“You Can’t Judge a Book by Its Cover.” – Bo Diddley
We have heard many times this quotation. It is true that we are never to judge a book by its cover, but at the same time, no one will ever reach the book unless it is attractive enough to catch their attention. The same thing can be said of e-learning courses. The visual design of the course is what attracts learners to it and encourages them to delve deeper into the subject. It assures learners that the course is really worth their time. Visual designing is the most inducing tool in eLearning that communicates the key concepts and engages the learner throughout the course.
Irrespective of the accuracy and importance of the content in the course, the learner would never like to experience the course if it looks visually bad. It’s not about creating the display, which looks good and attractive. Visual designing sets the tone for the courses. Everything that is visible on the screen communicates some information or the other. It’s our job to ensure that the visual displays communicate the crux of the course content. Now that you have got an idea of how important the visual appearance of a course is, let’s now try to understand some of the common errors that are made in the courses. By working on these errors you will be more aware of them and avoid them in the courses you design.
Diverse fonts: Fonts serve an important purpose in the display of text in a course, and so it is important that we decide on the font style that would be the most impressive. Fonts basically should help in distinguishing headings from body content; however, caution should be exercised in using voluminous fonts for this purpose. The maximum number of fonts used in a course should be restricted to two. However, you can use altered styles, such as italics, bold, etc.
Lack of headings: People are generally not interested to read large chunks of text with no idea of what it is all about; in this context, headings play a crucial role in breaking content into meaningful chunks. Bullets and headings add to the clarity of content.
Wrong images: Usage of image instead of plain text has always been effective in representing ideas better. But at the same time, if the images do not bear relevance to the content, then they are of no use. So you should always choose an image that tells a story related to the content discussed. It should not be just used for the purpose of decoration.
Overloaded design: Good designing encourages learners to get fully involved in the learning process. So a well-organized and well-written matter can help learners to grip the information quickly. Creating an overcrowded screen may not serve the purpose at all.
Garish colors: The use of colors is always good but too much color and too vibrant usage will make your course look garish and become a snare to the learners’ eyes. Try always to use colors that are predetermined and would work in a progressive manner. It is always better to use brand colors, which would create a brand synergy.
Kerning: Kerning is the amount of empty spaces adjusted between the letters of words for a balanced and visually attractive appearance. The letters that may have been spaced too much create unintended effects on the overall design of the course.
These are very minor but important mistakes that can happen during the development of courses. I am sure there may be some more. If you know of any, please do share them with us….