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Don’t Make Learners Think!

It sounds counter-intuitive, “Don’t Make Learners Think!”, but that is what Karla Gutierrez of Shift!’s eLearning blog wrote. It isn’t what you might be thinking though. Karla’s statement “don’t make learners think” refers to navigating through an online course. Learners shouldn’t have to spend their time figuring out how to get from one section to the next.

Here are the 7 principles of the Don’t Make Them Think approach to design and a short comment about each principle.

1) Use Visual Cues: Think breadcrumbs. Create a trail so people can easily get where they want to go.

2) Make It Too Obvious: Use standard conventions for icons and buttons.

3) Minimize Your Design: Use white space to give learners room to find what they are looking for. In other words, don’t crowd the page.

4) Reduce Cognitive Load: Cut out unnecessary words. Edit, edit, edit.

5) Be Consistent: Need I say more?

6) Follow Real World Conventions: Use the vocabulary/jargon of the group you are training. When in Rome…

7) Usable Navigation: When a user gets to the end of a section, they shouldn’t have to guess where to go next and how to get there.

To read the entire post by Gutierrez, go to: http://goo.gl/pJXgQY