Attention-Grabbing Elements of eLearning Design

Designing Digitally


Custom elearning

No one would argue that the content of an eLearning course is the most important component of a truly effective learning experience. But, it’s not the only important element. Reaching different learning styles and meeting the diverse needs of the learners are also important considerations that impact the success of the program.

There’s still another factor that has a major effect on how effective an eLearning training course can be, and that’s design. Design is what will capture the attention of the learners and keep them engaged, and when they’re engaged, they’re learning.

Design elements

The importance of design can often be overlooked. It’s considered secondary to the message of the content. What many fail to realize is that if the learner isn’t engaged, they aren’t going to learn what you want them to learn from the content.

Here are some eLearning design elements that will keep learners interested:

  • Contrast is essential because it’s what guides the eyes to the important information. There are a few ways to make the relevant content stand out.
    • Text is critical because it’s how you communicate with the learners. Use size, weight, and value to designate significance.
    • Color has the capability to be overused. Too many colors don’t create the necessary effect. One contrasting color should be utilized to highlight a specific concept.
    • Graphics should be used sparingly and only to add value. Every single element added to a course should have a specific purpose.  
  • Consistency. Using content from multiple sources can create inconsistency, which is the opposite of what you want and what works. In the same way that repetition promotes learning, eLearning design elements should stay consistent. Be sure that the same general theme is carried throughout via components such as navigational features, graphics, font, and color. For example, changing the size of fonts throughout the course is beneficial, while changing the kind of font can create a disjointed look and feel.
  • Flow. Align your content to create relationships and draw attention to focal points. The use of a grid can help to organize information and make a layout of images and text to make sure that the content flows and the most important concepts are clear.


The basic elements of contrast, consistency, and flow are the backbone of a solid eLearning design.

Let’s take a look at some specific tips to incorporate the latest trends and make sure you’re grabbing the attention of the learners.

  • Cartoons add personality. Colorful and lively cartoon-like graphics can hold the interest of learners and keep them engaged throughout the course. As with any design element, don’t overdo it and keep in mind that cartoons aren’t appropriate for every topic.
  • Use modern retro. Eye-catching colors and simple shapes are the hallmarks of this style. It’s an appealing choice, especially for those in the age range that would remember the original design.
  • Custom illustrations. Illustrations drawn specifically for your eLearning course are a great way to capture the attention of the learners and set the right tone for the course.

Content may be king in eLearning design, but the impact is lessened if the design is working against you. Grabbing the focus of the learners will engage them with the important content. Content and design work together for the most effective eLearning course.  

Designing Digitally, Inc. can help your organization design eLearning courses that will enhance the learning and allow your organization to achieve its strategic training goals.  With effective design, you will engage your learners, increase productivity and positively impact your bottom line.

Contact our team today to get started!