eLearning Course Launch: 7 Design Tips

7 Design Elements That May Be Missing From Your Course

In many tech firms, testers are the highest earners. This sometimes bothers their colleagues, because it doesn’t seem like a particularly hi-tech skill. And yet it’s a bit like an editor or quality control expert. Their primary task is to “mark” your work, but without them, your entire enterprise could collapse. So, what easily forgotten design elements do you need to verify before you put your online training course on the market? This eLearning course launch checklist can help you spot design elements that diminish the value of your finished product.

1. Security Levels

This may not seem like a design factor, but it is. It’s controlled by your UI and UX code, merging back-end and front-end functionality. Think about any cloud-based service you use. It could be your email or a social media platform. In fact, log in now, then log out. Now hit the “back” button on your browser. A surprising number of products expose your private data that way, allowing the next user to access your account. Double-check your software to ensure that logging out actually does log you out. This is crucial whether it’s LMS, training apps, or web-based training courses. It’s a massive security breach, so lock it down tight.

2. Loading Speeds

The average netizen has limited patience when it comes to page loading. They need their software, apps, or pages to load in three to five seconds or they’ll navigate away. For training sessions, this type of slow loading can lead to a high drop-off. The trainee may try once, twice, three times, then dismiss the course altogether. Test and retest to ensure optimized page loading. Compress images, videos, audio files, and attachments to ensure they’re not too heavy. You could also consider using simpler illustrations that don’t pixelate. Take out any superfluous page elements that may be slowing things down.

3. Compatibility

You know when you save a document and it pops up an alert? It says something like, “saving in this version may interfere with formatting.” In essence, when you use a higher or lower edition of your software, it can completely mess up your page design. The online training equivalent applies to operating systems, browsers, and device models. It’s more than opening on desktop or mobile. Sometimes, logging into an app via Chrome produces a different visual effect than Mozilla. And don’t even get me started on IE. Test your app on multiple browsers to ensure design integrity. Test it on different device models too.

4. Dead Links

These are common problems on blogs and websites, and they could equally affect your training software. Look through every single screen, clicking on links to see where they go. Your assessment is in two areas. One, that the link redirects to the right page or site. Two, that the content you’re linking to exists. Misdirection and Error 404s can happen during course updates or if someone else took over the course, so triple-check just to be sure. You can also check that pop-up boxes, call-outs, and hover functions are in working order.

5. At-A-Glance Content Review

Now pass a cursory eye over all the text sections of the course. You don’t have to read word-for-word, that’s a different level on the checklist. For now, just pass your eyes over every screen. You want to see that there’s no lorem ipsum and that every page is populated with finalized content. You can also check that font sizes and colors are correctly applied, ensuring consistency and legibility in your course. Take the time to take a more holistic view of your design and verify that everything fits into the overall layout and theme.

6. Hidden Types And Extraneous Text

There may have been some blaring typos that you caught right away. Then there are others that may be hiding among less prominent content. For instance, image captions or infographic text. This is a good time to go through your course with a fine-toothed comb to look for any grammatical glitches you might have overlooked. You can also search for extraneous text that doesn’t really serve a purpose, thereby improving knowledge retention and reducing the risk of cognitive overwhelm. In fact, get a pair of fresh eyes to edit the content before your eLearning course launch. Chances are, you’ve reviewed it so many times that all the words are beginning to blur together. A third party can help you spot typos that went unnoticed.

7. Inappropriate Visuals

You’ve already deleted all the images that aren’t necessary to prevent cognitive overload, as well as those that overtly stir up controversy. But you have to take it a step further by ensuring that every visual element aligns with your learners’ background. For example, will it make people from certain cultures feel alienated or uncomfortable? Does the image speak to them by incorporating familiar settings or characters? Conduct a visual check-up to make sure that every image is worthy of your finished course design.

The appearance of online courses is important. It makes material legible, enjoyable, and easier to consume. Before launching your course, do an audit from a design perspective, making sure everything looks good and works right. Verify login and log-out access, both from the look and feel of the buttons and their functionality. Optimize media for quick loading. Ensure your software is compatible with different computer models, operating systems, and screen sizes. Test all links to make sure they’re not broken or misdirected. Check your content, confirming any dummy copy was replaced with the right information.

Are you looking for a new authoring tool to help you improve your current content before the big eLearning course launch? Use our online directory to find the best eLearning authoring tools for your project (and budget).

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