One element that can easily make or break a course is the user interface. When it comes to websites and software applications, there is an entire discipline called User Experience (or UX design), that is dedicated to creating interfaces that the user will find easy and intuitive to use. So, it’s not hard to see why this is something you should be thinking about as you develop your training material.
There are multiple upsides to designing your own eLearning user interface. Here are several to consider.
You Can Tailor It To Your Course
No two courses are entirely alike. Teaching style, delivery, multimedia, design, purpose, functionality… There are many variables that affect the outcome of the training material.
What if your learning management system (LMS) had a navigation structure that’s difficult to change, or can’t quite be adapted to your purposes? Would it make the course harder to navigate? Would it detract from the learner’s education?
If you design your own interface, you can customize it for your program. That would allow you to take your users through the course in a more efficient and optimized manner. You could build the interface structure around the course, instead of the other way around.
You Can Make It Familiar
Let’s say your entire team logs into Slack every single day to check project progress and determine what they need to work on today. Naturally, over time, they’re going to become familiar and comfortable with the Slack interface.
So, if you could design a user interface that’s like Slack for your training material, your learners will feel a lot more comfortable going through the course, because it will feel familiar to them. This can speed up their progress since they won’t be forced to learn an entirely new interface from scratch.
The less resistance there is to be learning, the easier it is to drive eLearning results from your courses. That is one of the advantages of eLearning and something you should leverage as you develop instructional assets.
You Can Incorporate Your Branding Into Your Courses
It’s a small thing, but it can go a long way. Many companies would love the ability to incorporate their branding into their training material. By building your own user interface, you could easily make this a possibility, including your logo, colors, fonts, and other assets into the design.
By using your branding in the interface, you can remind people what the purpose of the course is. The number one question people have when tasked with anything is “why?” With your branding firmly in place, you can answer your course is important, at least in part.
If you’re an entrepreneur or online teacher releasing a course, naturally you want to be able to direct your users back to your website to access and purchase additional materials. You could easily do that if you develop your user interface with your brand in mind.
It isn’t always necessary to create your own user interface from the ground up. Many times, you can leverage whatever the authoring tool or LMS offers, and tweak it until it feels right. There are many tools that make this process easy and are flexible enough to handle your strict requirements.
When you get the user interface right, you empower your learners to gain more from their learning experience and retain more information, which is what every instructor wants.
An original version of this blog post appeared on the eCreators website.