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Learners are quick to pass judgment based on their first impressions, and their initial thoughts may determine the fate of an e-learning course. So, a small e-learning design mistake could cost you dearly. To make a lasting first impression, designers must understand the needs of the learner and adhere to robust e-learning design principles.
Simple design mistakes can spoil a good course. Here are some common mistakes to avoid by all means!
Headlines are a must on every screen. A good headline should be attention-grabbing and relevant to the content on the screen. For example, ‘Design tips’ is not as powerful a headline as ‘Design tips to avoid indifference in learners’. The second headline is descriptive and interesting. Designers should make sure they implement headlines, on every screen, so the learner understands what to expect on the screen. And of course, there should not be any grammar or spelling mistakes.
Images are easier to recall than text, therefore they enhance learning. Using images effectively can go a long way in engaging the learners. But using irrelevant graphics defeats the purpose. If the learner is unable to connect the image with the content, then they may get confused. Using fluff images to fill up white space is, again, a bad idea. Learners will not relate to the image and may get distracted from the content of the screen. Also, stick to a particular graphic style throughout a module rather than mixing and matching different ones.
It can be tempting to cram as much as information possible on one screen. We want to give everything to the learner and all at once. Here take this, and that, and that too. In these situations, designers tend to forget that the learners need to grasp the knowledge and without being overwhelmed. The goal is to provide them with targeted information that helps them learn or improve a skill. Excess information and random facts only clutter their mind and wear their attention. If they lose interest, they will simply skim through the module to reach the end. Designers need to realize that less is always more! E-learning designs should be simple and consistent to make an impact. We need to chunk information into small bites that can be digested easily.
The mobile workforce likes to learn on the go using different mobile devices. If a training module requires them to sit in front of a desktop computer, they might not be too motivated. E-learning design should allow for viewing on various mobile devices. And further, the course simply “working” on mobile devices is not enough. Learners who have to scroll or zoom constantly to see content on their phones will not have a pleasant experience. Develop courses with responsive design so learners can access training easily on all devices.
Instructions and guidance are important for the learner to proceed smoothly. If the directions are unclear or erroneous, then it hampers the learner experience. Check the information, again and again, to ensure it includes the appropriate details and that instructions are easy to understand.
At Designing Digitally, Inc., our designers create courses based on sound instructional design principles. Contact us to make a great first impression on your learners!