Join Anastasia McCune for an in-depth discussion in this video Power design principles for elearning, part of Visual Aesthetics for Elearning.
- [Instructor] Graphic and web designers, artists, and others involved with visual media often learn about the formal principles and elements of design. These concepts can also be used in e-learning as guides towards making aesthetic decisions that help make the visual aspect of your projects more considered and compelling. So, what are the principles and elements of design? Well, you can think of the principles of design as the rules of design. Likewise, the elements of design are basic components that help you achieve the rules.
An analogy might be that one principle, or rule of driving, is to obey all street signs. The elements that help you follow the rule would be the actual signs, like stop signs, yield signs, and so on. Observing the signs helps you follow the rule. So for example, in terms of design elements and principles, you could use the rule or principle of contrast to express an idea. Contrast juxtaposes elements with opposing features to make items stand out clearly.
Now you might use the element of color as a building block to achieve the rule of contrast by making an orange block stand out and look different from blue blocks. In this section we'll be examining six principles or rules of design. There are more than six principles that exist. Exactly how many there are is a matter of some debate, depending on who you're talking to. However, I distilled the list down to six that seem particularly powerful and relevant in the context of e-learning. They are: contrast, repetition, alignment, proximity, sometimes called grouping, unity, and simplicity.
There is somewhat of an order in that the mnemonic device the first four principles create is, well, C-R-A-P. The origin to this humorous and straightforward approach to design principles is the book, The Non-Designer's Design Book by Robin Williams. These days, references to the CRAP acronym can be found all over the web and design world. It does make it easy to remember those four principles of contrast, repetition, alignment, and proximity that are well suited for e-learning, so let's use that mnemonic device and add to it unity and simplicity, for our chosen list of six design principles for e-learning.
Now you might choose to purposefully not use the principles of design, but at least considering them first helps ensure that your layouts are thought through.
- Why you should pay attention to aesthetics
- Power design principles for elearning
- Contrast, repetition, alignment, unity, and simplicity
- Selecting colors and a typeface
- Working with type technically
- White space
- Tips and tricks you can use today
- Using grids, style guides, and templates