Visual Design – enhancing your eLearning with images

All eLearning specialists and instructional designers know that images are important in eLearning. Choosing the right images to represent your ideas enhances the learning experience and the retention of the learner. You don’t need a degree in graphic design to know how to effectively use images in your course but follow these tips and tricks to create an impact on your learner.

Use relevant images

Avoid using images for decoration. Irrelevant images can distract the learner from the content, whilst relevant images will assist the learner in understanding, absorbing and retaining the information more quickly. Before using any image, make sure that the image strengthens and supports your message.

Irrelevant image  Relevant image







Use images to evoke emotion

Learners engage more in a course when they  feel an emotional connection to the learning. Images are a great way to emotionally engage learners by allowing the images to tell a story. It is also advisable to use pictures that learners can relate to.

Use images of similar style

Use images with the same “look and feel” or style. For example, if you are using cartoon character images, do not use photographic character images as well. This creates consistency in your course and is more pleasing to the eye.

Example 1 Example 2

Be aware of the placement of pictures

Placement of images is important in grabbing the learner’s attention. Try not to place images on the bottom right corner of the screen as our mind subconsciously relates content in this area as unimportant. People’s eyes and minds often notice the top left corner of the screen first, so place your important content and images in this area.

Re-size and crop

Images are meant to engage the learner, so make your images eye-catching by re-sizing or cropping the image so that it fits with the content and draws the learner’s focus to a specific detail.


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