You may think to yourself that your course content itself should be the selling point, and theres no discounting that. However, you shouldnt take for granted first impressions as they’re very powerful and could make or break a sale. Your learners will be spending a great amount of time in your courses. Lets make their experience the best you can.
Update Your Colour Scheme
You should think of the colour scheme for your elearning in the same way that you do a house. Its rare that you would go to a paint store, pick up a random bucket of paint and move forward painting the walls while ignoring how that colour interacts with the other colours youve chosen for your home.
A great tool that Ive used in the past to come up with color schemes is the Color Lovers website. The website features thousands of user-submitted colour schemes that you can incorporate into a variety of projects, elearning or otherwise. You can browse the colour based on keywords or project type and youre sure to find something appropriate for your elearning course. Once you have chosen a scheme you can have a look at the individual color values and enter them into your course authoring tool and away you go!
Use Understated Patterns
If theres one thing that could complement a good color scheme, it is a nice background pattern that plays well visually with all the other elements in your course. A background doesnt have to be the gradient that you see in so many courses derived from PowerPoint slides. It can be so much more.
Its best to have a background pattern that is subtle enough that it doesnt distract or compete visually with the other elements on the page. Ive found that the Subtle Patterns website does just the job. Are you looking for an understated geometric pattern or something that replicates the feel of hand-made paper? This site has everything you need. Also, with a bit of editing work in Photoshop you can have the pattern match the colour scheme youve defined earlier.
Explore Your Font Options
Having a cheap-looking or inappropriate font can be a deal breaker for your credibility when it comes to making your courses looking beautiful. Fonts have become more of an important design decision since theyve gained prominence with the advent of desktop publishing. Keep in mind, with greater awareness of fonts comes greater responsibility on your part to choose one that makes your course look great.
Fortunately, Google has come to the rescue with a variety of free fonts that can be used for your elearning course. While they are intended to be used on websites, Google does offer the ability to download them to your computer for your own use. Theres enough of a variety to choose from that youll be sure to find something.
Keep in mind that not all course authoring tools support third-party fonts. However, by using them in an image editing application like Photoshop and then importing the graphic to your course, you’ll be able to enjoy a larger variety than the default ones included.
Find Captivating Photos
Having a great looking photo that complements an idea that youre trying to get across in your course can really make a huge difference. You may think that professional-quality photographs have to come with a professional price but that isnt the case. You can find great photographs if you know where to look.
A great resource that we use is Photo Pin. Photo Pin is a visual search engine for creative-commons images. Creative Commons means that youre free to use the image if you attribute the image back to the photographer in your course. Make sure to click on the licence page of their photo to find out exactly what you can do with the image.
It doesnt take much in your online course development to make elearning that stands out visually, it can also be a lot of fun too. By taking the same amount of care and consideration that you use to decorate your home into creating beautiful custom elearning, youll be sure to catch the attention of your learners.