Say No to Messy Menus

The menu (or index) of your course should be well-organized in whatever form you use (standard or custom). This might not seem like a revolutionary statement, but you’d be surprised by how many courses have a cringe-worthy menu.

A menu can be a great table of contents, and it can also help learners see their progress. A good rule of thumb is to use 3 levels: main topics, subtopics and subsections. Fourteen levels of indents do not make for a good user experience.

Top Tips:

  • Label your slides. No one wants to see “untitled” as a menu option. (It's great when this auto-populates from your slide master. Yay for templates!) If you have the option of labeling on the slide or in the menu, be sure to label the slide. If you ever need to reset the menu to make major changes during an update, you won't need to relabel individual slides.

  • Use the indent or other grouping features available in your program to nest subtopics under the main topics.

  • If you have a section where multiple screens have the same title, use one of the following options depending on your project contents and client preferences:

  1. Rename slides so that they are unique to the screen.

  2. Hide duplicates slides from the menu.

  3. Indent duplicate slides in the menu to group them as a section.

  • If your course includes optional items, branching, or assessments, be sure to carefully review your menu and remove any items that could allow the users to get locked into the wrong path or throw off the course scoring.

Apply these same rules when building out custom menus. (Note: I prefer using the built-in functionality of the different elearning programs so that courses are easier for clients to maintain, but that’s another soap box.)

Below we have an example of two different versions of the same course.