Images and graphics have always been a part of online. More than just jazzing up the ‘look and feel’ aspect, they can enhance learning as a whole. For custom e-learning, the common view that including graphics in a learning module is a sure-shot way of relieving tedium and doing away with ‘white space’ is outdated. With modern authoring tools like Articulate Storyline, e-learning development is fast and easy. This is the reason many organizations offering e-learning development services swear by the utility of using these tools to create custom e-learning content continually. Designing your online training is simple with these tools, but you need to keep in mind some points.
- De-Clutter: Using images, charts, graphs or interactive elements in graphics can certainly help the learner. At the same time, it is important to find a balance so that it does not become the case of ‘too much of a good thing’! Too many visuals on a single slide or page can confuse the learner in an online training.
- Placement: Some standardized norms in e-learning development have become familiar to most learners. For instance, the logo placement in the top-left or interactive phrases like ‘next’ or ‘click to continue’ on the bottom-right. Many such norms are formed during the course of a learning module. A deviation from this structure can confuse or distract the learner.
- Relevance: Every aspect of design – be it the color scheme or a particular image – has to have relevance as per the learning objectives of the course. Visual appeal of the screen should communicate in accordance with the tone of the entire content and discordance in the tone of the content and graphics will be jarring.
- Aesthetics: While we agree that graphics have to be relevant to the entire theme and objective of the learning module, at the end of the day, it DOES need to look good. Every graphical element needs to find uniformity throughout the structure of the course and most common e-learning software keeps that in mind.
- Fonts, size, style, color scheme: Some fonts suit the formal courses while some are suited to more informal ones. Size and styles too add to the necessary zing. Colors are also instrumental in setting the ‘tone’ of the training. Once this tone is set, it is necessary to maintain it through the course of the training. Tweaking with the elements of fonts, size, style or color can bring about the necessary changes in tone. However, this can be a ‘no-trespassing’ area! Some of the aspects like fonts and colors are pre-decided by the client and have to be worked with accordingly
A world of creativity and unfathomable possibilities is the world of graphics. In e-learning, it lends its relevance best when creativity is meshed with understanding client needs, learning objectives and the learner.