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13 September 2022

Recommended Totara design tips for your LMS

Jonny McAlister

Jonny McAlister

Head of Customer Experience

Some Totara design ideas to improve the look and feel of your LMS.

The snap judgements made based on how your LMS looks can have a big impact on how it’s perceived by your learners. Here are some very simple steps you can take to improve the design of your Totara Learn site.

Use focus groups and A/B testing

Great Totara design starts before a single pixel is in place. Engaging with your learners at the outset of any project (or having us do that as an impartial third party) helps to build a picture of how the LMS will be used. Focus groups and A/B testing are just a couple of the ways we increase our understanding of your learners so that we can design to their needs.

Ditch text-heavy pages and busy design

Sometimes the best Totara design ideas come from what’s missing rather than what’s included. Substantial blocks of text and an array of visual features competing for your attention make for a confusing user experience and are not helpful when it comes to engaging your learners.

Make your courses smaller

It might sound like a learning and development issue, but it’s also a design one. Smaller courses look better on the page, which means they are more manageable and engaging for learners. This makes your Totara Learn LMS more visually appealing, but also increases the likelihood that it will deliver better learning outcomes.

Choose your theme wisely

Your choice of Totara theme will have a big impact on the look and feel of the site. Our recommendation, to avoid trawling through LMS themes and settling for something close to what you wanted or blowing your budget on designing a custom theme, is to consider Spark. At its most basic level Spark is an LMS theme, but it’s also the base for an array of features and configurations that will help you to get the most out of your LMS. 

It includes high standards of Totara user interface design, interaction design, visual design and typography, so you get the design elements of a custom Totara theme without the expense.

Make it look familiar

Our final Totara design tip is to replicate what your learners are used to. Creating a look and feel that your users are used to from another platform can help with engagement. If your existing systems are due a design overhaul, then opt for evolution rather than revolution with your LMS design. Move things forwards while staying true to your brand guidelines.

Do you have Totara design questions?

You’ll learn more about our Totara design services on our UX design page. If you’d like to discuss design plans for your upcoming Totara Learn project, please fill out the form below and we’ll be in touch.

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