Using UX Design to Reduce Cognitive Load in Learning Experiences

Conference Archive

Learning Solutions Conference & Expo 2019 - March 26, 2019

Matt McGee

Learning Designer/Developer
Clearinghouse for Military Family Readiness - Penn State University

Sing Wong

Manager of Learning Solutions
Clearinghouse for Military Family Readiness - Penn State University

As an eLearning professional, it’s easy to become so focused on developing that perfect course that you forget to consider the systems you use to deliver your content. Whether this takes the form of a commercial learning management system or a custom application, designers often don’t take the time to consider how their courses fit into these systems and how their designs can play a large role in how effectively students can learn. While proper instructional development is important, good UX design is just as important. Both disciplines seek to minimize the cognitive load on extraneous factors so that the curriculum itself can take center stage. This is why considering user experience (UX) design during the instructional design process is important.

In this session, you’ll learn how you can bridge the gap between instructional design and user experience design. You’ll explore the relationship between instructional design, UX design, and their impact on cognitive load. You’ll learn about the importance of these fields and the roles they play in developing an environment of effective learning. You’ll also learn about the most common ways you can implement changes to your design to help build a more holistic learning experience. You’ll see examples of good and bad UX/UI design and be able to share your own experiences, whether with your own design or other designs you’ve seen.

In this session, you will learn:

  • About the importance of considering both instructional design and user experience design when developing your curriculum
  • What cognitive load theory is, and what its impact is on a learner
  • How to recognize common design elements that impact cognitive load, and suggestions on how you can minimize them
  • How to differentiate from good and bad user experience design
  • How to make design decisions on bridging the gap between instructional design and user experience design


Designers and developers


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