Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Get Rid of Your Unnecessary Bulleted Lists

Bulleted lists are used to present information relating to classification of data, a step-by-step process, or the phases of a life cycle. In other words, they are used specifically to represent a list of phrases or sentences that can represent either an ordered process or some disjoint points belonging to a particular category. However, too much use of bulleted list could make your training look repetitive and dull. So, here’re a few alternatives that you can use in your trainings to replace the bulleted points which could not only reduce repetition but also help enhance the instructive value of the data.
  • One basic way to represent bulleted points is to show them using text boxes or block images with text included. This method is suitable for un-ordered lists. For example, you could simply show the features of an application by writing the features within different text boxes. In addition, you can also use arrows to connect such boxes to represent a process flow or ordered list.
  • Another alternative is to include relevant icons with the text boxes to make the content inside those boxes more instructionally sound for the learners. For examples, if a bullet list talks about different types of web browsers, then you can use the icons for those browsers with their names. 
  • Sometimes an image is sufficient to represent a bullet point if that bullet point is read out in the audio. For example, if the audio reads out the name of the browsers of a bulleted list, then you can simply show the icons on screen without any supporting content. 
  • You can also use human cut-outs to represent bulleted points in such a way that the cut-outs are directly talking with the learners. For example, to show the responsibilities of an instructional designer, you could use a human cut-out and then show bulleted points representing his/her responsibilities using think/talk bubbles around that cut-out. 
  • In some instances, you can use a single image to represent the bulleted list. For example, to represent some particular places mentioned in a bulleted list, you could show the map of the country and mark those places in that map. 
  • Another simple solution to avoid bulleted list is to present the content of the list within a table. For example, if the list defines some key terms, then you could create a table with one column representing the key terms while the second column showing their respective definitions. 
  • One very good way to represent the steps of a process flow instead of using a bulleted list is to show the process through a flow chart. For example, the various phases of the project delivery process become more meaningful if you could represent them using a flowchart or a diagram.


  1. And you use bulleted lists to present different ways to avoid those ;)

    Good list though, thank you! :)

  2. That's exactly what I was thinking while posting it, but bounded by the limitations of the webpage:-)

  3. Good initiative.All the best!!