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Ensure consistency across project deliverables

“How do design teams ensure consistency across project deliverables?”

“What should learning designers include in a style guide?”

“Why are templates used in learning design projects?”

Design teams can ensure consistency with a client’s values, messaging, and visual identity by using style guides and templates. Style guides include visual and stylistic elements of a brand or organization, including logo, typography, color palette, imagery, and tone of voice. Style guides and templates are essential tools for consistent and cohesive project deliverables.

Through this lesson, you should be able to identify techniques for ensuring consistency across project deliverables.

How do design teams ensure consistency across project deliverables?

Learning design teams ensure consistency across project deliverables in several ways. Here are some common strategies:

  • Establishing standards and guidelines: Instructional design teams often establish a set of guidelines and standards that guide the creation of educational materials. These could be about the content (e.g., tone, language use, complexity level), the design (e.g., layout, typography, color schemes), or the pedagogical approach (e.g., learning objectives, assessment methods, learning styles). Having these standards in place ensures a level of consistency across different projects.

  • Regular reviews and quality checks: Regular reviews and quality checks are essential for maintaining consistency. This could involve peer reviews, where different team members check each other's work, or more formal quality assurance processes.

  • Utilizing templates: Templates can be a valuable tool for ensuring consistency. For instance, if all e-learning courses are built using the same template, they will share a common structure and design. This not only guarantees consistency but also speeds up the development process.

  • Project team training and development: Regular training and development sessions can help to ensure that all team members are on the same page. This could involve workshops on the team's design principles, training on new tools or technologies, or sessions to share best practices and lessons learned.

  • Communication and collaboration: Open, ongoing communication is crucial for ensuring consistency. This can involve regular team meetings, shared project management tools, and collaboration platforms. This ensures that everyone knows what is expected of them and that any issues or inconsistencies can be quickly addressed.

  • Centralized resource management: Using a central repository for all project resources, like images, videos, text content, etc., can help maintain consistency. This ensures that all team members are using the same assets and that any updates or changes are reflected across all projects.

  • Consistent project management: Using standardized project management methodologies and tools can help ensure that all projects are managed in a consistent way. This includes setting clear timelines, defining roles and responsibilities, and tracking progress against predefined milestones.

By implementing these strategies, instructional design teams can ensure a high level of consistency across all of their project deliverables.

What should learning designers include in a style guide?

A learning design style guide can be an invaluable resource in maintaining consistency and clarity across different projects.

Scroll through the carousel below to learn more.

Remember that a style guide should be a living document that's updated regularly to reflect changes in design trends, pedagogical approaches, technology, and user needs. For instance, take a look at the sample project style guide for a learning project below. This would be considered a "bare bones" style guide, and it would likely be expanded throughout the course of the project.

Why are templates used in learning design projects?

Learning designers use templates when developing materials for several key reasons:

  • Efficiency: Templates can significantly speed up the process of developing instructional materials. By providing a predefined structure or format, they reduce the need to create every element from scratch.

  • Consistency: Templates ensure that all materials adhere to the same standards and guidelines, which can lead to a more consistent and effective learning experience. Consistency in design also aids in learner comprehension and usability.

  • Quality: Templates typically follow best practices in instructional design and visual design. By using templates, instructional designers can ensure that their materials are not only aesthetically pleasing, but also pedagogically sound.

  • Scalability: Templates are particularly valuable when creating a large volume of content or when multiple people are involved in the content creation process. They ensure that all materials have a uniform look and feel, regardless of who creates them.

  • Flexibility: While templates provide a predefined structure, they can also be customized to suit the specific needs of a project. Instructional designers can adapt templates based on the content, the learning objectives, the target audience, and other factors.

  • Reduction of cognitive load: Consistent use of templates helps learners navigate through the course easily as they become familiar with the layout and structure. This reduces cognitive load, allowing learners to focus more on the content.

Overall, the use of templates is a best practice in instructional design. It allows learning designers to produce high-quality, consistent, and effective learning materials in a more efficient and scalable way.

As you complete the remaining lessons in the Develop series, you will use templates to create instructor-led training, virtual instructor-led training, eLearning, and performance support tools.

Summary and next steps

Design teams ensure consistency across project deliverables through strategies such as establishing standards and guidelines, conducting regular reviews and quality checks, utilizing templates, offering continuous training and development, promoting effective communication and collaboration, implementing centralized resource management, and maintaining consistent project management practices. One crucial tool for achieving this consistency is a style guide, which should include elements like visual design guidelines, content writing guidelines, instructional approach, user interface guidelines, multimedia guidelines, accessibility guidelines, cultural sensitivity guidelines, branding guidelines, citation and referencing guidelines, and information about the review and approval process. Templates, another essential tool in learning design projects, are used to improve efficiency, ensure consistency, uphold quality, enable scalability, provide flexibility, and reduce the cognitive load on learners, ultimately leading to more effective and engaging learning experiences.

Now that you are familiar with ensuring consistency across project deliverables, continue to the next lesson in LXD Factory’s Develop series: Create or curate content.


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