Graphic design in eLearning brings a whole host of additional considerations for our designers, above and beyond those of a standard graphic designer. eLearning graphic designers have to consider how the design will work for our learners, will it aid or hinder learning? I spoke with our graphic designer, Tanzeel, about the things he always checks when designing a course, and I thought I’d share his 4-point check list with you now:
- Is it easy to read?Readability in eLearning is paramount. eLearning courses are often teaching learners a new topic, you need to make sure they can absorb all of this information easily. When it comes to readability you need to consider:
– Contrast. Used effectively, text contrast can direct the learner’s attention to a specific element on your eLearning slide, and highlight important points. Plus, contrast can also aid learners with dyslexia, so it’s important to pay attention to this and help your course become more accessible. – Colour. Did you know that 8% of the world’s male population is colour blind? That’s a high percentage of learners, so it’s really important we think about the colour in our eLearning course. Try to turn your eLearning into black and white and see if the important parts stand out without the colour.
– Fonts. Using hard to read fonts is a common mistake in eLearning. Serif fonts (like Times New Roman) are used more traditionally in printed documents and have flowing ends to letters to draw the eye from one to the next. However, Sans-serif fonts (like Arial or Verdana) have cleaner letters, which look clearer on screen.
- Is it easy to use?Consistent navigation and layout are paramount to ensuring your eLearning course is easy to use. Learners should be focusing on learning, not figuring out how to navigate your course. Choose a location for your ‘next’, ‘back’ and ‘close’ buttons early on and stick with it.
Similarly, changing the layout too frequently throughout a course can be distracting for your learners. Sticking to a few simple layouts, for example text on the left with an image to the right, can provide a sense of unity for your learners – helping them focus on what’s important.
- Is it suitable for the chosen devices?Before designing an eLearning course, it’s important to know what devices learners will use to access the course. If all of your learners are going to access the course on a mobile device in portrait mode, there is little point in designing a slide optimised for a computer screen. Knowing this in advance will save you a lot of time, limiting redesigns later down the road.
If your eLearning is going to be accessed on a mobile device, it’s important to consider the sizes of your buttons – Apple’s iPhone Human Interface Guide recommends a minimum button size of 44px by 44px.
- Is it consistent and on brand?Consistency in eLearning covers both slide design and brand. Your layout, fonts, image style and other graphic elements should be consistent throughout your course. But in addition, your eLearning should be ‘on brand’, especially for internal learners. Your learners know your brand. Ensuring that your brand is reflected through your course will make your learners feel ‘at home’ and comfortable with your course.
So, there you have it, Tanzeel’s four-point checklist for ensuring practical design in eLearning. Is there anything you also consider when designing eLearning courses? Tweet us @OmniplexeLearn – we’d love to hear your thoughts.