6 Tips for Creating Visual Design in eLearning
As technology continues to advance and evolve at an astonishing rate, more and more industries are embracing modern technology and are using it to their advantage.
ELearning has come on leaps and bounds over the last decade or so, thanks in part to the fact that eLearning experts have begun embracing visual design. Visual design instantly catches the eyes of the learners, it can enhance user navigation, provide an aesthetic appeal, increase learner engagement, and improve course completion rates in the process.
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to be a graphic designer to create a visual design in eLearning, and we’ll look at exactly why that is right now. Here are 6 tips for creating a visual design in eLearning.
Try to find compelling images
One of the simplest tips when it comes to creating a visual design in eLearning, which also happens to be one of the most effective, is to utilize compelling images.
The image selection process on an eLearning course must be carefully planned out. You need to find images that are not only relevant to your course, but ones that also add value and help to portray the message you’re trying to get across.
Finding images to use won’t be a problem. Finding compelling and eye-catching images, however, which add value to your course, is much tougher and is where things get tricky.
Whether you’re using photos, avatars, graphics, or anything else, make sure the images are compelling, eye-catching, and that they ultimately add value to your course to make your topics more relatable and perhaps easier to understand in the process.
Go with a minimalist approach
Those who are new to visual design in eLearning environments may find themselves tempted to add as many images, fonts, texts, graphics, and elements as they can, and this is a big mistake.
When it comes to visual design in an eLearning environment, less is most definitely more, so you should try to adopt more of a minimalist approach instead.
If you create visuals with too much going on, this can overwhelm your learners as they won’t know where to look and they may find themselves becoming distracted due to the sheer amount of clutter on the page.
When creating your visuals, be sure to adopt a ‘less is more approach by keeping your designs minimal and simple and ensuring that each element that is included serves a purpose.
Don’t be afraid of white space
Sticking with what we were just talking about in terms of keeping things minimal and basic, another handy tip when creating visual design for eLearning projects is to embrace white space.
Too many visual designers will try to fill every inch of white space they can see, yet this can cause the design to look crowded and cluttered, and you know what we think about clutter in the visual design world.
By utilizing white space, you can draw your reader’s attention to parts of the page that need their attention. This isn’t just true of images and visuals, it also applies to text pages as well, so be sure to include plenty of white space.
Rather than paragraph after paragraph, why not condense key points down using bullet points or sub-headings, or perhaps by bolding key points, words, and phrases to highlight their importance?
Don’t get carried away with colors
One of the best things about visual design in an eLearning environment is having some artistic freedom to create visuals that you feel will benefit your learners and make your course stand out. Using colors is a great way of doing exactly that.
Colors can evoke all kinds of feelings and emotions and can serve as emotional triggers for learners, as well as to set the tone for a piece of work. However, when using colors on your visuals, be sure not to get too carried away by using too many.
Ideally, you should stick with 2 – 5 colors at the most, and unless the work really needs some vibrance, try to keep them fairly subdued and toned down. Whereas colors can be useful for grabbing the learner’s attention, you don’t want neon-bright colors distracting your learners from important info and key points on your page.
As well as going with toned-down colors in most cases, you should also ensure that you choose colors that are relevant to your courses and designs in general.
Make sure you choose the right fonts
Fonts as part of visual design in eLearning environments are also very important, so choosing the right ones is essential.
Whereas you might be tempted to go with a fancy and eye-catching font, ideally you should stick with readable, family-friendly, basic fonts which have been tried and tested in learning environments.
A lot of visual designs will utilize what is considered “safe” fonts such as Calibri, Roboto, and Open Sans as they are very easy to read, they’re modern, and they have a good reputation in the educational industry, as well as the visual design industry.
Fonts such as Comic Sans and Papyrus should be avoided ideally, as these have a poor reputation amongst visual designers, which can then bring the quality of your work into question.
You should also stick with the same size font for headings and any bodies of text you may be including.
Consider using a template
Finally, if you are new to the world of visual design, you may wish to begin with a template.
Templates are typically made by visual design experts as a way of helping those new to visual design to create professional, eye-catching, and useful course content.
When you use a template for the first time, pay attention to the colors and fonts used, the placement of images and bodies of text, and the types of images and graphics used.
As you become more experienced and more confident, you can then ditch the templates and create your own unique pieces.
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