The fact is, you don't really have a lot of room for design in the modern e-learning environment – it has all been pretty much pre-designed for you. We did touch on this topic more thoroughly half a year ago in one of the INTEA Breakfasts subtly titled “Design is dead”. Your corporate guidelines dictate what parameters must be met, nonetheless, there are still a few areas left for you to leave your mark on. What can you do?
Today's learners expect quality from you therefore no part of your learning material should be neglected. And also this includes visuals - videos, illustrations and photography. Let's look at the latter one in more detail.
Does this sound familiar - you ask the marketing department to send you pictures of employees or of your customers and they send internal stock photography where everyone is super happy and smiling? Build your own e-learning photo stock together with marketing department, and you will find out is very interested to equally benefit from it! So what are the requirements for the perfect e-learning photo stock?
A good place to start - avoid stock photography. In very simple terms - stock photography lies to you and while it might look great to you, the people who are actually doing that job might find it unrealistic or even hilarious. Therefore communication with the marketing department is crucial as it gives them a scope of your work. What should you ask?
- Range of characters. Plan the courses you might need, keeping in mind actual situations.
Think - back office, admin, legal, service people, guards, customers.
2. Range of emotions. There’s also the other side of happy! Courses are typically about problem solving, right? It's about “hey, here's an unhappy customer - try and help them” or “hey, we got this request from a government regulator what should we do about it?”
Think – angry, frustrated, puzzled, stressed, or overwhelmed.
3. Range of locations. Yes, people are having a meeting, and, no, not the meeting from the 1990s stock images with static faces.
Think - office kitchen (often overlooked), lobby corridors, desk space.
4. Range of topics. Plan the courses that you want to build and try to sit down with marketing department. Talk to them about long term plans, regarding courses that will be developed next year.
Think - We need a security course so we will probably require a few people in helmets or holding an extinguisher or we are building this new product with a lot of materials and we will likely need some training around that new product so why don't we sit down and think what we can procure for you so that your training looks awesome.
Notice the pattern of repetitive wording, such as "range" and "variations" when we speak about how to make your e-learning design effective. The aim is to build a diversified portfolio of images that you and the marketing department would benefit from in the long term.
For further reading see the related article (E-learning + Marketing = Can it be cost saving?) on how to successfully work with the marketing department to gain mutual benefits creating your e-learning course and bringing your partnership a step further.