Create Your Own Online Course – 8

Seeing is believing

Visualisation is the most effective way to communicate.

The difficult part is to ensure that the message gets through as intended.

If the message is simple and the basic rules of design are used correctly, our brain will do the rest.  Imagine you are in a driving school and you are shown a stop sign, you will understand the basic signal delivered.  The colour says “Look at me, I’m important!”

The shape says, “I’m here with a different message to the other signs.”

And finally, the text underlines the real meaning by shouting “STOP”.

Great design should always aim to be self-explanatory, but this is not possible if the basics are not right.  As with the stop sign, some form of verbal communication is often needed to emphasise the message and imprint it to memory.  Once the message is in long-term memory, the words aren’t needed anymore.  We should all know what that red hexagon on a pole means even without a word in the middle.

Thoughts on Colour

This is the hard part.  Colours are highly subjective.  The concealed messages that colours have are often driven by personal taste, culture and context.  However, there are a few basic rules to help you create a successful colour scheme.

Consider the target audience:  Always study both the demographics and the cultural environment.

Pick colours from source assets: Like logos, branding material and photographs identifing with the theme.

Use shades and tints: Many successful colour schemes are made entirely with shades and tints of only one anchor colour.

Use complementary colours as focal points:  As the complementary scheme will be high-contrast it will draw attention.

Sources of information:

  1. Power of visual communication:  A very interesting and informative infographic


  • Visual design principles: An excellent explanation of design principle: using The Rubber Duck

                    Oreilly : Visual-design-principles

  • How to make an attractive power-point: A very good illustrated article on the art of power point slides


  • How to create an awesome slide presentation:  If you want your information served on YouTube this is good, rich with content.  17 minutes

                    YouTube: How to create an awesome slide presentation

  • eLearning Design:  – 38 slide design tips from the Pros.  Some very practical suggestions

                    eLearningArt/blog/slide design

There are many areas of advice to be found on Google and YouTube but I have included the ones I have used and often gone back to for inspiration.  They are the most practical for my money.  I hope you scan them and dip into the ones that appeal to you or meet your needs.

Modlettes Resources

Talking and chewing gum at the same time is difficult . . . Modlettes is easy