How To Use Graphics For Training Development
As Learning and Development professionals, we know it’s important to maintain the highest-quality content for training to make our programs successful. It’s an ongoing process to design and develop employee training modules, with periodic reviews to keep content relevant, engaging, and up to date.
During that process, it’s important to keep in mind the User Experience (UX) for your learners. The most effective employee development and training programs not only include the most important information, but they use visual design as a teaching aid to capture attention and support retention. After all, if your content isn’t memorable, it’s harder for learners to retain training information and adopt skills.
What makes content engaging, and what constitutes good visual design? Is it as simple as breaking up the text with graphics? In a word, no. That’s a starting point, but it’s not that simple. Below, you’ll find outlined areas of design that must be considered and how to know when you need to bring in an expert to help.
When To Hire Creative Services For Employee Training And Development
1. Your digital learning offerings aren’t up to accessibility standards.
No modern website, eLearning module, or digital training program should be launched without a review for compliance with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). These are standards for fonts, colors, navigation, graphics, and motion that ensure that your content is readable for all audiences. You’ll want to use designers that understand these guidelines, can make recommendations to fit your audience and budget, and are experienced in front-end web design—at least enough to work with your technology team. (Bonus points if you hire a creative services team with access to these additional technical skills.)
2. Your training programs don’t reflect the branding and culture of your organization.
When your training content doesn’t reflect the look and feel of other interfaces and assets within your organization, you lose credibility with learners. All of your content should reflect the culture of the organization through visuals, messaging, tone, and overall User Experience. Start with using brand colors and fonts and try to align graphics and images. Consider, also, that images should be inclusive to reflect your workforce and show (rather than tell) your team about the mission and values of your organization.
3. Your learning audience is disengaged and turned off by your training content.
As Instructional Designers will tell you, User Experience is a central part of learning experience design. All of your materials should be visually appealing, that’s a given. Uninterrupted blocks of text, audio and/or slide show presentations without breaks for questions or interaction will overwhelm learners, so the storytelling must be on point. Beyond that, your team must polish the interface learners use to access your digital training as well. Learners that can’t find their way around your content will be frustrated and demotivated. Bring in creative directors, copywriters, and visual designers—as well as tech support—to enhance your content to engage your learners.
4. You don’t have a large enough team to have a graphics or UX designer already on staff.
Does your team include artists and designers, videographers, copywriters, software specialists, and creative directors—or at least someone with those skills? If not, you’re operating without all of the resources you need to build a complete, effective learning program. Your Subject Matter Experts and L&D team can only do so much. When you need to accomplish any of the above tasks or want to take the next step and create more immersive, experience-based training with simulations and decision-tree storytelling, you’ll want to use a consultant—at least temporarily—to add those elements to your training.
There are a lot of ways your L&D team can improve your content in-house. Use of graphics and improvements made to the UX of your content is a vital upgrade to enhance learning and increase successful outcomes by creating engagement. When you don’t have the capabilities needed to improve the accessibility of your eLearning, training modules, and websites, you’ll need to bring in consultants to help. The same is true if you don’t have a graphics designer that can help you update the look of your content to align with your company branding, or if you find that you need to increase overall engagement with older resource content materials.