The User Interface or UI is the interface that people interact with and use to control a piece of software or hardware, the UI can be any type of interface the user interacts with and can relate to websites, self serving checkouts or smartphones. The UI bridges the gap between what the user wants the computer to do and what the computer understands, a good UI will allow the user to interact with a computer in a way that is intuitive and easy to understand. But how does this relate to eLearning? A good UI is vital for your eLearning course, without a good UI it can leave learners confused and unable to complete your eLearning, which can result in them not able to learn the key learning concepts you are trying to teach them.
Investing time up front to design your UI can be the difference between an effective eLearning course and a course that learners do not want to take. Below are some advantages to investing time in designing the UI for your eLearning:
Clear navigation is one of the main benefits of having a well-designed UI, when developing your eLearning you may have a wide variety of users. These users will most likely vary in their ability to use technology, some will be able to easily navigate even when it is not intuitive, whereas others will need far more instructions and guidance on what to do next. By having a well-designed UI with a lot of thought into navigation means that your eLearning will be useable by a much wider audience, it will also reduce frustration for learners and allow them to focus on the content.
2. Device Variation
Now eLearning is taken on a variety of devices, learners are no longer just taking eLearning on a desktop or laptop computer, therefore it is important to consider how your eLearning will look on a variety of devices. Your eLearning may be fine when viewing it on a PC but what about when its on mobile? Or a tablet? The screen space for these devices are far smaller and you wont be able to use the same layout. How you move navigation and content is key for this and requires careful though into the different types of UI for different devices.
Another major advantage to spending time up front in designing your UI is that you can make the content on screen look modern and clean. It can be very easy to overload a page with text or images, but this can make the screen look cluttered and confusing for the learner. Deciding in advance what you want to display on screen and how you want to display it can be the difference between developing a confusing and cluttered eLearning course and something that is clear and delivers the training content you are trying to teach.
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