Hitting the Mark with E-Learning Design

Being able to create your own e-learning module can make you feel invincible! You’re creating something with your own two hands and it’s a great feeling! But, sometimes your audience gets lost in the design that you created. They don’t understand your logic because you don’t make it explicitly obvious. Let’s talk about 5 helpful tips that will help you, as the designer, convey the message without information being lost in the process and helping your audience enjoy whatever it is that you’ve made!

Be Consistent

When you’re designing e-learning module for an audience make sure you’re consistent with your design. Always use the same color palette and keep your typefaces to a minimum. Too many colors or typefaces will distract your audience from the overall goal–your content!

Simplicity is Key

Along those same lines, be simple in your design. Anyone will get caught up in your design and leave the page if they cannot find what they were originally looking for. Make sure that your backgrounds are simple and your content doesn’t get lost in the design. Use contrast to your advantage. Direct them to the content with a pop of color, not the entire page covered in color! Your job as the designer is to help your audience. Give them information in an easy and simple way. Don’t go overboard.

Navigation–Don’t Lose Your Audience Over Poor Directions!

It’s so simple to overlook something like navigation. You know where everything is located on your module because you’re familiar with it. Keep in mind first time users aren’t. They should be able to find your navigation bar easily and in the same place every time. That way they don’t get frustrated with your module and leave promptly. You want to keep them there, looking at what you have to offer.

Make Sure You Test Every Page

I see this mistake all the time. Designers will create an e-learning module and follow all the rules: design the navigation bar, keep it consistent, and it’s a solid looking module. Then, to my dismay, I start navigating through the module and find a broken button! It loses credibility ten-fold when I stumble across something broken. The designer took the time to create a wonderful module but didn’t spend enough time in the user’s perspective. They didn’t navigate through the forms or side bar buttons. Whatever is in your module; test it! Make sure that what you are presenting represents your company and yourself and remains credible. Along with that, go through your module often to test things. Maybe you needed to update something, once that update is done, go back and test it!

Understand Your Audience Isn’t You

This is the most important tip I can give you. You are a wonderful designer and have created something beautiful and it makes perfect sense in your head. But, your user isn’t you and doesn’t have as much experience as you do. Make sure that you present your information in a clear manner and the content that you have on your page isn’t wordy. Present your information as if you’re talking to someone who doesn’t know what you are talking about!

There you have it! Five tips on how to keep your audience around for a lot longer than 3 seconds. You’ve created something great and you want to make sure that your audience sticks around to appreciate it!  Do you have any tips on how to keep your audience happy? If so, comment below!

Ashlee is an Intermediate Instructional and Graphic Designer on the Learning and Professional Development team and has a background in Graphic Design and Photography. With over eight years of Photography and Graphic Design experience, Ashlee brings a unique talent and perspective to the team. She joined the Learning & Professional Development team in 2014 as a student worker and now works full time as an Instructional & Graphic Designer. She primarily works with Adobe products and is using her knowledge to help develop exciting new trainings. This opportunity allows Ashlee to reach out to the NAU community and create interactive ways students and staff can learn.

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