The UI or User Interface is one of the key things to consider when designing and developing eLearning. In short the UI is the interface that learners and end users will interact with, the UI covers a wide range of things including colour schemes, on-screen layouts and interactivity for users. Having a well designed and clean UI is vital to ensuring learners have the best learning experience possible. When designing the UI for your eLearning it is important to imagine it from the perspective of the learner and ensure it accessible for learners with varying levels of technical knowledge.
But what can you do to ensure you create a well designed UI? Below are some things you should considering when designing and developing the UI for your next eLearning course.
Designing and developing a UI that is familiar and predictable for learners is one of the key things to ensuring you have a well designed eLearning course. When learners are taking your course they will be looking for what to do next, for example the learner may want to progress to the next page and if the button they have been using to proceed so far suddenly changes shape, colour or location then it will become confusing and results in a frustrating and negative learning experience. When developing the UI for each page ensure that there is consistency on button placement and style so that the learner will easily be able to work out what they need to click on next.
Including a short tutorial demonstrating how the learner can navigate and interact with the course at the start of can be one way to improve the effectiveness of your eLearning and improve your User Experience. When designing the UI it is important to consider your audience and note that not everyone has the same level of skill when it comes to using technology. This is why it is important to clearly know your audience during the design phase, different age groups and professions have different levels of technical capabilities and will be able to intuitively interact with your UI differently. Tutorials are not needed in all cases but can be an effective way to familiarise learners with your eLearning and its UI.
Having a clean and not cluttered UI is important to ensuring your learners are able to effectively understand the concepts you are trying to teach them. It may be tempting to put large amounts of info on screen in the form of text, images or video but it is important to also use empty space when designing your on-screen layouts. Using empty space effectively is important as it allows you to break up information into more digestible chunks the learner can consume, for example you may use a click and reveal activity which involves using images, the learner then clicks on the image and text related to that image appears and hides other text. This makes the screen less cluttered and allows the user to take in information easier, if presented with large walls of text or info the content can become stale and it can be hard to maintain learner interest and concentration.
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