9 Key Tips for Effective User Experience Design for Online Learning

January 28, 2022 | 4 Min Read

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Online Learning offers many benefits over traditional learning. For one, it allows you to save money since you do not have to spend on learning materials. Second, it will enable you to learn at your own pace and collaborate with students from different parts of the world. 

Moreover, a study shows that online learning takes 40 to 60% less time than traditional learning. That's because everything is provided for the student.

On the other hand, instructors can use various platforms to sell courses online. All it needs is to select the right platform to provide the best learning experience for your students.

This is where User Experience can become handy.



Why is UX Design for Online Learning Important?

A UX design will address the complete experience that a student has with your online learning modules. This includes ensuring that they stay engaged with your lesson and are compelled to participate in exercises.

Learner engagement can be tricky, but we have simplified it for you. Read this blog to learn more about learner engagement.

Sure, we want to provide the best to our students. However, we can only do that when considering the platform's UX and UI.

User Experience (UX) deals with how a student interacts with your eLearning platform. Do they find it easy to navigate? Can they skip the lessons they want to study?

On the other hand, User Interface (UI) deals with how the platform looks and feels. This can make or break how immersive your online course is. Without an intuitive UI, you cannot expect your students to feel interested in using the platform. Hence, this can also impact where and how you will sell courses online

In addition, you need to consider the quality of your content. After all, you are into online course selling because you want more people to learn what you teach.

That said, here are nine tips you should follow to provide an excellent UX to your eLearning students: 

1. Attractive and evident main page

A well-designed landing page is a crucial initiator and a great starting point for browsing. 

If you want to sell courses online, it should attract the right students. To do that, you need to explain who your target students are, what the course is all about, and what students can gain from it afterward. 

Similarly, it should also allow them to reach all the menu buttons and features for the learning management system (LMS).

2. Make navigation as intuitive as possible

Another essential element of eLearning design is navigability. Usually, well-designed navigation gives you access to information. That way, you can use straightforward controls. 

At Sytian Productions Web Design Philippines, we always tell our clients that good navigation enhances engagement and participation. Doing so makes it easy for learners to absorb information instead of accessing the subsequent activities. Over time, it can strengthen knowledge assimilation and retention. 

Ease in navigation will also allow learners to absorb information that way. It's easier to move through the course at their own pace.

3. Set intermediate goals

With online learning, progress bars show the learner's position in the course, how much more they need to go with a particular lesson, topic, or course.

Adding progress bars makes students more motivated since it shows that they're progressing from one level to the next. It also positively impacts their overall engagement since it affects their motivation. 

Motivation stickers are another great way to motivate students to aim for a specific result. Over the years, gamification integrated itself quite well in the eLearning industry. That's because it encourages student engagement and sharing through play. 

Some students who share their badges and progress on social media can turn this into a positive competition. It can also be a great marketing strategy for your course and platform. 

4. Create clear Calls to Action

Having simplified navigation will give students a direction of the course to move smoothly. 

Now, what about the specific action that you want them to do? How do you ensure the execution of these actions? That's where call-to-actions come in. Using this approach, learners will always know what they should do.

A call-to-action will show them what action they need to take next and how long that specific track will take. 

Ideally, there should be no unnecessary elements on the page. The student will be rewarded for completing the previous track, and a large button will be designed to persuade the students to go on. 

5. Provide user-friendly UI

Studying needs focus. This is where a user-friendly UI can be helpful. That's because it creates a more positive learning atmosphere. This includes being able to immerse in the eLearning platform.

You have to factor in the emotional aspect as well. Make sure that you're using eye-catching visual aids and unobtrusive captions. 

6. Keep the design and navigation consistent

In the same way, you should also ensure that you keep both the design and navigation consistent. 

If the next button is placed on the bottom right corner of the page, keep it there. If the color you use for pop-ups that show the correct answer is green, don't make the next one blue. 

Remember that consistency is crucial if you're planning to venture into online course selling. More so if you want to earn the user's trust and make it easy to navigate through the course. 

7. Use the F Shape pattern

A study from the Nielsen Norman Group showed that people tend to read the site in the F shape. Usually, that's two stripes across and then one strip down.

Usually, this tells us two things. Firstly, site viewers rarely read texts thoroughly. Secondly, they tend to focus more on the top of the page. Therefore, you have to make sure that you're concise with this part by placing the most critical information at the very top of the page.

You can start with the subheadings and move on to the paragraphs, bullet points, and information-carrying words.

8. Clear the clutter

Ideally, it would help not subject learners to information overload. There's nothing worse than having a course page that's filled with tiny, dense text that will direct you to a million other resources.

What you need is to make good use of whitespace. Place them on your page margins and between paragraphs. You also need to make sure you choose the ones you need on the page and the ones you should be getting rid of. It would help if you were keeping critical information above the fold.

9. Make use of existing best practices

Finally, you should take best practices into the heart rather than reinvent them. Be inspired by existing apps and websites to create a more consistent design. Find out what works for you and other instructors.

Using basic web principles is vital. Furthermore, this will also make it easier for users to navigate your site if it's pretty similar to what they've previously used.


Over to You

The average learner needs more these days. As humans, we respond more positively if it is quality content wrapped in eye-catching visual aids.

That said, the most popular platforms to sell online courses are often clean, streamlined, and intuitive. It is also essential to keep your course content updated with new and relevant studies and research.

Whether you are designing your online course platform yourself or using a proprietary one, make sure to follow the tips listed above.

Author bio:

Kenneth Sytian is the Owner and CEO of Sytian Productions Web Design Philippines. He has been designing websites and developing web apps for more than a decade. He is the driving force behind the company and influencer in the industry of web design and development in the Philippines.

 The views and opinions expressed belong to the guest blogger alone, and do not necessarily reflect the official policies or opinions of Lambda Solutions.

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