The Visual Cortex is that little spot in the back of our brain where we store long-term memories and behaviors.
In the learning and development industry, the focus is around visual design and can be applied to both PowerPoint presentations (classroom training) or elearning. In elearning we often add unnecessary text on screen such as, “Click the next button.” Yet, most other screen designs do not follow that same design methodology, rather the design is all in the user interface (UI).
When’s the last time you visited a web site that had instructions on how to navigate? I’d venture to guess not many if none at all. So why do we insist on adding extra text on screen in elearning design?!
For example: the little red button with the white x in the upper right corner of the window you have in front of you right now (or upper left if you’re on a Mac). What does it mean? – close the window. Yet, there are no instructions to tell you. I’ll go back as far as Bill Gates where he taught us many years ago that if we wanted to close a window we click that button. THAT is stored in long-term memory as a behavior.
Another example is the right-facing white triangle to kick off a video. I don’t recall ever seeing, “Click this button to play the video.” Not sure where that began, but I’ll throw credit to YouTube for teaching us that behavior.
In the end it’s about tapping into learner’s Visual Cortex and designing experiences with less clutter on screen and focus more on intuitive design.
I go into more detail with presentations and workshops. If you’re interested in *seeing* what I mean, I invite you to attend my upcoming Essentials to Storyboarding for E-Learning online with ATD where I incorporate this thought process into elearning project design. Or, next year I’m presenting this as a session at Training 2016 in February 2016.