eLearning is a huge business and though the main element of any eLearning experience is the course content, the design also needs to be right. To deliver effective courses with high pass rates and positive feedback the overall impression you give needs to be second to none, here are some tips to keep in mind when designing eLearning websites.
Find your Focus
The design involved in the development of an eLearning website is all about focus. The design should serve to draw attention to the most important elements of each course and make the core subject matter as relevant as possible for the individual learner. Page hierarchy should be designed around those elements that really need to stand out and ordered in a way to ensure they do. Making use of typography and graphics can help to bring out the key elements clearly.
Question every Decision
eLearning websites have a purpose, they exist to help users learn a new skill, gain a qualification or to support their classroom learning. Therefore every resource you add or use in your design should be questioned and there should be a reason for it. It can be very easy to get carried away with packing a site with great images, graphics and different fonts, leaving it impenetrable to the user. Make every decision with care and consideration, keeping the purpose of the site in your mind at all times.
As we’ve said, the content of the course is what the students really want but this doesn’t mean the site should be populated with dense chunks of text. This simply leads to cognitive overload and doesn’t support learning. Narrow text blocks which are broken up into smaller paragraphs or with graphics or bullet points will be more successful.
Users accessing an eLearning course are there to learn, nothing else. You need to make it as simple as possible for them to navigate around the site and ensure they can access it through a range of devices, smartphones and tablets as well as regular computers. Key buttons such as NEXT and related symbols should be clearly displayed, ensuring the user can get around the course with ease and not become frustrated by fussy graphics or unnecessary clutter.
An eLearning website is a tool that students use to maximise their potential and the last thing they need is a sloppy or overly intricate design blocking their success. A simple and clean eLearning site which guides the user through their options quickly and easily, is the most effective type there is.
If you would like to discuss the building of your eLearning platform or courses then please get in touch with The Web Surgery here.