As a designer, you are called upon to create instructional graphics. These are pictorial representations of content and should be designed in light of a theoretical knowledge of the way the brain process information. Your goal is to create content, in this case visual, that promotes learning and improves performance. In order to effectively design your graphics and screens, four basic rules form the cornerstone of the graphic designers knowledge, which should become instinctual. No matter what it is you are designing, if it is poorly designed, your message may not come across clearly. It is important to understand how visual design directly influences the ability to communicate an idea. As a designer, you should be keenly aware of how Richard Mayer’s Theory of multimedia learning plays out in your own work. It is important not to overload your learner with too many words or images on any one screen. It is also important to understand the basic rules for creative basic screen graphics shown in this presentation. The four main concepts discussed in this short presentation were originally presented by the graphic designer robin Williams in her book The Non-Designers Design Book. She created the acronym CRAP that is widely known throughout the design community.
Here is the same slide with a few changes. Ask yourself if the use of contrast of color, repetition, alignment of the words, and proximity of the words to each other here is effective. Is the message as clear here? What is this slide saying?
Notice how the use of contrast in the color points out the acronym “C-R-A-P”. Can you see how repetition, alignment, and proximity of the words is effective in getting across the message?
In the previous example, the use of the color Red helped us clearly see the acronym. Contrast of color and shape are important to your graphic to communicate an idea. Poor color selection, items that are all the same, and other small changes can make a difference between your audience being able to see your concept immediately or struggling to figure it out. In order for contrast to work, make it an important aspect of the design.
Here’s a rule of thumb …eliminate clutter. Although you might think the yellow box with the red eye outline is easy to see, when we switch to the next slide, you will see how eliminating clutter affects your students’ ability to see your ideas.
Viva la difference! You have no need to use a glaring yellow when a more neutral solution is less distracting and easier to read. Simplicity is best in many instances. This might, however, depend on your audience. Young children might prefer brighter colors, so no rule is ever set in stone. Your judgment tempered by knowing your audience is important.
As you saw in the first slide of this presentation, repetition of ideas helps communicate your ideas in a non confusing way. Repetition is a concept designers use to help unite a document, presentations, or entire course so with looks, acts, and feels like a cohesive whole. This can be achieved by repeating the same fonts, style, shapes, types of images, etc.
According to the Coherence Principle of Richard Mayer’s theory, It is helpful to your learner to keep a consistent look in your learning materials and avoid pictures that distract the learner. Mayer’s signaling principle tells us that people learn better when cues that highlight organization of essential material are added. Keeping these systems this same throughout your material is helpful to your students. Some aspects of a design should be repeated throughout the entire Formatting options, bullet, color schemes, graphics, spatial relationships…etc. Also known as “consistency” Students come to know what to expect in your course and learn best if you do not vary your tone or presentation with distracting changes unrelated to the material. Keep all components of navigation on the same place in each page, for instance.
This slide is so effective in its message it does not need words. Notice how contrast and repetition illustrate an idea?
Alignment does more than simply establish a neat interface without distraction.. In this case, alignment of the various items also serves to tell a story.
Do you notice in this graphic the bottoms of the containers are lined up exactly evenly? Many software tools include a grid system that will help you keep your screen needs and everything lined up exactly. When you no longer need the grid, simply get rid of it. It is much faster to create graphics with a grid, and assures things are not scattered haphazardly across your screen. Many software tools include a grid system to help you keep your screen neat.
Because of proximity and how we space objects on a page, you can guide your learners without much of an explanation. Even without the “uh-oh”, we can see the fellow is in trouble…we can see the relationships easily. Think about how powerful your graphics can be. Remember to eliminate extra information from your screen that can detract from the meaning. Everything on the screen needs to be part of the story. In this story, it is easy to tell the relationships from the placement on the screen.
Mayer’s Spatial Contiguity Principle is illustrated in this graphic. People learn better when corresponding words and pictures are presented near rather than far from each other. Keep your words close to their respective partners. Keeping words and images close together establishes relationships between these. In the case of this flower, and other courses where the student needs to know the parts for later recall, make sure you keep the graphic on the screen at the same time as the parts are named.
Make sure you group related elements close to each other to imply relationships. Remember not to present too many ideas at one time. Our short term, or working memory, is limited, so chunk your material into smaller segments if necessary.
The rule of thirds is a guideline for composition suggesting we place key graphic elements carefully. Rather than placing our images smack in the middle of the slide, try placing your images at the juncture of the “sweet spots” where the lines cross. Much has been written about this and is available on the Internet. Using a grid can make the various slides in your presentations align and allow your designs to make a consistent more interesting overall impression. Throughout this course, you will be exposed to a variety of approaches illustrating how to teach content through visual and audio communication. Strive to make your material more than merely decorative. Everything on your slide should have a place and be part of the message.
Crap principles of-design_for_learning
from your presentations and
Through the use of CONTRAST