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How to create an interactive opening screen

How to create an interactive opening screen
Chiara Mastroleo
 Chiara Mastroleo
19/12/2018: Have you ever noticed? When you first access an e-Learning course on your monitor you will see an opening screen full of instructions to follow to help you navigate easier and understandable.

When you access a new course, or start any application on one of your devices, the first thing that appears is a wizard that helps you for a right use, explaining what to do and where to click.
Well, the same thing also happens for courses in e-Learning mode.

Why do we need driving instructions? Simple: because it is very important to be sufficiently informed about the course that we are going to start, already during the pre-start phase of the training.

At this point, a question arises: how will it be possible to create an interactive and functional opening screen? There is not any unique and error-free method, but there are different measures and methods, one for each specific need.

Below we evaluate a series of factors that must always be taken into account when creating a start screen in an e-Learning course.

1. Mandatory screen or freedom to click?

No doubt, the first choice to make is between a screen that allows you to abandon the initial instructions and another one in which the user is obliged to follow till the end, without having the opportunity to click when he/she thinks appropriate.
It is important to make the student feel free to choose what to do during his training, but it is equally important to make sure that he/she is sufficiently informed and carefully reads all the necessary instructions.

2. Forward or backward?

Often, the initial procedure of a course moves only forward. Do not make this mistake. Always make sure that, in the construction of the opening guided screen, the user can also go back (above all to clarify a possible doubt, source of a possible distraction).

3. Progress bar

By progress bar we mean the indicator (which is usually represented by percentage numbers or by a light bar that progresses gradually) that shows the progress of the training process.
In this case, it will come in handy to show the progress a user is making.

4. Instructions

Let's now take care of the instructions: how should they be displayed? They are usually placed at the bottom, inside a box. Do you prefer them to be full screen to give more importance?
Choose yourself carefully according to your needs.

5. Animations

Do you prefer static or animated content? The choice is up to you. A recommendation: do not exaggerate, sometimes animations can create malfunctions and then you can say goodbye to the hours of work you used to produce them.

6. Final

How do you finish your instructions before starting the actual course?
There are several alternatives, some of which consider the Start button, while others disable the buttons to navigate.
Whatever your decision, it is always good to communicate it to the learner.

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