questions to be asking.
2. Use Minimal Design
Allow white space between the header and body text, and from images from text, or other images. It’s okay to have areas of empty space. Not every inch needs to be covered with information.
3. Know Your Audience
Do you know your audience? Different audiences will have different needs and different treatments. However, within each series of courses, there should be some consistent elements and treatments. So, know your audience.
4. Design with eLearning Templates
I have this on my list because eLearning Templates are a great way of controlling styles and design. They also help to save time and give you a starting point of design. I frequently use our Template Library to create courses. It’s great because all the graphic treatment is provided. The functionality and actions are pre-built which require less re-creation of the wheel. Of course, you have to change elements or colors to match your needs, but it’s a great way to get a head start on a project.
5. Use Available Resources
When in doubt with design, try consulting with a fellow designer. If a trusted designer isn’t available, do a little research into your company or your client’s visual branding. That research alone can go a long way.
Is Breaking eLearning Design Rules Okay?
I get this question from new designers. And yes, there are exceptions to eLearning design. Use your discernment when appropriate. The exception should never become the rule. For example, light text on a dark background is not great for the readability of a paragraph. However, it can be a good strategy for words or short headers.
When breaking any rule, make sure you determine if it is going to hurt the learner’s experience or not. That should help you decide when you’re in doubt.
Read eLearning Design Tips for the Non-Designer (Part 2) and eLearning Design Tips for the Non-Designer (Part 3). What are some best practices you have used? What else makes an eLearning design awesome? Please, comment and share your thoughts.