Would you like to add a touch of glamour to your FLO topic (or other) site, whilst at the same time creating a better user experience and saving yourself time?
You don’t need to know HTML code or be a graphic designer. Built-in styles in FLO can help you develop a look and feel that is easily replicable throughout the site. Three-level headings, highlighted boxes, horizontal rules, tables, columns … these are some of the styles you can use to sense-make the content of your FLO site. It’s just a matter of selecting a style in the HTML editor (available wherever you have the option to enter text). Experiment bravely – it’s very easy to change a built-in style if you don’t like it or it doesn’t achieve what you want. You save time because you apply a style provided instead of trying to invent your own.
Bigger picture levels of design include books, files, folders, labels, pages, URLs (FLO ‘resources’). These elements can be used as content holders that house videos, information, links and narrative. They are easy to move around in your site (within and between modules), facilitating redesign and flexibility. Once you understand the design principles behind using these resources, you will have an appreciative audience (your users)!
At the top level of design is your FLO site’s structure. Imagine it as you would the contents of a book. If you’ve ever tried to browse a book with fanciful content headings that tell you nothing, you will appreciate the value of a meaningful structure. In web terms, your FLO site needs to be ‘navigable’. You can choose or modify a topic format for your site that helps users find what they need quickly. You might go with the standard weekly format, but add a subheading that tells the user the focus for that week. Or you might use a modular format, and give each module a contextual short heading. Or you might choose collapsed modules to give the user some choice in how they view the site.
If you use these multilayered design elements effectively, your FLO site will be accessible, usable and consistent – and receive very many big ticks.
For more information, attend the workshop ‘Styling your FLO site’ or refer to the support materials. But most importantly, explore and play. Remember, this is a time-saving exercise!
Styling your FLO site – next workshop 17 July 10-11.30am (more to come) for a hands-on play and conversation about the elements of good online design
Support materials (eLearning Gateway) for instructions on how to use the HTML editor and other FLO styling features
Contributed by Andrea Rankin
Educational Designer – CILT