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6 Design Principles for eLearning

Learning is no longer confined to traditional classrooms and standard hours. Technological advancements have made it possible for people to access online learning. You can easily enroll in an online class and pursue your dream course in the comfort of your home. Thus, eLearning is now popular globally, and the industry is on an upward spiral.

However, there is more that goes into creating effective eLearning platforms with impactful resources. Instructional designers factor in specific design principles to ensure the modules are effective. Thus, you must hire a reputable UI/UX design studio to create a unique eLearning system for good results.

This article discusses the LMS design principles that simplify eLearning for students and boost your educational business performance.

Multimedia Principle

This principle combines several types of multimedia to make learning more engaging. Apart from text, you can include graphics, audio content, and videos in course modules. This principle allows students to learn by listening and watching. As a result, students exhibit high retention rates because of the audio-visual design elements.

You can also use 3D and Virtual Reality animations on the online learning apps. Such elements make learning more exciting, which increases concentration levels. Still, it’s vital to keep the multimedia content moderate, avoiding the UI overload. Select a few media types in the learning app to maintain simplicity.

Contiguity Principle

The contiguity principle governs how the designers place text and graphics. Most people access online learning through smart devices. So, the text and matching graphics should align well. This approach helps learners associate the information with the image easily. If there is a lot of space between images and their explanations, users will struggle to make the connection.

Thus, you should strive to maintain a simple interface with relatable content. Rather than cluttering the screen, this principle helps to improve the learning process.

Modality Principle

Sometimes a course might feature complicated concepts. Thus, breaking it down in an eLearning app might be challenging. Usually, too much text on a screen might overwhelm the cognitive ability of learners. This principle uses a narrative approach to help learners understand different concepts.

Thus, integrating an audio tool on an eLearning platform is more effective than using only text. A narration makes complex information clear and simple.

Redundancy Principle

Redundancy happens when designers place information without clear explanations or in several forms. This principle states that you need to present information simply and allow users to find it without hassle. It implies that placing redundant design elements distracts students from learning effectively. Hence, this approach presupposes using audio or text when explaining visual information in the eLearning module. You can’t use both elements because it will be overwhelming.

Removing the UI media elements that will not enhance learning is imperative. Less is more when it comes to eLearning platforms. For example, you can allow learners to read the content or listen to the audio explanation. Such a platform allows learners to turn off the captions or mute the audio when necessary.

Coherence Principle

This principle uses the same approach as the redundancy model. It encourages the use of minimal elements in an eLearning system for effectiveness. You need to do away with all the unnecessary multimedia and irrelevant data, such as text, videos, images, and audios not delivering any important information.

Applying the coherence principle allows people to learn without distractions. This approach, in turn, increases the retention rates. Thus, you should use only the critical design elements.

Personalization Principle

When students download an eLearning app, it becomes a part of their learning journey. So, the personalization principle adopts an informal style to connect with the learners. They can easily enjoy reading a conversation as they learn. Forget the authoritative style in traditional books. With eLearning designs, students are progressing flexibly while still enjoying great concentration. Besides, most apps have a human element embedded to capture the learners. You can include a virtual tutor to help learners when they feel stuck.

Thus, use simple language to capture the interest of learners. No one wants to strain their brains to understand important concepts.

Segmenting Principle

This principle states that small segments are more effective than long presentations. Learners often feel overwhelmed with long modules. Thus, you need to break down the lessons into small, manageable chunks.

To maintain focus and improve retention, use this microlearning approach to capture the students. Besides, giving the learners control of the content is a positive investment in learner engagement. They can easily search for the resource they want without going through an entire course.

Signaling Principle

Learners can learn more effectively when they get small hints about a specific concept. So, this approach encourages learners to pay attention to the content you give them on the screen. The learners can then proceed to find essential resources from the cues.

If you adopt the signaling principle in your LMS design, it’s recommended to present simple concepts first as you go deeper into the complex topics.

Voice Principle

Your eLearning platform might have a stellar design, but a machine voice annoys learners. Users often keep away from apps or websites with robotic voices. So, it would help to adopt the voice design principle, which suggests that students learn more effectively with a human voice.

This approach allows you to connect with the learners and identify with the voice humanely. Research also suggests that learners retain information better when exposed to content delivery in a human voice.

Pre-Training Principle

This principle uses an approach where learners familiarize themselves with the key concepts before studying the main course. So, you can introduce essential concepts to help students understand the basics first. If they are familiar with the names, it will be easier to build a connection with the course content.

Thus, you can incorporate a video explainer with a detailed narration of what the students can expect in the module.


People learn better in a favorable environment with relevant resources and simple concepts. The same applies to online learning with valuable design elements and content. When designing an eLearning system, you should use the right types of multimedia to reduce distractions. Use the above design principles to facilitate effective learning for users.

Jeff Campbell