Design and Production ProcessInterface Design

6 Interface Design Tips for your eLearning Courses

Enhance learner engagement with these 6 e-learning Interface design tips

Done correctly, design is a transparent method to enhance communication. Following are a few tips for creating a well-designed interface for your e-learning courses.

  1. Keep it simple and clean
    Use grid systems to align content in a way that is neat and easy to navigate. Content should be left-aligned for maximum readability. Know who your audience is and design accordingly i.e. age appropriate graphics and font size, appropriate icons for your industry, etc) . Keep cursive fonts to a minimum or leave them out completely, as they can be hard to read. Stick to a color palette of no more than 5 colors.
  1. Give Visual Clues
    If you want the user to do something such as click on a link or go to the next page, give them visual clues to do so. Replace text with buttons and icons. Use icons that are familiar and easily recognizable.
  1. Un-clutter the menu
    Keep clutter away from the menu. Fight the temptation to turn the menu into a game or a treasure hunt. The goal is to be able to read the menu with clarity and use it to navigate to different areas of content quickly and easily. If you have a deep menu system, consider expandable menus that fly-out to minimize clutter.
  1. Design responsively up-front
    Pre-plan if your training module will be viewed on a mobile device and if so, design accordingly. Design your interface to work across several devices by using 3 different width breakpoints: one for desktops, another for tablets, and another for mobile devices. Also, use percentages and ems instead of pixels to define type, width and images.
  1. Use scan patterns to your advantage
    Generally speaking, most people read from top to bottom, left to right. Their eyes usually scan a page in either an F pattern or a Z pattern. . The most important real estate on the page is the top left and the least eye-attracting area is bottom right. Use this knowledge to your advantage in your design. In addition, use design elements such as bullet points, color, contrast, white space and type size to create interest and help guide the eyes to where you want them to go
  1. Follow Your Brand
    Use your brand guidelines/brand standards as a basis for your design so that your employees feel at home and know that they haven’t stumbled upon another company’s site. Your company logo should be somewhere prominent on the welcome screen well as being visible on the interface for continuity.

By using these simple tips, you will create more effective e-learning interfaces that will help your learners better navigate through your course and retain content. The simplicity of a well-designed interface is transparent and seldom noticed, but subconsciously it is appreciated.

Ron Trilling
Author of Learning Lines | Founder and Partner, at Media Dynamics
Ron is a great source of information when it comes to eLearning. He has a background in instructional design and has worked with many companies to help develop their eLearning content and courses.
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