Moving Beyond the “Next” Button #462

Beyond the E-Learning Next Button #462: Challenge | Recap


The “Next” button often gets a bad rap in e-learning. It’s commonly associated with linear, information-heavy courses that promote passive learning, leading learners to click through screens without truly engaging with the content.

To be fair, the blame doesn’t lie with the Next button itself. Blaming the Next button for boring e-learning is like blaming the Play button for a boring video.

For course designers, a good design exercise is to reimagine course navigation without relying on the ubiquitous next button.

How would your learners navigate forward and backward? Can you integrate the course content into the navigation? Can interactive objects like sliders, dials, or text-entry fields be used in place of next and back buttons?

🏆 Challenge of the Week

This week, your challenge is to show alternatives to using the next button.

You can create something new or rework an existing project.

Please include the original with your entry if you modify an existing project. Seeing both examples will help users connect the dots between where you started and where you finished.

And if you have time, create multiple variations to show how clicks, slides, hovers, drags, and typing can advance learners through the course.

🧰 Resources

Check out e-learning challenge #144’s examples to get an idea of what designers came up with in a related challenge.

✨ Share Your E-Learning Work

  • Comments: Use the comments section below to link your published example and blog post.
  • Forums: Start a new thread and share a link to your published example.
  • Personal blog: If you have a blog, please consider writing about your challenges. We'll link to your posts so your great work gets even more exposure.
  • Social media: If you share your demos on Twitter or LinkedIn, try using #ELHChallenge so your tweeps can follow your e-learning coolness.

🙌 Last Week’s Challenge:

Before you slide into this week’s challenge, check out the audio interviews your fellow challengers recorded in last week’s challenge:

9 Interactive Audio Interviews with E-Learning Challenge Heroes #461

Interviews with E-Learning Challengers RECAP #461: Challenge | Recap

👋 New to the E-Learning Challenges?

The weekly e-learning challenges are ongoing opportunities to learn, share, and build your e-learning portfolios. You can jump into any or all of the previous challenges anytime you want. I’ll update the recap posts to include your demos.

Learn more about the weekly e-learning challenges in this Q&A post.

📆 Upcoming Challenges

  • Challenge #463 (05.24): Using progressive disclosure in e-learning. 
  • Challenge #464 (05.31): Labeled graphics and interactive markers

🚨 2024 Articulate User Conference Call for Proposals

We’re now accepting proposals for this year’s in-person user day conference co-hosted at DevLearn in Las Vegas. Learn more about the proposal process.

Cristian Saverino