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? Here is the second post of my three-part series on eLearning Design tips for the non-designer. Click here to read my first post on eLearning Design Tips for the Non-Designer (Part 1).
This post will discuss eLearning typography treatment tips.
4 Typography Treatment Tips for eLearning Design
Typography allows users to discern what information is important and how to navigate the project easier. Typography communicates so much without the learner being consciously aware of it.
1. Five-headed Coach to Lead Washington school
You all have read headlines that were unintentionally funny, like the one above. It was published in The (Tacoma) News Tribune on June 10th to help readers to pay attention. The main take away here is to avoid grammar follies, spelling errors, bad punctuation, or awkward sentences. Hopefully by the time the content gets to you, these errors are eliminated. Like it or not, you’re the last line of defense. If you see an error fix it, or ask a SME for clarification.
2. Font Size REALLY Does Matter
Sometimes the text in eLearning is too small or too large. Keep in mind the size of your fonts. Headers should be between 16-20 font sizes. Rarely does it need to be bigger. Use discernment when it is needed. Likewise, body text should be between 9 and 16 font sizes. Never above 16, except on rare occasions.
The width of the paragraph will determine the size of the acceptable font. The longer the paragraph length is the larger you can go. But, if you find that after less than 5-7 words there are line breaks, consider lengthening the paragraph, or shrinking the font.
3. Use Conceptual Callouts
Callouts help the visual appeal. Varying type size helps differentiate content. But colors, boxes, quotes, etc. can also help. Use these consistently throughout your project to send clear callouts and easy to digest messages. It helps the learner know what is important and what is not, so they can pick out the important stuff faster.
But callouts are not the story. They are supplemental to the image or content. Avoid over designing these. If each callout is calling for attention they have too much visual contrast and should be simplified to reduce noise.
4. Make Treatment Easy and Consistent for Your Learners
The typographic treatment should help readers scan the text and know what is important as fast as possible. You should aim for an easy experience. Learners should not have to keep guessing on how the typographic treatment works. They should understand in a short amount of time the way typography is used on your project. So, try to be consistent.
Read the last blog post in the series, eLearning Design Tips for the Non-Designer (Part 3). Anything I missed in this post? Share your comments on eLearning Design tips in the comments section below.