colour psychology in elearning

How Colour Psychology in eLearning Can Boost Learner Engagement

Believe it or not, one of the most effective ways to boost learners’ engagement and help them better connect with your eLearning is to purposefully integrate colour into the design of your module.

About 70 percent of the information that people capture in their minds is through visual clues — this is why colour has such a big impact on your learners. The colours you choose for your eLearning module can impact a learner’s neurological pathways, causing a biochemical response to the material they’re consuming.

How much thought do you put into the development of the colour palette for your eLearning?

Colour influences everything from emotion to engagement. In this post, we’ll share the basics of colour selection as one of the ways to foster an immersive eLearning experience. Which colours help foster learning? Which colours distract or discourage?

What the Colours in Colour Psychology Mean

Green: Focus

Low wavelength colours like green promote restfulness and calm and tend to improve efficiency and focus. Green is one of the easiest colours on the eyes and it reminds us of nature. It will give your learners a breather after an intense activity or assessment.

Blue: Productivity

Calming yet mentally stimulating, the colour blue has been shown to increase productivity. Consider using blue to calm learners when presenting information that could be complicated and overwhelming.

Purple: Success

A great colour to incorporate into your storytelling, purple can also represent imaginative or mysterious ideas. Purple is the perfect hue to incorporate into your eLearning courses that require a creative flair. This colour may stimulate employees to think outside the box and see things more innovatively.

Orange: Excitement

Orange invokes feelings of sociability and enjoyable connection. In eLearning, research shows that orange can be a welcoming and mood-lifting colour for learners, which helps improve neural function. Be careful not to overdo it, though! Too much orange can lead to overstimulation and have the opposite effect.

Red: Movement

Red is stimulating; it’s the colour your eye is drawn to first and it excites the brain. Use red sparingly as an accent to draw attention to important key concepts in your eLearning. This colour may also be ideal for eLearning scenarios that call for urgency.

Yellow: Optimism

Consider using yellow to highlight points that should be memorized or to grab the learner’s attention. Picking a shade that can help convey a warm sense of cheer or happiness may be beneficial to use when communicating positive feedback. Be sure to use a shade that’s not too bright or hard on the eyes.

More Tips for Incorporating Colour in eLearning

  • Following an organization’s brand guidelines doesn’t mean you should ditch the colour theory. Consider colours that will complement the set colour palette and elevate the learning experience. Purple is easy to pair with most colour schemes, for example. Organizations will often provide a secondary palette as well, which may give you a wider range of hues to choose from.
  • Avoid causing the learner eye-fatigue. Consider using a palette of 3-5 colours — this should include one or two main colours, a neutral and an accent colour.
  • Be consistent with your use of colour. If an arrow is going to be green, maintain a green arrow throughout the course. 
  • Ensure harmony with adjacent colours. A cluster of varying shades and hues can cause a learner to panic if there is no rhyme or reason to the combination.

As always, it’s important to connect with your client to discover the true goal of the module. During a proper Needs Assessment, you’ll be able to determine the tone of the course, which will ultimately help you land on the perfect colour palette to suit the material and the audience.

Want to learn more about how to make your eLearning more engaging and drive the results you need? Contact us to arrange an assessment.

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