We are just a couple of days in the year 2019 and it’s time to revisit the drawing board and see if the vibrant and bold design trends of 2018 will continue in 2019 and what direction will the e-learning designers take in 2019 to woo the learners.

Hence let’s take a look at the top e-learning design trends of 2019, that I am sure will be the most followed ones in the year 2019.

1. Dutones
Duotone has been one of the popular trends for years now and is a technique that’s been around since the advent of photography. As Wikipedia states; A duotone is a halftone reproduction of an image using the superimposition of one contrasting colour halftone (traditionally black) over another colour halftone. Essentially duotones are images that use two colors.

Benefits of using duotones
1.Duotones create photographs that demands attention.

2.Duotones can be used to increase readability of the required element. Like the title on the screen can be highlighted using  a duotone design style.

3.Dutones are easy to create in fact a simple 3 step process in Adobe Photoshop. Hence the designers can experiment easily to create amazing duotones.

Where can be used in e-learning
In e- learning, duotones can be used on the homepage, where the designers can include a high quality relevant image in the background and give it a duotone effect. Here is an example where the text is highlighted and a relevant image is used to make the learning look more relatable.

In e-learning, the duotones can be used to express human emotions which can be communicated effectively using the chosen colors and image. Take examples of e-learning which are high on the use of photo images like prevention of sexual harassment at workplace, workplace violence, ethics and anti-bribery. Here the duotone design trend can be used for hover effects on the images.

2.Vivid colors

A huge success in the year 2018, we saw the e-learning designers experimenting more with vivid colors and we predict that this trend will outshine in the year 2019 as well. Understanding the vivid colors is easy as it is an adjective that describes a bold and bright color, an intense feeling etc.


Benefits of using vivid colors

1. Vivid colors can appeal to modern audiences. For example, the cool new social apps like Instagram, the popular music apps like Spotify use the best of vivid colors to engage the new section of a young audience on its platform.
2. Usage of vivid colors gives designers a huge color palette to experiment with.
3. Vivid colors can make the dull visual appeal to a lively one.

Where to use in e-learning

1. Vivid colors are used when detailed attention is needed. It can be the textual content or images that demand detailed attention. The designers can even use arrows or line etc to serve the purpose.

2. Vivid colors can be used in hover effects as well as to make interactive e-learning.

3.Black and white palette

Black and white designs are making a strong come back as it brings up a feel of the past with a strong sense of emotion and authenticity attached to it.

Benefits of using Black and white color palette

1. The use of black and white designs gives a classic appeal and make the design look bold and beautiful.

Where to use in e-learning
1. Are you looking to find a  perfect design for the company history in your employee e-induction? If then, I recommend trying out with the black and white designs with minimal text on the screen. Like a timeline of the company formation till date can be easily recreated on black and white design space. One should be very careful of using the font color in the designs here.

2. We have seen the instructional designers choosing the storytelling methods in e-learning, The designers can choose to include black and white design style on such story visuals.

4.Intense minimalism

The past showed the rising popularity of minimalistic designs and especially using the black and white minimalistic approach. The main idea in minimalist design is to say more by showing less. But now there is a shift in the use of colors that replaces the regular black and white design style.

Benefits of intense minimalism

1. It retains the clean and uncluttered visual appeal, at the same time makes  the visuals look more vibrant and stunning.

Where to use in e-learning

1.Intense minimalism can be used when you want to convey  direct and simple message instantly through your e-learning. Without complication and by reducing the use of unnecessary graphics, the intense minimalism can help the designers to convey the meaning easily.

2.Like the below image without the use of unnecessary graphic elements communicates the message of ‘teamwork  and success ‘ . The use of colors makes it more visually appealing.


The intense minimalistic designs are increasingly seen in mobile apps. Take a look at the image below that uses intense minimalism. This is perfect designs for choosing microlearning techniques in e-learning where only the most needed elements are included.


5.Geometric and organic shapes

Geometric shapes are circles, rectangles, squares, triangles and so on  . Most geometric shapes tend to represent man made objects or the human interpretation of natural objects through symbolism or iconic representation.
Whereas organic shapes are shapes with a natural look and are typically irregular or asymmetrical.Organic shapes are associated with things from the natural world, like plants and animals.

Benefits of using geometric and organic shapes

•When attempting to create a piece that looks natural, flowing, soft or calming, organic shapes are generally the shapes of choice for the designers.

•To create a sense of chaos, anger, or rigidity, geometric shapes are used. Geometric shapes may also be used to create abstract interpretations of things that would normally be depicted as organic shapes.

Where to use in e-learning

1.Geometric shapes are still actively used for navigation buttons and for representing icons in the e-learning like below.These geometric shapes are easily recognised for the functions they symbolise rather than the shapes they are.


2. Use of geometric shapes can be used in the background images in e-learning mainly to give an abstract feeling.

3.The use of organic shapes in e-learning can help the learners to better relate to the learning content.

