How To Transform The Online Training Experience Of Your Learners with Colors

Human beings love what they see. This attraction is many times due to the appearance or color of the object. The importance of the use of colors in e-learning cannot be overemphasized. As it relates to e-learning design, the use of colors could break or make your e-learning platform.

Color is one of the core elements used by e-learning designers that need to be well understood to be used. The proper use of color is crucial to e-learning as they are like the classroom and should be engaging, welcoming, clean and fun-filled.

If you are an eLearning designer or coming across this topic for the first time and seek to know more, this article is for you. This article reviews the use of colors in e-learning and provides you with vital information about colors.

Table of Contents
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Common colors and their characteristics

  • Blue: This color is one of the most used colors by e-learning experts. Blue is known to portray calmness, trust and peace. This color is used to transform complex subject matter to be less complicated or confusing.
  • Red: This color radiates energy, passion and excitement. Red is used to guide students’ attention to very crucial information and call for instant attention of the learners. It brings a consciousness of urgency.
  • Green: green depicts growth, tranquillity and balance. This color is the right choice of color when seeking balance in fresh Designs. The green color is also used to settle the nerves of learners before an examination as it’s a symbol of peace.
  • Yellow: This color represents cheerfulness, intellect and optimism. With the features mentioned, it means it can be used to boost memory and stimulate mental function. Yellow is the right color to use when trying to make a full class more exciting. It boosts knowledge retention.
  • Brown: this color conveys feelings of friendliness, security and seriousness. Brown colors help to balance the mood of e-learning courses.
  • Orange: orange color stands for mental stimulation, optimism and communication. It is used to make a complex subject seem more relatable and upbeat. It is also used to boost learner’s creativity.
  • Purple: purple is known to depict fun, imagination and sophistication. This color encourages learners to get excited and have fun. Hence making their learning process more interesting. It is used to engage learners
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Influence of colors in e-learning process

  • Enhances memory retention: according to research, colors can improve learning to a significant level. Colors increase learner’s attention level to information. Hence helping them to memorize. Red, yellow and orange colors being warm colors are known to increase attention among learners.
  • Colors Kindle emotions: in the human body our brain sends signals to the endocrine system when the eye captures a color. This action helps to release hormones from the endocrine system, which affects our emotions and mood. When colors like cyan, blue e.t.c. gives calming feeling.
    Also, warm colors like orange, yellow and red are known to stimulate and excite. Using the right color can invoke the right emotions in learners hence helping them connect better to the eLearning.
  • Color improves readability: research suggests that colors help to enhance readability and clarity in texts by 40%. The use of contrasting colors in texts and background can give more clarity to the contents on the screen, enhancing the readability of the contents.
  • Colors reduce cognitive load: learners spend little time accessing and understanding content with the right color. Hence resulting in the use of lesser cognitive load. The use of bright colors often in eLearning modules can stress learners.
    In contrast, using cool colors with a proper contrast can help learners be more focused on content. Cool colors create a positive impact on learners.
  • Colors direct attention: the attention of learners can be directed towards content through the use of colors. Colors can guide students’ attention towards crucial areas like; statistics, examples, dos, don’ts and illustrations.
    Yet, there should be moderacy in the use of warm colors as excessive use can lead to losing learners attention even though it’s very effective in directing attention.
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Tips on how to use color in eLearning

  • Focus on the background of your learning audience: considering the age, educational and religious backgrounds of your learning audience before choosing the color to use is important. This is because different cultures affix different meanings to colors.
    For instance, a culture might see a Brown color as unattractive while another might consider it is energizing. Hence, there is a need for proper research on the learning audience background before choosing a color to use in your e-learning courses.
  • Don’t ever sacrifice clarity for aesthetic designs: It is advisable to use warmer shades of the colors you want to choose to use. The reason for doing this is to enhance the readability and prevent contrast issues, especially when the background is white.
    When it comes down to choosing a color, you love, even when it wouldn’t provide enough contrast and using a color that enhances readability, always go with the latter. Clarity should never be sacrificed for visual pleasure.
  • Create an idea of the mood you want to achieve: It is good to have a clear idea of the feelings or moods you are planning to send with the color you want to use in e-learning. This action helps you focus on achieving the mood you want to create and not go against it.
    For example, when creating an e-learning course that would change a dull subject matter to engaging and fun, you might consider using orange or red.
  • Be moderate in utilizing color in eLearning: in preventing the eLearning design from looking disorganized or chaotic, you might consider using 2 or 3 colors throughout the eLearning course. Applying colors well helps prevents distraction of the learners.
    When learners are distracted, it prevents them from acquiring the information in the content. Using many colors confuses the learners and makes the e-learning course unprofessional and cluttered.


Even though the use of color in eLearning is paramount, appropriate use cannot be overemphasized. Knowing how to decide what color to use and where to use it can make your e-learning course very engaging.

When you understand the properties of colors, what they stand for and using them can turn your eLearning course into a captivating visual powerhouse.

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About The Author

Daren Nadav

Daren Nadav

Daren Nadav is the Co Founder of CourseForMe, which is a leading platform to find the best courses available online and delivers inspiring content related to eLearning. Daren holds a B.A in Economics and business management.

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