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The Psychology of Colors and Instructional design – How to use Colors to Enhance eLearning?

Are colors even related to learner’s Engagement?

Well, According to famous color psychology theories, yes. Color is important to visual experience. That’s why color selection in eLearning is a vital element of successful design.

When designing training and eLearning materials, the colors you utilize can make a big impact on how the material is received, comprehended and even retained. 

Color has the ability to change the learner’s mood. Particular colors can improve the focus on the material being presented.

Even if the subject may initially be perceived as boring or uninteresting, the choice of colors can make it seem more interesting and appealing. More color contrast can draw the learner’s attention to the material. It can also increase visibility which has been proven to improve retention.

Not convinced yet?

Think about the recent billboard Advertisement you saw on your way to work. It may have motivated you through the bold red colors is used, or it may have calmed you by using cool blue shades. Alternatively, you may have perceived the red as aggressive and perhaps the overuse of blue as cold. 

The same psychology of colors also applies in eLearning.

Instructional designers and eLearning developers should be familiar with the color psychology before they start designing the course. This article will walk you through three important ways you can play with colors to enhance the leaner’s experience.

#1 Colors as an Attention-Grabber

Let’s accept this, human beings are flakier than ever before. The average human attention span has shrunk by nearly a quarter in just 15 years.

If you are worried about your employee’s ability to stay focused on the material at hand, how you utilize color can help improve their attention span and have some tantalizing results.

There are multiple studies to support this concept that when Instructional designers and eLearning developers use colors to highlight a particular topic or piece of content on the screen, the attention level of learners increases. Warm colors are used to achieve this goal the best. Especially red, when used sensibly, stands out and grabs attention directly, stimulating the visual sense and helping learners remember facts and numbers. 

#2 Optimize Readability and Clarity

The use of the right colors can increase readership by 40% and learning by 23%. 

Colors can improve the readability and clearness in the text for mainly two reasons: firstly, when eLearning developers strategically use color in every screen to enhance the clarity of content, they automatically make concepts more logical and help with reasoning and memory.  

Secondly, color can make the content more readable. This is best

achieved by designing eLearning course screens to have contrasting chromatic colors in the text and background.

You can take the help of the color wheel to use the contrasting colors in your eLearning courses more effectively.

#3 Better Learning and Enhanced Comprehension

Studies have also confirmed that color can improve learning from 55 percent to 78 percent as well as comprehensive by as much as 73 percent.

By now you must have a clear idea of how color has a big impact on how your brain sees things. People tend to remember colors better than verbal or textual signs. Just like colored images are recalled more than the black and white images, your learning material works the same way.

So which colors work the best?

Not all colors are created equally when it comes to learning, comprehension, and retention. For example, if you want to draw attention, promote focus and increase learning, use warm colors, like red, yellow and orange. Cool colors like blues and purples are more calming. Blue is one of the most used commonly colors used in corporate color for this reason. Black is a color that can make the reading of a text easier and white provides a break for the eyes.

Using the right colors in your eLearning can help you create materials that are effective and give you the best possible outcomes.

By now, you must have been thinking of revamping your color scheme for your eLearning courses. That’s a great start! We would love to hear what changes you made or are planning to make in your eLearning design strategy.

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