4. Geometric layouts are another popular trend where geometric shapes like triangles, rectangles are commonly used. These shapes act as placeholders where you can pace both images and text. Recently you can see the content page  as well as the home page of several e-learning following this approach.

source: https://www.designsmix.com

6.Frameless Designs- for infinity screens on mobile

Not so long ago, designers used to put frames on everything to achieve the feeling of a finished design. But now with the increasing adoption of mobile learning and with mobile devices expanding the screen size to accommodate the infinite displays, the designers are moving to frameless designs.

Benefits of using frameless designs
1. It gives a more immersive viewing experience to the learners, especially when used with high quality and high resolution images

2. Ditching the frames can help the designers to  make the assets appear to be running off the edges and sides of the picture plane which allows for more active eye movement.

Where to use in e-learning
1.For mobile learning techniques to create an interactive infographics on a frameless design like creating a timeline that can be easily scrolled across the screen of the mobile device etc.

2.Design e-learning games that are similar to the themes of exploration by ditching the frames.

7.Asymmetrical Layouts

The definition of asymmetry is the lack of symmetry or equality between two halves. Asymmetric layouts are prefered by various designers and as you today, there are already many layouts that popularise the use of asymmetrical layouts

Benefits of using asymmetrical layouts

1. A break away from the regular followed patterns of simple design layouts and flat design styles, making the layout look more stunning.The use of asymmetrical layouts , layering with different colors and textures, repeating irregular patterns, use of white space, and creative use of typography create a sense of depth not normally found in grid-based layouts.

Where to use in e-learning
1. In e-learning, the designers can choose to use include the asymmetrical layouts on the main content or index page.(if the index is not too long)

8.Serif fonts

In typography, a serif is a small line or stroke regularly attached to the end of a larger stroke in a letter or symbol within a particular font or family of fonts. Breaking the regular norms of using serif fonts only for print media, the designers are now exploring the use of serif fonts for publishing the content on digital screen too

Benefits of serif fonts
1. Serif fonts are incredibly easier to read over sans-serif fonts (especially in the print medium)

2.They are visually appealing and artistic with the small line or stroke attached to the font

Where to use in e-learning
1.Use serif fonts for the home page i.e to mention the title of the learning topic and give an artistic look and feel.

2 Use serif fonts on callouts  and headers were the textual contents are not very long

 source: https://99designs-blog.imgix.net/

9.Micro interactions

Microinteractions are small moments where the user and design interact.

Benefits of using microinteractions
Micro interactions can enhance the user’s experience with the design by guiding the learner attention to the desired process, area etc.

Where to use micro interactions in e-learning

1. When rewarding the learners, the reward can be zoomed in or made to blink or perform other actions that can drive engagement.


2. Here after choosing the correct answer, when you earn a star the star grows and fills in the star placeholders. This micro interaction is able to capture the learner attention and at the same time create learner engagement.

10.Curated visuals

Curated visuals can be a real winner when  you are undecided to use real images or product shots.


Benefits of using curated visuals
1. Make abstract concepts easier to understand

2.Helps in the easy representation of  gender and race when illustrating people

3.Curated visuals can portray powerful emotions through the use of images .

Where to use in e-learning

1.Curated visuals can be used in short micro scenarios in e-learning with a single learning objective.

2.Curated visuals are a good bet for short explainer video.

11. Retro glitch

Retro Glitch is the  way of packaging up all those glitches and imperfections in the graphics to a creative form.

source- https://www.retrosupply.co/

Benefits of using Retro glitch
1. Gives a unique visual appeal by combining the effect of retro effect and glitch.

Where to use in e-learning
1. In e-learning, the designers can choose to include the retro glitch effect to package up imperfections which come in original images given by the clients.  Often there are certain images given by the clients, which are not high resolution images specially certain product images and insider company images which cannot be modified much but can be enhanced by the use of a retro glitch.

12.3D Visuals

With the technologies evolving at a rapid pace, 3D visuals finds a place in our list of e-learning design trends of 2019. 3D visuals are three-dimensional model that displays a picture or  an item in a form that appears to be physically present with a designated structure.

source –https://getanimated.uk.com/

Benefits of using 3D visuals
1. IT can enhance and improve visual communication.

2. The 3d designs help in easier explanation of complex learning topics and process.

Where to use in e-learning
1. In medical animation, 3D images are the perfect strategy to train the learners. The use of 3d images make the learning more immersive

2. With modern technologies like using  Virtual reality in e-learning, the 3d designs will surely find an increasing demand .

3. 3D visuals can be used in explainer animated videos and to develop e-learning games

 To sum up, the year 2019 is likely to be a landmark year especially with the use of duotones, asymmetrical layouts, use of 3d styles in e-learning to create immersive and stunning e-learning experiences.