Creating professional-looking courses without an in-house designer can be challenging. Especially if you don’t have a lot of time to create or source your own assets. Here are some quick tips to help you boost your productivity and get the results you’re after.
1. Use Free Graphics
There’s no shortage of free graphics on the web, but searching for images can take time if you’re not sure where to look.
Personally, I always start by looking in the course assets section of the downloads hub on E-Learning Heroes. You’ll find a variety of graphics from backgrounds to icons, photos to characters, and more.
2. Start with a Template
Why start from scratch if you don’t have to? You’ll find tons of free templates in the Articulate 360 Content Library (more on that here) and on E-Learning Heroes. With so many fully-functional templates to choose from, chances are you’ll find one that fits your needs.
And even if you don’t find exactly what you’re looking for, adapting a pre-existing template will take less time than building a beautiful one from scratch yourself.
3. Pick 2-3 Go-To Fonts
Fonts play a major role in the overall look and feel of your course. With so many to choose from, selecting the right fonts for your course can be a daunting task. But it doesn’t have to be!
I usually choose a fun, stylized font for my titles (for example, a handwritten or bolded font) and a more traditional font (such as Arial) for my content text to ensure legibility. Once you’ve chosen a couple fonts you like and feel work well together, stick with them.
If you’re a total newbie when it comes to typeface, check out this article by Nicole Legault where she breaks down her 4 favorite free fonts for e-learning.
And if you want to dig a bit deeper, we’ve created this e-book to take the mystery out of typography and get you on the road to graphic design greatness in no time.
4. Pick a Color Palette and Stick With It
For some e-learning designers, not being required to use the brand colors in their e-learning course is a relief. For others, it’s a headache: Finding a good color scheme takes time if you’re not practiced at it. And, as we’ve discussed already, time tends to be of limited supply!
Whether you find using brand colors to be a bummer or a godsend, choosing colors that work well together is an acquired skill! We’ve put together an article to take the pain out of creating color schemes. It includes 5 tried-and-true color palettes that will save you time and be easy on your learners’ eyes.
5. Keep It Simple
When you don’t have a lot of time, it can be tempting to just throw a bunch of text on your slides. But overloading your slides with content not only makes your work look sloppy, it also makes it harder for learners to get your message.
In e-learning, less really is more. Cut down your text to the bare essentials and use images to convey messages whenever possible. Don’t be afraid to leave some blank space on your slide. Au contraire, embrace it. For more tips on streamlining your slides, check out this article on how to avoid information overload in your slides.
Want More Visual Design Tips? Check Out This E-Book
Hopefully these tips will help you achieve that professional look you’re going for while saving you time and headaches! If you’re looking for even more guidance, don’t miss this great e-book on how to design visually-appealing courses.
Got any visual design hacks you’d like to share? Pop them in the comment section below!