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Usability and Interface Design In eLearning

18 Aug

Usability is defined as the ease with which people can utilize a specific tool to get a specific goal. The usability of an object is determined by the extent to which an object is easily usable by the users. The basic point is that if a user can utilize a tool to perform its defined task without much trouble then it is usable. However, there are different degrees of usability for various tools.

Interface of any object makes it usable. Interface is the term used for the medium through which a user interacts with or uses an object to perform specific tasks. For instance, the user interface of a cell phone includes the display screen and keys. The usability of interface is determined by its design. A complex interface design that does not convey the accurate function of each of its element can scare off the user even before using the object. Therefore, it is essential for designers to keep the interface design brief so that the usability of the object can be increased.

How do usability and interface design affect e-learning?

E-learning is the abbreviation of electronic learning. The term is used for learning through an electronic media, or the combination of different electronic media such as the web, computer, and other technologies. Certainly, it needs an interface between the learner and the technology to provide proper learning. The ease with which learners can learn their selected subject without being lost in how to use the technology determines the usability of any e-learning program, and this usability is determined by the interface design of the e-learning process. We can say that the usability and interface design of an e-learning course can make or ruin its success.

Key to a better interface design in e-learning

After knowing the importance of a usable interface design in e-learning plans, the focus on building a better user interface is the next step. The basic user interface includes:

  • Orientation. Orientation tells the learners about the part of the course they are being accessed, and the point where they stand within the course. An accurate orientation lets the learners to have an overview of how much has been learnt, and how much still remains. In this way, the motivation of the learner in the program keeps intact.
  • Navigation. Navigation includes the keys and links that let the learners to access related information easily. Because it characterizes the agility with which a user can navigate through the information contained in the course material.
  • Metaphors. Creating metaphors contains the decision of the premise of the whole program. Depending upon what type of course it supports, any theme can be selected. For instance, an educative program can use various backgrounds, names of the components of menu, and colors etc. The curiosity of learners can be kindled by creating a consistency throughout the course.

Usability testing:

Testing the designed user interface on the end users makes it more convenient and user-friendly as areas that learners find difficult to use can be corrected and any suggestions by learners can be integrated. However, interface design should be finalized after testing it on the target audience to measure its actual usability.

Conclusion:

Badly designed user interface and low usability of an e-learning program cannot be held responsible for its failure. Remember that a good user interface design helps in improving the usability of a program, and also motivate and encourage learners to follow the program till its completion.

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Effective Design Principles for Brochures

19 Jun

Brochures are very important advertisement tool for an organization or individual business as they represent a business detail with whole information to the customers. The main purpose of designing brochure is to promote a company or individual’s business, products, or services. They are design to generate urge in the readers, i.e. customers or clients, to purchase their products or services.

To run a successful business in the jam-packed market place, brochures need to be professionally designed and printed. These brochures can either deliver in different professional meetings, workshops, seminars, or prospective customer or client asks for it themselves. You should take time as much as you want in order to make brochure design a professional piece of advertisement tool to attract more customers or clients.

Here are some effective design principles for brochures that should be kept in mind while designing them.

  • Decide number of pages and folds

A brochure can consist of single to multiple page spreads and folds. Deciding number of pages and folds for the brochure depends on the business type and nature. You need less number of pages for brochure design if you want to add short details. However, if you want to include detailed information then you will need more pages and folds. More pages and folds are not only durable but also costly as compared to the single sheet brochure. Moreover, cover is also determined on the number of pages of the brochure.

  • Select proper paper size and format

Selecting paper size and format depends on the number of products or services you want to categorize on the brochure. Selecting big paper size provides more space to insert more product or services description. After selecting the proper paper size, you need to set the format accordingly. It also depends on the kind of information you want to include in brochure.

  • Design according to distribution way

The design and visibility of brochure is also determined by distribution way. The brochure should be designed properly in order to take an excellent quality print. You can also email your prospective client or customer a copy of brochure instead of direct delivery. It takes less cost to distribute brochures via email as compared to direct distribution.

  • Include graphics and images

Including destructive graphics and images in brochure design influences the appearance of brochure negatively. Therefore, graphics and images should be used appropriately depending on the nature and requirement of business. Do not use too many images.

  • Use quality paper, color, and texture

One good idea is to design brochure in glossy colors and textured paper. It helps in enhancing the appearance and standard of brochure design. Plain paper not only looks unprofessional but also reflects the impression that enough time is not spent in designing this important tool to advertisement and representation. To make the brochure colorful and appealing, use attractive colors and good quality thick paper.

  • Design the cover accordingly

Cover design is also very important along with the brochure overall design. It serves just like a business card, which invites the reader to look for the further information inside the brochure. It should be designed in consistency with the brochure theme and colors.

  • Provide attractive content

An effectively designed brochure provides the prospective customer or client with rich information about business, products, and services by adding attractive, quality contents. All pros and cons of products or services should also be included. In addition, guidelines or FAQ about them can also be added to assist the customers or clients. However, always remember while designing the brochure that a reader should be able to locate easily whatever they are looking for in brochure.

  • Useful Brochure Templates Available Online
There are so many free brochures or brochure templates available online that anyone can get benefit of it. You don’t have to create your own brochures from scratch. Just grab a most suitable brochure and start editing it. Following are just my findings of quality brochure templates,
  1. Brochure Templates from Microsoft Office Website (Official)
  2. Free Brochure Templates created in MS Publisher
  3. Free Flyer Templates – Picky selection by Fun Cards website