reducing contentLiving in the digital age, with answers at our fingertips, means we are all becoming more impatient. Social media platforms consumed ‘on-the-go’, like TikTok, showing 15-second videos, are on the rise. Consequently, attention spans are decreasing.  So what can we do about it? 

Create content with the learner’s perspective in mind. Impatient people want you to get to the point quickly. When you look at a big chunk of text, do you fully absorb all the information? Or do you need it broken down into key points? 

Why is less more?

Often, visual assets (pictures, diagrams, animations, etc.) are quicker to understand than text-heavy explanations. This helps learners draw out the key points of the content, which makes it more memorable. The author’s challenge is identifying the key takeaway points to focus on. Once this has been established, a learning plan can be generated that addresses the who, what, when, where, why, and how. 

The design phase comes after the learning plan. This is where the storyboarding of ideas comes to life, and a prototype is created. After this, once the content has been decided, the course can be developed. Learners don’t want to skim text to see what they need to remember. Visual assets summarise content into bitesize, easy to process chunks. Adding graphics, choosing core colours, and deciding on fonts has a huge impact on how engaging the content is. Ensuring that one sentence sums up the key points in bold, and backing up any key messages with visuals is crucial in drawing a learner’s attention.

Mark Twain’s quote, “I didn’t have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead,” hints that it is  easier to write a lot of words quickly than to be succinct. For a learning designer, the time investment required to write succinctly is always worth it.


Read more: 10 Ways To Make Your eLearning More Engaging