Designers need to consider visual aesthetic, e-learning specialist claims
People looking to create online materials need to consider the visual aesthetic, a leading e-learning designer has claimed.
That was according to Tom Kuhlmann, host of the Rapid E-Learning blog, who was discussing the what, when and how of interactivity with an audience in London recently.
Hosted by Omniplex, an official certified Articulate partner and an Articulate Centre of Excellence, as a service to its clients and customers, the event gave Kuhlmann, who's particularly associated with the Articulate suite of rapid authoring products, an opportunity to outline his personal philosophy with regard to building online learning materials. He began considering 'interactivity' by posing three questions:
• What content needs to be in the 'course'?
• What's the right 'look and feel' for the course?
• What does the learner have to do?
"Once you start to consider the learner, you start to get involved in interactivity," he said and suggested that people interact with online learning materials for only three reasons: in order to navigate; collect information, and make decisions.
"Get to know how to use the authoring tools you're using - otherwise you'll create a clunky course which will only generate negative feedback."
The specialist said that in addition to creating content that's relevant to the user, designers should also consider the visual aesthetic.
He said: "A good looking course isn't necessarily a great course but it won't get the user's attention if it doesn't look good. I'd rather have a good looking bad course than a bad looking bad course!
"Give the learners control of the learning. Give them a map - to enable them to see where they're going. Let them choose how to learn - allowing those who need more and those who need less information to find the course helpful.
"Give the users a reason to explore the course and collect the information they need. It's the 'push versus pull' argument: let the users decide how they get the information they need."