Do Colors Matter in ELearning?

With so much attention given to elearning today, the seemingly minor details start to take on a greater significance. Major universities are using elearning to deliver their courses to a larger audience, so it only makes sense that the smaller items are examined more closely. In particular, does color impact the effectiveness of training?

My gut reaction to this question is an emphatic “no”.

The way in which you present the content, irregardless of the colors used, will have the greatest impact. However, the more I thinkĀ about this, the more I startĀ to realize that the color combinations used int he elearning course could have a significant impact.

As an extereme example, imagine a course that used clashing colors throughout. This would be quite distracting and ultimately result in a negative impression towards the content – warranted or not. So it appears that at the surface level, color selection does have some impact on the training effectiveness.

To examine this concept a bit further, SHIFT ELearning released an infographic that provides a high-level summary regarding the possible colors that can be selected for your training, and the potential impact that they might have.

As one would expect, you can leverage color associations to help drive home key points. That said, what the infographic doesn’t address are cultural difference. Colors can represent different feelings on an international level.

This being the case, if you are implementing an cross-culture elearning program, you need to have a good understanding regarding the potential impact of the colors you choose. Color-Psychology-for-eLearning-Design-ok-01


Justin Ferriman is the co-founder and CEO of LearnDash, the WordPress LMS trusted by Fortune 500 companies, major universities, training organizations, and entrepreneurs worldwide for creating (and selling) their online courses. Twitter | LinkedIn

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