Let me start by saying “A good User Interface may not always result in good User experience in E-learning”.
Most of us are already acquainted with the significance of UI and UX in our daily lives. The physical interaction between human and machine, commonly known as HMI (Human Machine Interaction) is achieved through User Interface while the overall experience that the learner attains during that interaction is known as User Experience.
E-learning encompasses engaging learning activities in form of interactions, simulations, knowledge checks etc. But if the designer focuses solely on engaging the learner, the entire user experience can go for a toss. Now, think about going to a mall to buy a perfume. The staff is engaging you with all these different samples and you get so lost in the aroma that you end up buying nothing. Sounds familiar, isn’t it?
Your curriculum design might be aesthetically pleasing but if the learner gets stuck in it, then it won’t be called a good User Experience. Try and incorporate the following for a good user experience:
Navigation and Design Consistency: If the first slide of the course has navigation buttons on the bottom-right; try and keep them there for rest of the course. If the clickable boxes are Grey, keep them consistent throughout the course. You got the drill, Right?
As per Constructivist theory, “We learn new things by relating them to what we already know”. Thus, keeping consistency will reduce cognitive load leading to a good user experience.
Usability: UX is not only about proper navigation and design; Usability also plays a key role in it. Always treat your learner as a novice and impart them with proper guidance even it seems pretty simple to you. For Example, you may know that the Tabs are clickable but they might not. If they get stuck even for a minute looking for answers, you my dear friend have failed and yes it hurts!
Don’t Over-do it: I myself got carried away a lot of times when it comes to designing highly interactive courses. Blast from Past involves having following navigation items on one screen:
- Clickable Menu
- Navigation Buttons
- Interactive Timeline at bottom bar
I know, It’s embarrassing! Summing it all up, A bad UX can disappoint your learners as much as the last episode of Heroes Reborn series 😛
I hope these points help!