This must be an everyday experience for all of us who keep dabbling with Apps, eLearning modules, and games from time to time. The most common reason being the confusing User Interface, and controls which may be innovative but too difficult to understand. When it comes to eLearning, there is nothing as frustrating as a course that is difficult to navigate. User-friendliness in fact lies in the center of every successful eLearning venture.
As eLearning professionals, we understand the importance of creating eLearning that is intuitive. So how to Make eLearning Courses User-Friendly?
Here are 9 ways to do so.
1. Let Them Navigate Like a Pro
As the old adage goes, ‘Simplicity is a virtue’. And, this fits the bill perfectly in case of eLearning navigation panels. Most learners prefer the kind of navigation that is most simple and common. So, no matter how inspired we feel about using a new navigation model, check that each sub-section is easily reachable and linked to the main page. In cases where the list of sub-sections is too lengthy opt for dropdowns to avoid over-crowding.
Also try to use navigation controls that most users are familiar with.
2. Keep the Instructions Simplistic
As mentioned before, being simple is the key to a user-friendly eLearning course. Instructions should be short and crisp and easy to understand. It is essential to use instructions in a subtle manner.
Avoid imposing on the learners by adding instructions at every step, instead give them generic instructions as on how the course proceeds and provide additional ones as and when required.
3. Create Self-explanatory Interfaces
There are certain signs that speak for themselves, say for instance the close button or the restart button. Similarly, there are many other symbols that are commonplace and should be used more prevalently within an eLearning course. Following a common pattern while designing eLearning courses, keeping the position of the navigation panel the same and keeping it above the fold irrespective of the device etc. are the best ways to make the course user-friendly.
4. Avoid Excessive Content/Text
Anything in excess can be harmful. In case of eLearning, it comes in form of a phenomenon known as content overload. Adding so much jargon in eLearning often tends to confuse the learners. Always try to use short text or bullet points and images to explain topics instead of adding paragraphs of text as it tends to bore the learners. Also, try to stick to one topic instead of trying to cram in a lot.
5. Provide a Course Map
Don’t leave the learners stranded. Learners tend to feel lost, and get confused when they have no idea about where the course is heading to. To avoid this always try to highlight the navigation and provide a complete map of the course.
6. Use Suitable Images and Multimedia
Often images are just used to enhance the look of the eLearning course. In such cases, the image element hardly enhances the learning aspect which in turn can leave the learners baffled. What any user-friendly eLearning calls for, is the sensible use of images and multimedia in order to support the overall learning.
Try to avoid over usage. Adding too many visual elements often tends to distract the learners.
7. Emphasize on Things That Need Special Attention
Don’t let the learners bypass the things that are important. Use Highlights, hotspots, Italics, bold text or any other method to emphasize on key points, additional links, or to indicate actions that need to be take.
8. Make it Responsive
Mobile Learning is no longer just a good to have aspect, it is a must-have. And, in any case being responsive is a part of being user-friendly and even a factor that affects future-proofing. A responsive eLearning course responds best for assisting in the learner’s choice of learning on any device.
9. Test, Test and Re-test
Well, it goes without saying that the best way to ensure that the eLearning course created is user-friendly is by testing. Test manually on different devices to detect the issues users may encounter, correct those and test them again until you are satisfied and then roll-out the final product.
And that’s it, 9 tips that can make or break the eLearning strategy. After all user friendliness is an aspect that should seldom be ignored in case of eLearning.
So, keep in mind, effectiveness of the course rests in how much the users take back with them, which in turn depends on the ease of use and understandability.
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