Designer Tom Dickinson reveals a glimpse of the journey and thought process behind the design of FutureLearn.com.
Right from the start, the design brief was based on the core goals of FutureLearn – to make modern learning enjoyable and inclusive, to provide an education experience that could really inspire people.
We needed a platform that could excite the user and engender a sense of discovery and delight, whilst focusing on the most important thing: the content. We didn’t want anything to distract users while they immersed themselves in learning.
We followed an in-depth, iterative process to omit superfluous design elements, so that what was left was simple, refined and essential.
To achieve a harmony with the content, we wanted to get the design out of the way.
Great typography – big, bold curves on thick, sans-serif fonts, perfectly spaced and arranged down the page, should make reading on FutureLearn effortless and a real pleasure.
Commenting on articles is in-depth, detailed and contextual to the content, but is hidden unless called upon by the user.
Navigation in the courses offers everything the user could need, but is discretely tucked away until they need it.
When you’re experiencing FutureLearn, whether by reading an article, watching a video, or taking part in an activity, it’s all about the content and the learning; the subject you choose to study that really interests, excites and inspires you, the user – and nothing else.
Albert Einstein: “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”