Stickmen, speech bubbles and e-learning

29 Mar

In the world of e-learning to train staff on new/upgraded computer applications, I often  face the problem of bland screen shoots and dull “Click … ” captions.

Sometimes I wonder whether another grey/blue screen will simply blur the learning experience into nothing  and result in the learner drifting off to sleep infront of their PC.

So what can be done?

Too much distraction will only dilute the content – will the learner be able to recall the process steps involved or only remember the crazy graphics? My guess would be crazy graphics everytime.

So how can I engage the learner at the right level – not too little and not too much? For me, the answer is to keep it simple both with content and with design.

Content needs to be to the point. A rambling paragraph of text won’t engage the learner. So try to keep the original purpose of the content without the extra words. Bullet points certainly help – both in reducing word count and in getting the key information across.

Design should also be simple. Recently I’ve been using stickmen and speech bubbles to bring my e-learning alive. The stickmen were originally hand-drawn, as were the speech bubbles. The result is a simple, no-frills screen, that still manages to get the key information across without bland screenshots or dull captions.

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