5 easy visual design mistakes to avoid

Home Course design tips 5 easy visual design mistakes to avoid

Let’s take a look at the top five visual design mistakes commonly found in online courses and what you can do to avoid them. While you may have killer content within your course, your audience will be visually impressed by the look and feel of your course before they’ve even started!

So it does pay to invest time in great course design. Of course, a professional course designer will design a course that looks great but also encourages learning.

#1 Poor quality graphics

The saying goes…a great image is worth a thousand words.

If you’re not a keen photographer, invest in quality clear, sharp images.

My current favourite sites for free photo’s are pixababy and picjumbo. If you’ve got a couple of dollars to spare, I’d highly recommend buying a few general photo’s that you could rotate around the blog and your social media accounts. Some sites such as dollarphotoclub sell pics for as little as $1.

#2 Insufficient white space

Never underestimate the power of white space.

Cluttered wordy slides with too many bullet points and graphics can distract and annoy your audience. White space helps to break up text and visuals. It’s also a great way to focus on a particular word or image.

An easy way to create white space is to increase paragraph space, text spacing, padding or column widths.

#3 Inappropriate fonts

It’s generally recommended that you stick with two to three fonts throughout your course. Opt for easy to read fonts. Sans-serif fonts are popular although research suggests serif fonts are easier to read.

Avoid curly wurly, cursive and Comic Sans fonts like the plague!

#4 Clashing colours

Don’t discount the psychological effects of colour. Selecting the right colour can improve your audience’s mood and actually encourage them to learn. E-learning brothers have written a great article about colour and e-learning.

Clever online tools such as Adobe Color and Colorschemer can help you choose colour schemes and palettes.

#5 Insufficient contrast

Contrast can be included in many shapes and forms. Good contrast occurs when elements complement each other despite their vast differences. The greater the difference, the greater the contrast.

Four common methods of creating contrast are by using differences in size, shape, colour, and type.

I hope this post has helped you to get a better idea of how you can visually improve your courses.

Want to learn even more? Then download my free guide to creating online courses now.


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