Graphic design: Getting your words and images to work together
There are many ways to communicate information to an audience, but by and large vision is the most important sensory tool with which people interact with the world. So of course, most online material is primarily transferred through visuals.
This makes it extremely important for your elearning content to look good, and for that you need good graphic design.
Graphic design is what makes something appealing to look at, maintains a good visual flow through a screen, and keeps the visual information from becoming confusing or boring. Bad design can instantly make your elearning seem dated, and by association, the content.
But just because good visuals are important to a good design, it doesn’t necessarily follow that you must have pictures in all of your content. Good design includes working with text as much as images, and it is just as important to make sure that the images support the content in a meaningful way, as well as the text parts of your screen being legible with the images.
If you remove the text from a page with graphics on it, will the learner still be able to understand something about the material, or otherwise engage with the page? If not, then you need to find another image. The last thing you want is to confuse or mislead your learner with incongruous imagery.
If you remove all the images from the screen, will the remaining text read easily and flow well? If not, consider what you need to do with the content before adding pictures into the mix.
The modern trend is to have clean designs with lots of white space, which is often at odds with how much text our clients want to jam into their elearning. This can be solved by creative breaking up of large chunks of text to be able to keep that clean look while also making sure your learners are still getting all the content.
You should also consider if all of the content is really essential to your learning objectives for that elearning.
Another solution is to have some of that content be represented as an image, a process chart, or some other visual element. Remember, a picture is worth a thousand words, so if you pick the right picture for the words you want you can save your learners a lot of extra reading.
These are just a few tips on how great graphic design can really help your elearning stand out for your audience.