In the world of eLearning design, you have a few options when it comes to development. You could save time by doing the simple thing or you could go the extra mile and do the complex design. In this blog post, I am going to go over the difference between simple and complex design so that you and your eLearning team understand the distinction.

Simple eLearning Design

What does simple design mean? Simple design, sometimes referred to as flat design, has little or no shading and could contain 5-50 lines and/or shapes. It utilizes the least amount of shapes and shading to allow the images to show in a clear way. This doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll spend less time designing. Although, depending on the number of design elements you need to make this could save you time and file size. Keep in mind, simple design has less detail. If a viewer misses the message right off the bat, they will get lost in the design. One thing to include is minimal usage of shapes and lines will be more efficient. In review, here is what you get with simple design:

  • Minimal shapes to design
  • May save time
  • Includes little detail
  • Small File Size
  • Beware of learners missing the message

Complex eLearning Design

Complex designs can be multi-layered graphics and/or images that include shading, gradients, overlays, textures and contain 50+ lines and/or shapes. Some complex designs can be mistaken as images because of their attention to detail. This type of design often takes hours or days to complete and when saved their files are enormous. The benefit with a larger file size is to provide your learners with more detail, which in turn may result in your message getting across more efficiently. In review, here is what you get with complex design:

  • Elaborate muli-layered graphics or images
  • Realistic design
  • Rich in detail
  • Large File Size
  • Time intensive

So whether you’re looking to have simple or complex eLearning design, both techniques send a unique message. It’s up to you to decide which design is best for your audience.


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