Could your training and development content use an update? If your content isn’t polished with the right media, the answer should be “yes.” Use of quality visual design is incredibly important to your training program’s success.

Because your employees are immersed in media, training content that consists of uninterrupted blocks of text or passive listening to a lecture will be unnecessarily difficult to engage with. Instead, you’ll want to enhance your training to capture their attention. Use of the right visuals will enhance the learning experience — and a more effective learning experience makes it more likely that your employees will retain training information and adopt the skills needed.

It can be as simple as including pictures. But there are more elements that go into an effective visual design of your training. So, what are the primary areas of design to consider?

4 Design Areas to Prioritize

1. User Experience and Interface Design: The best way to motivate and engage your learners is to polish the interface to access the content they will be using. As instructional designers will tell you, the user experience (UX) is a central part of learning experience design. When creating digital content, ease of use and navigation should be a top priority, as learners who can’t find their way around your content will be de-motivated and frustrated. Also consider the responsiveness of your digital platform to mobile devices. Is there a possibility your learners will be referring back to information on their phone? (Chances are, it’s not only possible, but also likely.) You’ll want to be prepared to make your training available for reference on the job.

2. Branding and Identity: How do you create instant credibility in your training programs? By designing a course that reflects your organization’s official branding. Use of correct branding in the content will immediately make your training appear more authoritative and credible. And when your branding is on point, employees will likely take the training more seriously. Branding is also important in terms of supporting your organization’s culture. It can provide employees with a sense of community and identity, which builds dedicated teams in addition to skills.

3. Instructional Media: What do we mean by instructional media? Inclusion of illustrations, infographics, photos, charts and tables are all good examples. Visuals are vital to engage your learners and create interactivity throughout the training experience. Instructional media can also help to reinforce concepts and provide explanatory examples. Strategic use of instructional media will enhance learner engagement and can enhance and demonstrate inclusivity with photos and imagery that are representative of a diverse workforce.

4. Accessibility: Is your training compliant with web content accessibility guidelines (WCAG)? No modern website or digital training is complete without it. Your use of fonts, colors, graphics and motion should all be readable. Again, this is key for UX and learning experience design. (If your team doesn’t have the technical capability or expertise to update your training to accessibility standards, this is an area where you might want to invest in a learning consultant with creative services made available for guidance.)

The information provided above represents the basics of visual design elements that can improve your training programs. Of course, this is just a starting point. Video and other rich media can be used to create more immersive, experiential learning and training programs.

If you don’t have budget to incorporate all of these elements, start with strategic use of instructional media. Adding charts and photos when possible is a great way to start upgrading your content. Navigational elements and organization are other good entry points to upgrading your training content.

Whatever you choose to add, good visual design will pay off in greater engagement, increased effectiveness and, ultimately, more impactful training.