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How to incorporate the principles of design into e-learning?


A good learning experience is all a learner wants on an e-learning platform. It can be easily obtained by incorporating the design principles with the content available.

Each element, like shape, size, colour, texture, ratio, etc., matters a lot for creating a profound impact on the learner’s mind. Visual elements in an aesthetically pleasing way help the learner to be productive. Visual impressions always work for the betterment of the learning process.


Generally, if we study art and craft, we learn some basic principles and elements of design. These principles and elements are essential as they profoundly impact the viewer. These elements are the tools that we use to enhance our productivity. They hold a lot of value in learning, as it makes the process much easier and enjoyable.


The principles listed below are the suggestions you can include in the e-learning platform to create a meaningful and interesting course. It is well known that a composition that is designed or built according to the learner’s perspective is always more impactful and engaging. So for a better engagement on your eLearning platform, follow these simple principles, and incorporate them into your platform. It will have a better understanding and learning from your side and from the learner’s side.


Let us start with the eight principles that must be incorporated into the eLearning process. They are as follows:

1. Ratio

So the first and the basic principle of design for better learning is the ratio of the visual elements presented nicely. And this could be achieved by keeping a balance in the content and between all the options present on the platform. The content present on the site must be written so that it satisfies all the learner’s needs. There should be various content present on the platform to fulfil the learner’s expectations. 


This ratio in the content can be maintained by providing a sufficient amount of images, graphics, videos, gaming zone, and audio in a balanced way. Overburdening of the content and other such elements should be avoided. 


Try to make the sizes of the buttons of all options equal in size for a perfect look. You can highlight certain features or controls which hold greater importance. Organizing things evenly will impact the learner’s mind and have a pleasing effect.

2. Motion

The second principle of design is motion or movement. You will agree with me that something in motion on the screen attracts the learner first than the rest of the part. This is natural because moving things is the eye-catching element that first grasps the viewer’s attention. The best example of this is the small animations seldom used to depict any action. 


This attracts the learner and lets them understand the concept better. You can use it between the content to present the idea or use graphs to depict the ratio. Though it is a good idea to use it in your content, overuse may not be a good idea. 


This is because many animation movements in a short content look weird; the learners might find it irritating. The learner might also not be able to focus much on the content due to the overdo of the animation. So by following the first principle of ideal balancing, use it to a certain extent. 

3. Scaling

The third principle is about scaling the objects present on the site. While designing the course for the e-learning platform, make sure you use the same fonts, size, and spacing in between the objects. I am saying this because when learners look up the course, they might find it absurd, as the content is full of different fonts and sizes. It is a great cause of distraction for the learner. 


The best thing that you can do to get rid of this problem is to set some rules for yourself. And while designing, keep those in mind and design evenly with the same size and style so that all the objects present in the course complement each other and look perfect.

4. Alignment

The fourth principle of design is linked with the basic alignment of the page. It is vital to have the proper alignments because the elements must be placed right on the page, and the ideal space for the margin is left. The space for the margins should be left empty for an even look. In this way, you are making your content delivery clear, simple, and perfect to look at. 

5. Color Contrast

The fifth principle of design is associated with the page’s colour contrast. The word contrast means making the objects distinguishable. Colour contrasting is one of the most powerful tools to make the object stand apart from others so that the learner pays attention to it. The typical colour contrast can be white and black or green and pink and more like these. 


It is beneficial for both you and the learner as it gets it faster and much better than what the author meant to say or show. Clear, legible, and interesting content is all a learner wants to have. 

6. Prominence

The sixth design principle is associated with giving enough prominence to the particular object needed. A course contains a lot of information about the respective topic. When the learner starts up with the course and finds that everything is customarily written. Then arises the problem because the learner cannot understand what is essential to focus on and whatnot, and he might end up reading it.


So to avoid this problem you need to emphasize the important things. This can be done by making the critical word or phrase in capital letters, using a solid colour, balancing the font size and the style. Lesser prominent things can be made thinner and lighter concerning the fonts and sizes. 

7. Iteration

The seventh principle of design is concerned with the iteration of essential elements. Iteration is related to the repetition of the crucial elements so that the effectiveness of the course is maintained. It also provides a good user experience as the learner finds the content connected with the root. It also keeps the navigation easy, as certain vital icons and buttons are repeated from time to time for a better understanding.

8. Unification

The eighth principle of design is linked with the unification of all the elements. A fundamental unity must be maintained among the objects to engage the learner. The unity among the size, contrast, and fonts for all courses should be maintained as the e-learning platform might be offering several courses with different authors. For this, you can present a guideline so that the course doesn’t lose its consistency.


The principle mentioned above is quite practical and valuable for the learning process. If you choose to incorporate them in your learning platform from the beginning only, then you can witness its amazing effects. It will provide the best user experience along with the significant traffic to your platform. 


Photo by Julia M Cameron from Pexels.

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Mayuresh S. Shilotri writes on Product, EdTech, UX, Customer Development & Early Stage Growth. 2,000-Word posts only. You can discover more about me here

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