9 top tips to integrate branding into eLearning course design

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How to integrate branding into eLearning course design

Your eLearning course imparts knowledge and gives online learners the tools they need to succeed. However, it also provides you with the opportunity to enhance your brand image and establish yourself as an industry expert. To accomplish this, you must create a cohesive eLearning course design that conveys the right tone and aligns with your brand message. Here are 9 tips to help you integrate branding into eLearning course design.

1. Create a reusable eLearning template

eLearning templates give you the ability to design consistent and cohesive eLearning experiences that align with your brand image. Best of all, you don't have to start from scratch every time you develop a new eLearning course. The layout is already pre-built, complete with logos, borders, and placeholders. You can either create your own eLearning template to fully integrate your branding elements or use a preexisting eLearning template to save time and simply plug your brand images into the customizable placeholders.

2. Optimize your logo for online viewing

Bear in mind that online learners will be viewing your logo on screens – both big and small. Your logo may look great on the PC, but is it still legible on smartphones? Or does the eLearning design look crammed and chaotic? Reevaluate your company's logo to ensure that it's suitable for all resolutions. If it's not, there are two options to consider. The first is to redesign your logo or create an entirely different one solely for your eLearning courses. However, the latter solution may create some confusion among your consumer base and your online learners. The second option is to only include your logo in strategic locations. For example, on the introduction and summary page. You can still use other branding elements throughout the eLearning course to convey your image and messaging.

3. Create a color scheme

One of the most simple and stress-free ways to incorporate your branding into eLearning course design is to create a customized color scheme. This palette should align with your logo and all other company materials, such as your website and marketing tools. Also, pay attention to the emotional symbolism of the colors you choose. For example, blue has a calming effect, while red usually conveys a sense of urgency. Ideally, the colors should complement each other and provide the perfect amount of contrast.

4. Customize your real-world activities

Branding extends far beyond your basic eLearning course layout. You can even incorporate branding elements into your real-world activities, such as online training simulations, scenarios, and serious games. In addition to customizing the eLearning template to include your color scheme and logo, you can also create brand-worthy eLearning characters. For example, the main character can wear your branded attire or the story can take place in a setting that sports your signage.

5. Find fonts that align with your image

Fonts evoke certain tones or emotions. For example, a fanciful font may convey a sense of elegance and sophistication, while modern fonts are usually associated with crisp, clean designs. Fonts can also reflect your brand image. The key is to choose your fonts early on so that your eLearning course design remains consistent. Also, avoid font types that are too chaotic or cluttered, as this detracts from the value of your eLearning course. Most eLearning authoring tools have built-in font types, but you can also download a broad range of fonts online to add to your asset library.

6. Include personalized images

Chances are, you already have some promotional images on hand, such as photos from the workplace or snapshots of happy employees. Why not include these personalized images to integrate branding into eLearning course design? These images also make the eLearning experience more relevant and real, while enhancing the benefits of your eLearning course and improving knowledge retention. If you don't have images at your disposal, you can always opt for royalty-free images that suit your style. In addition to images, you might consider background audio that strikes the right tone.

7. Add your social media icons

No eLearning course is complete these days without social media buttons. However, you don't have to use the standard widgets. In fact, you can add social media icons that include your font, color palette, and company images. For example, the traditional Twitter logo becomes a bright pink bird donning sunglasses or the LinkedIn icon undergoes a font and color makeover to match your brand image. This not only reflects your branding, but adds a touch of personality to your overall eLearning course design.

8. Opt for themed eLearning navigation controls

Another subtle way to integrate branding into eLearning course design is to revamp your eLearning navigation icons. For example, adjust the font and color scheme of the buttons to make them reflect your brand image. Another golden rule to follow is to keep the navigation simple and straightforward. Don't clutter the buttons or icons with multiple graphics or busy fonts. The key is to make it user-friendly so that online learners keep coming back for more.

9. Invest in a rapid eLearning authoring tool

This last tip actually makes it easy to incorporate the aforementioned branding elements. A rapid eLearning authoring tool features built-in images, eLearning templates, and themes. As such, you can easily integrate your branding instead of building from the ground up. For example, use one of their preexisting layouts to design online training simulations or branching scenarios that feature your color scheme and logo.

Integrating branding into eLearning course design may take extra time and resources. However, it helps to establish trust and credibility among your audience. Not to mention, it builds brand awareness so that your current online learners remain loyal and new online learners seize the opportunity to enroll.

Now that you have a good idea of how to integrate branding into eLearning course design, how about improving the overall visual design of your eLearning course? Read the article 8 tips to create aesthetically appealing eLearning on budget to discover eight simple and budget-friendly ways to improve the look and feel of your eLearning course design.

About the author: Christopher Pappas

Christopher Pappas is the Founder of eLearning Industry Inc, which is the leading publishing platform that delivers inspiring, industry-specific content to eLearning professionals. Christopher holds an MBA and an MEd (Learning Design) from BGSU.

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