There’s some life wisdom to the saying “don’t judge a book by its cover.” But with e-learning, visual appeal is a huge part of engaging learners. If the first thing your audience sees is a poorly designed slide, it might send the message that your course is boring or unimportant even if it’s instructionally sound. 

But you don’t have to be a graphic designer to create beautiful courses. In this article, we’ll take a look at three key elements that can make or break your e-learning design so you know where to focus your design energy. 

1. Colors

Did you know that colors can affect a learner’s mood and the way they process information? For example, red can signify importance and easily capture attention, while blue can evoke feelings of trust and calm. By choosing your color palette thoughtfully, you can enhance the learning experience and improve learner retention. 

Not sure which colors make the most sense for your project? Here are 4 Ways To Choose an E-Learning Color Palette.

Accessibility tip: Your color choices can also impact how well learners can read and understand your course. To ensure the colors you choose have enough contrast, check out this article: Contrast Considerations for Accessible E-Learning.

2. Fonts

The main purpose of the text in your course is to clearly convey information to your learners. And although it might be tempting to use fancy-themed heading and body fonts to go along with your color palette, remember to prioritize legibility over aesthetics.

To ensure your text is legible, it’s best to use web-safe fonts—such as Roboto, Tahoma, Arial, Helvetica, Lato, and Verdana, to name a few. That doesn’t mean you have to avoid all custom fonts or sacrifice design. Just be thoughtful about which fonts you choose so you can create captivating courses that are easy to read. If you’re unsure which fonts to use, no worries! Check out these articles to help you decide: 

Accessibility tip: Font size and color also impact legibility, so make sure the text size is large enough and the color stands out against the background. To help do that, follow the tips in this article: Make Text Accessible

3. Images

When it comes to engaging learners, using similar imagery across your course is an important way to make a good first impression. Inconsistent graphics that look like a mish-mash of different styles or are low quality can quickly distract and take away from the learning experience. 

So before you start building your course, choose a style of imagery that works with your content. If you plan to use photorealistic images, do they look like they came from the same photographer? If you decide to use illustrations, do they look like they were created by the same artist? By carefully selecting or editing the imagery to look cohesive and consistent across your project, you’ll increase visual appeal and learner engagement.

Not sure which graphics to use in your course? Then head on over to this article: Your Ultimate Guide To Choosing Graphics for E-Learning.

Accessibility tip: Want to make sure all learners benefit from the imagery you include? Then follow these tips: Make Images Accessible

In Summary

Good visual design not only makes your e-learning course look good, but it makes a good first impression that your content is also valuable. At the end of the day, the goal is to help people learn. By sticking with a few colors, pairing the right fonts, and using consistent imagery, your course will allow your audience to focus on doing the important part—learning.

What additional visual design tips have helped you craft more effective e-learning? Please share your ideas below.

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