A lot has been written and spoken about Millennials and how their behaviours and preferences are different. Marketing professionals and designers world wide are trying to woo this generation amidst the challenge of decreasing attention spans.
Did you know that the attention span of humans has come down from 12 seconds to 8 seconds ? And as if this was not enough, millennials are known to have still lesser attention spans. So how do the e-learning designers ensure to catch the attention of the millennials and give them a learning experience, which they crave for.

In this blog, I have put together some tips about e-learning design approach, that I feel the millennials will love.

Tip 1-Give them what they want and give it to them quickly. If you don’t, they will become frustrated.

Come straight to the point in your e-learning content. Avoid long course introductions or things like “what we will learn in this course”. I suggest a minimalistic design approach. A minimal design approach helps to set the focus easily and clearly which helps in effectively communicating the knowledge/information to the millennials.

Tip 2- Experiment with colors

While designing for millennials don’t hesitate to experiment with colors. Don’t overdo the corporate blue colors in your design. Experiment with color gradients and hues. Use vibrant and bold colors especially if you are designing for responsive e-learning.

Instagram is a perfect example for choosing the style of vibrant colors in their logo.
Here if you see, the logo has perfectly blended the colors to create a bright vibrant color appeal to the users.The logo simply means the “vibrant and diverse” community of users who use their application.

Tip 3 – Personalize the content/design

A couple of years back, personalization was not a design style, every mobile app had the same design style and they offered the same experience to everyone, regardless of how any user interacted with the app.

Personalization in e-learning can be done through :

  • Use of avatars
  • Freedom to choose the learning path
  • Recommendations on the courses basis the skill gaps identified etc

                                                                                       (Source-adobe blog)

Tip 4 – Don’t constrict them, let them express their emotions

Millennials as a generation value emotions and love to express them through micro interaction. Micro interactions are the tiniest details (usually animated) that facilitate interactions between the user and the e-learning courses . The simple example, I can recollect here is the Facebook “Like” button. The user here tries to express the emotions just by pressing a like button.
Micro interactions can make the user experience more fun, engaging, efficient, and humane and hence a definite style or trend that will work among the millennials.
In e-learning micro interactions can be used for receiving feedback or seeking any information from the learners like their names or
choosing levels in e-learning course etc.

Tip 5- Experiment with the e-learning fonts

You might have already noticed the different style of fonts used by various designers-in the brand names, slogan etc. Brands are experimenting with different fonts to create a youth appeal for their brands among the millennials. The shift is evident as Google fonts have dramatically expanded the range of typography and they have crossed the number of 800 unique and stylish font variants.
While I recommend you to experiment with fonts in e-learning design, remember to use fonts, which are clean and are rendered seamlessly across different browsers.
Some of the modern sans serif font types which can be used are-Lombok, Cooper Hewitt, Kollektif etc

                                                                                     (Source- befonts.com)

Tip 6- Don’t forget to include small gifs, stickers

“We are starting to see this behavior where people are using content and culture to communicate—they’re not using words anymore,” explained Adam Leibsohn, Giphy’s Chief Operating Officer(Giphy is an online database and search engine that allows users to search for and share animated GIF). This becomes an important style  for the designers to experiment with. Gif images are now everywhere, introduced long back during the 1980s they are still holding great relevance especially with the millennials.
Small animations and gifs have been an integral part of e-learning design, so  I recommend you to continue using them while designing for millennials. You might want to experiment with funny and unconventional gifs as well to draw the millennial learners,

Tip 7- Time travel to the past to pull out some retro designs.

Retro designs are visual designs which are taken from the past, which bring the feeling of nostalgia to the millennials, and can cleverly capture the millennial’s attention.

Remember the Pokemon Go which was reintroduced and had a huge success among the millennials because of the nostalgic feel the game could bring to the players. The millennials enjoyed playing the game as they associated it with their old and childhood memories of associating with the Pokemon characters etc.

Tip 8- Use design to capitalize on the “Fear of missing out”

In Social media sites like Facebook, you might have seen banner ads which says ‘Don’t miss out this offer’ or ‘offer valid for limited time only‘.These banner ads are able to trigger an impulse purchase behavior in us. The designers here leverage on the human psychology of  the feeling  of “deprivation” and having lost out on something.

Use a cleverly crafted emails at the time of promotion or launch of the course to invoke this feeling of “missing out “ among the millennial learners and see if it brings in positive results.

So here were a few useful tips for you to start designing for the millennials. Are you using any of these tips? What has been your experience? We would love to hear your views.