Imagine, if you will, something that has been well-designed. What qualities do you notice about this thing? Does it have the right weight in your hand? The right texture? Does it feel comfortable when you sit down into it? How does it make you feel?
We’re assuming here that you imagined a three-dimensional object. Extend those qualities now onto your two-dimensional computer screen. How can you bring these design aesthetics into your e-learning programs? How can you make your e-learning program and destination a place where people want to go and spend their valuable time?
Make it something you can grab on to
When we see elements on the screen that have the physical heft of the real world, it creates a level of immersion and reality. We’re not saying you need to go out and build your e-learning course in Second Life, but we are suggesting that you add a physical dimension to your programs. When we see a pencil on the screen it’s like a physical invitation to pick it up and interact with what’s there. It creates receptivity and an openness to jump in and experience this world.
A snippet from the opening animation to the Kineo Essentials: Coaching program. With depth and real objects, it’s something you can almost reach out and touch.
Give it texture
Simple techniques, like adding visual texture make a design pop. When you see a rough piece of paper or a textured fabric on the screen, don’t you want to reach out and touch it? Don’t you want to rub it against your cheek? We do!
That textured look increases the tactile appeal of an on-screen design, creating more pull into this world you have created.
What visual elements can you add to create that “touch-me” texture?
Make it emotional
When you walk into a room that has been well-designed, it evokes a feeling. Maybe you feel excitement or calm or confidence or security. Consider the colours and the fabrics and the sense of space used. And don’t forget the people. Use photographs of people that create a strong emotional connection.
In her recent book, 100 Things Every Designer Needs to Know About People, Susan Weinschenk shares research that we pay more attention and make more of an emotional connection when the photos we use on screen look right at us. So be sure to look right into your learner’s eyes to create that emotional pull and touch the learner in a slightly different way.
Look into my eyes, look into my eyes. By using images that make direct visual contact, we create a more powerful and emotional connection that draws people in and makes them pay closer attention.
What would you add? How do you create depth and texture and touchability in your e-learning programs? Let us know in our eLearning Professionals Group on LinkedIn – over 5,700 of your follow e-learning aficionados are already there!