7 Tips To Kick Your Bad eLearning Design Habits Infographic
- Don't overdo it.
According to Cognitive Load Theory, the brain can only process so much new data at a time. Too much, and learners' minds are too busy sorting through the new information to actually absorb any of it. Provide multiple avenues of learning, but don't force learners to parallel process. Make sure all your graphics are adding new and critical information, and don't read off the slides.
- Stick with Sans Serif Fonts
Some sans serif fonts, such as Verdana, were designed specifically to be read on a computer screen. Even those that weren't are simpler, with less visual "noise" to deal with.
- Make Use of the Scan Path
Web usability experts use the term "scan path" to refer to the natural tracking of web readers' eyes as they view a page. For best results, you want your slide format to work with, not against, the scan path. Here's a basic guide:
- Use Repetitive Elements
Don't repeat everything, of course, but a consistent framing and design scheme helps fit the course into a cohesive whole. Having unity is vital so that learners can quickly and easily find patterns, make sense of information, and find connections between concepts. Looking back up the list, it also reduces cognitive load by cutting down on the amount of new information.
- Structure First, Design Second
Have a detailed plan before opening your authoring tool so you stay on-track. Try storyboarding, so that you start the design process with a clear understanding of how each slides fits into the whole.
- Master Color Combinations
Developers who are new to designing eLearning courses often choose colors based around their own personal tastes and preferences. Sometimes this works well, particularly when the designer has a good eye for what makes attractive combinations and what would be the right color scheme for the course. Those who are not so naturally talented would do best to refer to the basics of color theory.
- Research, Research, Research