How Can UI/UX Design Principles Influence eLearning Software?

June 14, 2022 • 220 Views • 13 min read

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Bohdan Vasylkiv

CEO & Co-Founder

Today we will try to find out how UI/UX design principles can change the eLearning industry.

Actually, it is not a secret that UI/UX design process is an essential part of the development of high-quality products. As a matter of fact, it is almost the only aspect, that can increase user engagement and be rated by users. UI/UX defines the major communication and interface principles for the user. This is why it is very important in industries with high interaction levels like eLearning.

Why Does It Matter?

E-Learning software like any user-oriented product tries to provide the best learning experience. This is why UI/UX eLearning principles are crucial development aspects to consider. Obviously, the eLearning software development includes more complicated steps. Nevertheless, UX/UI plays a key role in the final outcome.

In order to understand the importance of UI/UX and how to use it in a correct way, as well as how it influences various industries, it is important to understand what each abbreviation means.

User Interface

UI is a visual form of the product. It defines how will the end result look like. The user interface determines the means of communication and interaction. It includes various components, that help to use or navigate the website or an app.

The user interface is working as a trigger for various processes. Obviously, all the components that are used for interaction between the user and the product are simplified operations with the code. Most regular users have no experience in coding. Nevertheless, all of us are using code-based programs every day. It is possible thanks to the UI.

As a result, all the UI elements’ main purpose is to make the usage as simple as possible for everyone. They have already become a normal aspect of our life. All of these swaps, clicks, or voice commands feel as if they are natural and very intuitive.

User Experience

UX is a more general concept. User experience, as its name implies, is responsible for the overall interaction with the product and a brand. While UI manages all the technical aspects of using the website or an app, the UX is in charge of gathering and analyzing the data and further decisions making.

Therefore, UX’s main purpose is to make sure that the outcome is user-friendly and provides the most comfortable and positive conditions for the user.

User experience is a strategic approach, while UI is its practical side. eLearning UX like any other user experience consists of 5 major elements, that are similar to planning stages:

1. Strategy. At this point, the developers are considering their audience reach, trying to analyze it, and find out their needs and requirements. All of the gathered information is being used in order to assemble the product, that will be in demand. 

2. Scope. During the scoping designers are deciding what idea and content will be, as well as features and functions to add. On the one hand, they need to form the main purposes of the product and what services it will provide. On the other, developers have to create a list of the functions to present, that are related to the users’ requirements. 

3. Structure. At this stage, the developing team sketches the structure of the product. They determine how the elements of the structure cooperate with each other during the interaction with the user. 

4. Skeleton. During this level, developers embody all the previous decisions. They create the body of the product that includes the main working aspects such as interfaces, features, and functions, the location of the content blocks, etc. 

5. Surface. The final point. During it, designers shape the final look of the product and choose visuals, typography, colors, and style.

UI/UX Design Principles In ELearning Software

After we understand what UI/UX stands for, and know what the main UX elements and UI components are, we can consider the best UI/UX eLearning principles for digital content development.

Actually, in addition to various UI components, there are diverse UI design patterns, that shape the whole interaction system and partly predetermines these elements. Obviously, if you use a voice-based interface you may not need a variety of input controls or information containers. The best example of using such instructional design can be used in eLearning software is pronunciation trainers.

Nevertheless, the UI/UX design principles must be considered together in order to provide the best possible result. In the context of the learning experience and eLearning software, UI/UX design principles have proven their effectiveness. Using this combination improves user engagement thanks to a better user experience. So, how eLearning software development depends on UI/UX design principles, and what are these principles?

Course Planning

Obviously, the most important eLearning content development step is course planning. If you want to develop a high-quality eLearning software you need to sketch its concept. Course planning is almost similar to the major eLearning UX elements that were mentioned before.

Planning helps to better understand your targeted audience and its needs. This allows choosing features of online courses, which will be in demand and can cover the audience’s requirements, which will increase user engagement. Moreover, course planning is used to predict the outcome. Therefore, the developer will know not only the possible strengths and weaknesses but will better understand how to position it on the market, and to whom to appellate.

Visual Appeal of Online Courses

As was mentioned before, UI/UX proposes a lot of visual solutions that can help to improve the overall user experience and make your product user-friendly. Actually, the visual appeal of online courses is not only about making them fancy and good-looking. It is a whole sphere, which includes a lot of different instruments and approaches that help to improve user engagement, helping them to better concentrate and master the learning material.

Among the most popular ideas, that enhance user experience design in eLearning software are minimalistic visual elements and white spaces. The first one eliminates unnecessary distractions and provides only essential input controls with limited visual design. This helps to pay attention only to the needed information.

The “white spaces” is an information structurization approach. Its main purpose is to divide the screen content into blocks with spaces in between. So, instead of presenting the paragraph as one solid block of letters with minimum distances between them, the visual elements like white spaces deliver the same information, divided into small blocks with distancing.

As a result, it is easier to perceive the text. Moreover, it makes it possible to add visualization between the paragraphs for deeper understanding and to make the visual appeal of online courses more pleasant. However, the white spaces are just a part of a minimalistic design approach. For instance, it also includes such components as simplified design, minimum input elements, limited color scheme, etc.

User-oriented Approaches

As a matter of fact, it is based on the learning experience. Such things as the possibility to get feedback from the tutor and similar user-oriented options are among the most essential features of online courses. It creates comfortable conditions for studying, which helps to increase user engagement and impacts the learning outcomes.

This specific function applies specifically to UX. Nevertheless, each of the user-oriented features is embodied thanks to the learner interface as well. Basically, the creation of a user-oriented product is possible due to 2 steps of the development process: the first step is user experience analysis, which helps to define useful possibilities to add, and the second one is to embody these features using UI approaches.

Another great example of a user-oriented approach is the ability to personalize and customize the app or website for a specific user. As a result, it creates a variety of opportunities for adaptive learning.

In addition, the opportunity to share user-generated content has also proven its effectiveness as an alternative learner-oriented approach. Such ability makes the studying process even easier and improves the learning experience. Users can share their experiences as well as ask and answer questions almost 24/7, which is not possible in the case of tutor-student communication. Such an interaction scheme is the main feature of the SkillShare online studying platform.

Gamification in eLearning

Another way how to increase user engagement using UX elements is gamification. Obviously, gamification in eLearning is a great way to make routine processes more exciting. Using different game aspects such as ratings and rewards, or developing the educational processes in a gamified way stimulates the users and helps them to better concentrate on the task.

What must be said is that gamification is usually used as an additional tool, not the main one. At the moment, gamification in eLearning is one of the most common features of online courses. Generally, it is used for tests and other background knowledge checkings. Of course, it is possible to use it for learning purposes but it has fewer usage examples.

End Line

Summing up, we can say that UI/UX design principles are actively used in eLearning software. The main purpose of using UI and UX elements is to improve the learning experience and increase user engagement. Among the popular ways to do so are changing the visual appeal of online courses and the advancement of eLearning content development.

Key UX elements help not only to monitor and develop a new eLearning software but to upgrade the already existing ones. Among the most popular features of online courses are gamification in eLearning and the usage of various user interfaces.

If you have any additional questions or looking for an experienced development team that can help you to embody your ideas and develop an eLearning software you can contact us and be sure that we will help you with all the procedures.

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