How to come up with the right design concept for your elearning [Free guide]

As part of our 5C Framework – essential steps for digital learning success – we’re proud to share our free Conceptualize Guide. This is our expert guide to help you turn the needs you’ve captured into a winning design concept… and save yourself headaches down the line.

elearning design concept guide

3 reasons we back Concept-led design

We have a great tool that makes it super quick and easy to build digital content. Why are we suggesting pulling back and creating an upfront concept first? Here are three quick reasons:

1.   Because you need your elearning to work

Not only do learners give digital content an average of 7 seconds before they decide whether to stick with it or not, but we’re all in the performance improvement game. We need our digital learning to drive change, fix problems, close gaps, change habits and enable individuals to grow. For digital learning, that usually means a combination of relevant, useful, performance resources that offer help there and then – and memorable learning experiences that get us thinking and building competence (over time).

Approaches that start with a bunch of content – rather than thinking about this big picture –risk missing the mark. Yes, you might create some great-looking digital content. But is it relevant, helpful, performance-focused and, importantly, going to keep learners hooked beyond that vital 7 seconds?

2.   Because it’s better to fail fast than slow

Quickly exploring design concepts upfront enables you to discount an idea in 10 minutes (or less!). Consider that, in the face of a content-led approach – which takes hours to build out.

Investing some time upfront to explore and lay out some ideas that you can test with others could save you days later down the line, when making changes is more cumbersome. Wireframes, quick prototypes and different Style options are just some of the ways you can use to find out what works and what doesn’t.

3.   Because alone, you might not always know best

Creating prototypes might seem like a headache or investment of time you just can’t make, but we find it pays off to no end AND it takes no time at all.

With a couple hours of authoring effort and a quick test with a pilot group, you might find your assumptions about learners’ needs, devices used and understanding of the subject is way off. You may find the structure, layouts or wording are unclear and need a tweak. You might be surprised that a particular visual style hits home much better than the one you liked.

But aside from prototyping being a useful step in getting your project right, involving others makes sense. Involved people are more likely to be more invested in the outcome, and more likely to promote your product to others. And user engagement counts, right?!

What will you find in the Conceptualize Guide?

Our free Conceptualize Guide is packed with tips, examples and prompts to help you develop a winning elearning design concept. Building on the needs identified in the Capture stage, it helps you work out how to interpret and convert these into a design direction, what to consider when forming a design and importantly, how to know if it works or not.

So, download it, print it out and take 30-90 minutes to do some important thinking that will pay off later on.

Download the Conceptualize Guide now.

Feeling ready to put your digital learning strategy together? Download your step-by-step guide to developing a successful digital learning strategy.