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The learning design standards every L&D team needs

Blog posts | 22.05.2023


Shaping the future of learning

Is it your dream to create a seamless Learning and Development (L&D) function that leaves your colleagues, including your internal brand team happy? 

We’re here to guide you to success and tell you the secret! 

The solution: clear, inclusive and well-documented design standards

With these standards in place, you’ll be able to deliver learning experiences that not only make stakeholders proud but also leave learners clamouring for more. 

Nothing builds confidence in your team’s ability to deliver like knowing exactly what you’re supposed to be doing. Any third-party agencies you work with will also be able to meet your expectations with ease.  

What are the key elements to creating successful, effective and long-lasting design standards? 

We’ve worked with our talented design team to round up the most important factors when creating your learning design standards. These 6 key elements are essential to consider when creating a design standard that will work for all learners and all learning experiences. 

1. Prioritize your organization's brand 

Put simply, your learning design should align with your organization’s brand standards. Just like how your marketing team works to protect and maintain your brand image externally, your learning programs should reflect your brand identity internally. 

This means that elements like colors, shapes, layout, fonts and navigation should be consistent across all programs, while other elements like imagery, use of media and icons may differ from solution to solution. By maintaining consistency in certain design elements, you can create a cohesive, memorable and recognizable brand experience for your employees. 

2. Consider style, tone and voice 

Style refers to the technical or mechanical aspects of writing that may be specific to the subject matter or topic. For instance, technical documents may require a certain writing style to communicate complex information effectively.

Voice refers to the unique perspective and word choices and can be influenced by the writer’s personality or the organization's brand identity. 

Tone is the attitude conveyed in the writing and may encompass formality, objectivity, intimacy, and similar aspects. This is important because the tone can influence how the content is received by learners and can impact their engagement and retention of the material. 

When considering style, tone and voice it’s important to remain consistent and prioritize accessibility. It’s also important to ensure you are representative of your brand personality at all times. 

3. Adopt a ‘storytelling’ approach as standard 

Stories hold enormous power over our minds and hearts for a reason. They are how we think, how we make sense of information, how we define ourselves, and how we persuade others. 

Here at Kineo, we weave stories into every one of the learning solutions we design. ​

By including stories, we can connect with your audience emotionally and create memories. 

When we create an emotional connection with your learners, we are a step closer to making them believe in the value of the content; we are making them want to learn more; and we are helping them internalize the content. 

4. Take advantage of the power of personalization 

One-size-fits-all learning doesn’t meet the needs of most organizations or their learners anymore (and did it ever?). Modern learning solutions are focused and efficient and celebrate the individual. This means learning that is personalized to each learner’s needs and that adapts to how they progress through their learning journey. Considering how you can personalize your content should always form part of your standards. 

There are many strategies that help us achieve this, from role-based learning paths or learning paths derived from diagnostics to branching to performance scorecards to individualized dashboards. Our design team can guide you through choosing and implementing the right tools for your organization and learning solution.

5. Always choose accessibility 

Without a doubt, accessibility is an essential consideration when creating elearning solutions. 

By ensuring that content is accessible to all learners, including those with disabilities, you can provide an inclusive learning experience that maximizes engagement and knowledge retention. This means designing courses that are compatible with assistive technologies like screen readers, providing alternative text for non-text elements like images and videos, using high-contrast colors and legible fonts, and designing navigation that is easy to use and intuitive. 

By making elearning solutions accessible, you can create a more diverse and inclusive learning environment that benefits all learners and the wider organization. 

6. Develop with diversity at the forefront 

Diversity is a critical aspect to consider when creating and developing effective elearning solutions. 

By designing courses that are culturally responsive and inclusive, you can create an environment that celebrates diversity and promotes equity in learning. This means creating content that reflects the experiences and perspectives of a wide range of learners, and incorporating examples and scenarios that are relevant and relatable to diverse audiences. 

Consider creating a set of guidelines for selecting imagery, use of language, characters and more. It also means considering the diversity of learning styles and preferences, and designing courses that accommodate different needs and abilities.​By embracing diversity in elearning solutions, you can create a more engaging and effective learning experience that promotes empathy, understanding, and respect for all learners. 

How do you take these elements into consideration in reality? 

When considering your learning design standards from the outset we recommend that you plan carefully, consult all your relevant stakeholders and ensure that you’re always including feedback and recommendations from the learners themselves. It’s essential that you understand what has worked in the past whilst remembering that you’ll need to adapt and change for the future too. Our learning design team are here to help you along the way and give advice and guidance based on our years of experience with like-minded learners and organizations. 

We are here to help! 

Sure, you know that accessibility, diversity and brand should always be at the forefront of your design standards - but how can you actively ensure all these key elements are included in your forthcoming project? Our team love supporting organizations by working together to create clear, inclusive and well-documented design standards. 

Get in touch today to discuss how we can support you.  


Shaping the future of learning

Kineo helps the world’s leading businesses improve performance through learning and technology. We’re proud of our reputation for being flexible and innovative, and of our award-winning work with clients across the world.