Design tips to create effective training videos

video training digital learning solutions video training tips instructional design

When creating a video training course, there are some aspects you need to keep in mind if you want to draw your student’s attention and increase their memory retention.
It is known that our brains can process visuals way faster than text, so it’s essential that you use them the right way. Good design can help you achieve better results and enhance comprehension.

5 Tips to design visuals for training videos

1. Be consistent (but break the rules every once in a while)

 The key is to be consistent throughout the entire training video. You might think that to create an engaging video you have to have a lot of different strategies, animations and graphics popping out every time. But that’s not true! If you’re working on a video longer than 1 minute or building and entire course, your student will, most likely, feel overwhelmed with the amount of information you’re sharing. So, try to design simple yet engaging visuals that are consistent the entire time.

Creating a visual identity/style guide is the first step to guarantee consistency throughout the designed visuals. It forces you to make decisions and establishes a visual standard for the course. It’s when you’ll decide on the colour pallet, typeface and create a visual hierarchy.

Consistent visuals make your student feel comfortable. There’s comfort in predictable elements since it reduces the cognitive load. But how can you do that? For instance, if you have a presenter talking always show the keywords on the same side, and with the same font and colour if the concepts are related.

The key is to highlight keywords or graphics that help the students retain an idea or concept, with similar visual standards. But don’t forget you can add some elements of surprise that will break consistency. Find the right balance between consistency and chaos. You can break the design rules you’ve created and design something unexpected when you want to highlight a specific message, for example, as it will help students remember that moment.


2. Reuse elements

 When you are designing an online course, you’ll probably refer to the same concepts more than one time. When this happens reuse the same elements as repetition will help your audience retain information. For instance, if you’re using a “heart” as an icon to represent Love, use that same icon throughout the entire course. The rule of thumb is: if it’s the same concept, use the same visual representation.


3. Choose the right colour

Colour has a big influence in how we perceive the world around us.
In training videos it’s not different. Colour can help you direct attention to something, evoque moods and feelings and improve readability.

There are a lot of studies around psychology and meaning associated to each colour. For instance, you’ll most likely associate red with something wrong you can’t/shouldn’t do and green with something positive you can/should do, right? And if you think about trustworthy medical institutions what’s the first colour that pops into your mind? Blue?

Think about the subject of your course and the message you want to convey and then, when you’re designing your visuals, stick to a colour scheme that better suits your message, tone and intention – select up to 3 primary and 3 secondary colours and don’t forget that contrasting chromatic colours is key when you want your visuals to stand out and make an impact.


4.Size matters

Go big or go home! Well, within reason, of course. When designing your course’s visuals take size and proportions into consideration. If your training video is to be viewed in multiple devices, make it legible for the ones watching through a smartphone or smaller screens. There might be an icon or a keyword that must stand out and be readable.


5. Use Typefaces

You can also create interesting visuals through typography. Just play around with uppercase and typefaces’ hierarchy but stick to sans serif fonts that are easier to read.

Make sure your text stands out from the background either because of its size or colour contrast. Make it bold and grab your audience’s attention!


In video training, visuals are not just a way of making your videos look prettier or nicer. They do, of course, make it appealing and are key to lure your students at first. Which is great! However, when it comes to training, there’s more to it. The right visuals, at the right time can enhance your students’ comprehension and help them retain information. They’re key when it comes to clarify complex information and elevate content.

If you want to know more about why visual communication is important, check out the bugle blog for more articles on this subject or reach out to the Digital Learning Solutions team. We have fantastic Instructional and multimedia designers ready to help.


Here’s a complete guide on how to create a video training course, by the Digital Learning Solutions team:

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You may also find interesting:
What is instructional design and why you should care about it (article)
Video Formats for Training (Poster & Video)
Using video in Online Training - the Instructional Design perspective (article)
How to define the course scope: step one to successful video training (article)
12 tips to choose the right Training Platform (article)
Why online video training is the smart choice for your business (article)


Would you like to learn more about how bugle can help you improve your training programme? 
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Writen by Inês Lemos
27-Aug-2020 09:15:00

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