Why Design Matters in eLearning


Look at the world around. Look at anything that any one has done, any piece of work. Whether a part of furniture, an architecture, an electronic gadget or a piece of art. It can be easily distinguished in two elements. Firstly the motive or purpose behind its creation and secondly its execution or performance. It is in the performance we see the design of it. No purpose will ever be accomplished if it is not designed competently.

elearning encompasses two types of design – Instructional design and Graphic design. When we as commoners think about design, all we can think is on the surface. Design is much more than just the aesthetics. It draws in emotional connect. It involves fabricating solutions that helps in improving our lives.

Garr Reynolds stated that design changes things in a profound or subtle manner. And good design can impact lives, irrespective of how subtle the changes could be. Design’s significance is not an allegory anymore. There are evidences and studies to prove.

Design Creates Impact at First Glance

First impression is almost always a last impression. You want your eLearning to create an impact on learners, customers, vendors or everyone who’s a part of your learning product. It take a fraction of second to create an impression on a person and elearning courses are no different.

The Instructional content value will be perceived in a very later stage. More than 90% of first impressions are dependent on design and appearance. Moreover, imagine a great content depicted poorly. Will it work?

Design Communicates Effectively

Vitaly Friedman rightly said, “Good design is about effective communication, not decoration at the expense of legibility”.

The premise of good design is communication. Imagine world without design, no book, no magazines, no newspapers, maps , advertisements etc. Also designs are based on intentions and choices, they are no accidental. Go ahead and pour your heart out in your design, but you must ensure there is a concept behind it. A beautiful design is a piece of trash if it has no ability to effectively communicate a message.

Every eLearning project has a determined purpose. Some are to educate people while other are to change behavior, and some used for marketing. So, there’s always a story behind.

Design Generates Engagement

Another saying here – ‘Design optimizes perception and experience’.

Can you even imagine a course that displays nothing except black letters, screen by screen that too without any visuals, formatting or color schemes? It surely would be a pain staring through the pages, the entire duration! An appealing environment engages the audience right from the beginning and keeps it glued till the end. Summing up, the learners must enjoy while they are learning, or else they will either look for an alternative or simply leave the course.

Helps Improvise Usability and Experience

One of the most important aspect of your design. You do not want to have a confusing navigation, lack of compelling colors or intuitive nature of design and create distracters for the learner. Do you? Only the consistency in layouts and stylizations will come handy to let the learner navigate smoothly.

Use more flat and line elements. Flat is minimalistic, and plays a vital role in emphasizing on usability. The open space feature, clean layout in flat designs along with two dimensional illustrations and bright colors makes it captivating for the learner. When it comes to conveying a message, stick to SIMPLE.

Good Design Inspires to Take Action

There are two ways persuading your audience, either you manipulate or you inspire.

Yes you read it right! A sensible eLearning design will further inspire your learners to achieve lot more than expected. Use your design to serve a motivation to your learners and make them do things you thought otherwise was impossible. When you focus on the purpose of your eLearning, you inspire your learners towards an aspirational outcome.

Design Enhances Retention

A fine design helps learners recall better. It will ensure that the learners will be able to recollect information and instructions later. The patterns and relationships that are formed between different images in a visual design greatly assist the recall of prior knowledge.

Researchers have proved that retention is enhanced when people consolidate data, which could be easily analyzed, into bite-size information and incorporates metaphors and analogies for supporting that data. Why do think Micro learning is a boom in today’s era?

Being a design paranoid I always wonder what is it that I can make to look my design different from others and that’s the thing which keeps me motivated all the time bring new ideas into implementation. Being a design enthusiast by heart, I am keen to hear back from you veterns about few new ideas on what else matters in design and would like to improve on the same. So do not hesitate to leave your comments here.

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