How to Choose the Best Images for Your e-Learning

Choosing the best images - 2014 Jan 7

Stop filling space!

Graphics are not just for filling white space. Instead, you should use images to make—or reinforce—a point in a clever, clear and captivating way. Remember, online learning is very visual, and people don’t like to read.

Ask yourself these five questions as you’re selecting images:

  1. Does the image reinforce your message?
    We’ve all seen e-Learning that features endless stock photos of people in business environments, sitting at desks but not actually doing anything related to the job your learners are training for. Don’t fall into that trap! Take the time to create your own images if your budget allows, or really search through stock photo sites to find the best image. For free stock photo resources and more, read this Friday Finds blog.
  2. Does it invoke interest or excitement?
    
Remember, the best visuals are those that evoke an emotional response. Choose an image that will make your learners laugh, or something that gets them excited. Photo “memorability seems more related to strangeness, funniness or interestingness,” according to a study presented at the IEEE Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition. Having people in the picture also makes a photo more memorable and interesting. The appearance of movement, such as a person running or waves crashing, also adds interest.
  3. Does it attract your learners’ attention?
    Your image should be more than just generic clipart. It needs to stand out and grab your learner’s eye. Use bright colors and detailed images to draw your learner in. Take a look at this eye-tracking study to see what types of images attract the most attention.
  4. Does it convey the right message to learners?
    
Consider the context and location where your course will be used. You want to select images that will make sense to your learners and convey the correct impression. We’ve all laughed at the viral photos of mistranslated signs and logos—don’t let that happen to your e-Learning course! Check out this whitepaper for more tips on localizing your e-Learning content: What is e-Learning Localization?
  5. Is the style consistent with other graphics used in the course?
    To keep your course looking neat and professional, don’t mix and match clipart and photos. Clipart photos are tempting because they generally have a small file size, but they also don’t resonate as much as real photos do. If you can’t find photos that fit your e-Learning, high quality vector images and silhouettes are the best alternatives.

    Optimizing your graphics will decrease your page load time. You can use a graphics editor such Snagit®, which is included in Lectora® Inspire, to shrink the file size of your images. This is especially important if you are creating mobile courses. You don’t want to use up all your learners’ data on downloading images! Snagit is also a great tool for enhancing images, adding borders, text bubbles and more.

Download a free 30-day trial of Lectora Inspire e-Learning software to get started creating engaging e-Learning with perfectly picked images today!

For more tips on graphics, e-Learning and creating awesome online training courses, subscribe to the Lectora e-Learning Blog!

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Stephanie Ivec

Stephanie Ivec is your source for Lectora tips and e-Learning news. You can find her articles here, plus on elearningindustry.com, LearningSolutionsMag.com and HR.com. She believes in engaging learners and making online training effective and enjoyable. As a graphic design and advertising graduate from Creighton University, Stephanie loves well-designed e-Learning with great content and writing. When she’s not writing about e-Learning, Stephanie can be found perfecting cheesecake recipes, traveling or taking ballet.

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