Elements of Design: Color

Use of Color

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Good design intrigues the learner and draws them in. It evokes in them a desire to learn more. One way to engage learners is through the use of color. Which of the following images does a better job of catching your eye? 

THREE ROLES: 1. Designer 2. Technology Specialist 3. Educator. Teamwork!
THREE ROLES: 1. Designer 2. Technology Specialist 3. Educator. Teamwork!

Bringing color into your course design is one way to engage learners and increase their motivation. But how do you decide what colors to use and when to use them? 

Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to those questions. But there are some general principles you can familiarize yourself with as a designer that will help you think through what the best use of color would be in your context. 

Take a moment to think about the cultural context of the learners who will take your course. What color represents mourning? What color do brides wear? What color is lucky? What color symbolizes wealth? What color signifies danger? 

The answers to those questions vary from culture to culture. A Western perspective, a South Asian perspective, and an East African perspective on color differ from one another. But there are also some commonalities to the way people around the world perceive color around the world, according to an international survey.

The key point is that being aware of what colors represent to your learners can help guide your implementation of color in your course design.

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