As e-learning developers, we’re always on the lookout for examples that will give us ideas and inspire our next course design. That’s what I’m hoping to share with you in this post! Now that I’m working with Articulate Storyline and Studio on a daily basis I get to develop all kinds of cool e-learning courses and interactions. I thought this would be a good time to share the links to some of my most recent e-learning examples, in hopes giving you ideas for a project you’re currently working on!
E-learning Example #1: Interactive Hover Menu
This is a cool interaction I built in Articulate Storyline. Hover over an object (such as the lamp or monitor) to view available actions. Once you’ve completed an action, different options become available on hover.
This interaction was actually inspired by the game “The Sims”. If you’ve ever played you know that when you hover over an item you are given multiple options for what to do with that item. For example, hover over a refrigerator and you might be given the following options: “Get a drink”, “Make dinner” or “Grab a quick snack”. I wanted to challenge myself to recreate this functionality in Storyline, which is what I did.
Almost everything in this interaction, including the monitor, lamp, cork-board and coffee mug were created using shapes directly in Storyline. You don’t need to create fancy graphics in a separate application: you can create your own great-looking graphics right inside Storyline. You can view a published example and download the .story file for this example on the E-Learning Examples section of the Articulate site.
E-Learning Example #2: Labeled Graphic Interaction
Here’s a great e-learning interaction that I developed using Engage ’13. The content that I was working with was construction safety information, which is what inspired the black and yellow color scheme, as well as the thick, chunky fonts. I like to let the topic or subject matter guide the design whenever possible.
For this project I purchased some great photos from iStockphoto that were heavily discounted. One thing I’ve learned is to look for photos that are on sale. While an image of this quality and size will usually go for between 20-40 credits on iStockphoto, this particular photo was only 2 credits. If you look past the first page of search results and do some digging, you can often find great photos for a fraction of the cost, and end up with twice as many photos.
You can check out the published version of the e-learning interaction, as well as a more detailed post I wrote about how I built it (Engage ’13: How I Built This Labeled Graphic Interaction) on my Articulate blog.
E-Learning Example #3: Colorful Pencil Template
Here’s an example of a fun Articulate Storyline template I created with a bright color scheme. I was inspired by these colorful crayon photos I came across on a great free stock photography site called MorgueFile. I loved the crayon photo so much I had to build a template around it. I ended up going with a light blue color scheme. I picked up the shade of blue from a blue pencil in the photo, using the color picker tool. You can easily edit the template to make it whatever color works with your project.
Interested in using the template? You can head on over to the E-Learning Examples site to check out the published version and to download the .story file.
E-Learning Example #4: Tablet Style Template
Tablets and handheld devices are all the rage these days, so I thought it would be great to build a fun template based on that. I know I love my job based on the fact I’m always creating templates just for fun! This template was created in Articulate Storyline and the tablet, all of the app icons, and the sheets of paper in the example are built completely using shapes in Storyline.
View a published example of the template and download it to use it in your own projects on the Download page of the Articulate site.
Remember: when it comes to sharing examples of work and demos of your e-learning, you don’t need to share a complete, polished course that is 100% done. Often, just seeing snippits and small examples of work is enough to inspire us for our next project.
If you enjoy reading my blog posts you might be interesting in checking out my professional blog on the Articulate website! I post weekly there (Thursday) on everything from working with Subject Matter Experts to how to do an e-learning needs analysis. As always, I love to see your comments and feedback!
Here’s a fun, simple graphic I created in Adobe Illustrator to represent my love of long weekends. Happy labor day weekend everyone!
Have you ever used Storyline and thought “I’d really love to use those built-in photographic characters for my e-learning module… but I really need someone with a headset…” If you develop e-learning for a sales organization or a call center you may have had this exact thought. I was recently working on a project when I came across this dilemma myself. I would have considered buying a character pack from a stock photo site, but it’s pretty pricey – especially if you only need a handful of poses. I wanted to work with the resources I had available. So the solution I came up with?
How did this come about? I did a web search and found this headset graphic. I inserted the headset graphic into my Storyline file, placed it over top of the character image, resized it, rotated it slightly… and voila! Atsumi, the Storyline character, now has a headset! It doesn’t look perfect, but I think most people wouldn’t notice that it’s not part of the photo unless they look very closely. It should be noted that this trick does not work with every character pose; the side and angled shots are not ideal for this. That being said, there are actually quite a good amount of poses it does work with.
So there you have it – a quick and easy way to transform your existing Storyline character into a telephone sales associate or call center representative. Hope this trick can come in handy for someone else! And one more thing! Since you’ve made it all the way to the end of this post, perhaps you should subscribe to my blog!
I’m sure that other e-learning, web and graphic designers will agree with me when I say that I LOVE finding free templates and resources online that I can use in my projects. Last week I was doing a web search for some quality free photos that I could use in a project and I stumbled across MorgueFile. It says right on the website that you can use the photos for commercial purposes without attributing the original author, and the photos are really great, high-quality images! I’m in love with this site. Tons of abstract photos and textures you can use for backgrounds in e-learning templates, and they have a really great set of business people in a lot of different settings. When I saw the following set of paperclip photos I suddenly became inspired to create an e-learning template….
So that’s how this next e-learning template came to be, which I created Articulate Storyline. I was inspired by this paperclip photography and I lifted the turquoise color from the paperclip (using the eye-dropper tool) to use in my design. The fonts that I used in my template are Bebas, Desyrel (I only used Desyrel on the title slide) and Articulate Light. You can download the fonts for free and install them on your computer if you would like your template to look identical to this (it won’t quite have the same look if you don’t have the Bebas font installed!).
If you want to check out the published Storyline file, you can have a peek at it here. If you’d like to download the .story file to use this template yourself, you can download it here. Sharing is caring! Hope this template is useful for someone, or inspires you to create your own.
Last week I posted a bunch of custom shapes I created using Articulate Storyline in the e-Learning Heroes Forum. Two things have come of this: 1) people seem to really like the shapes (yay!), and 2) I’ve since developed a new obsession with creating custom shapes in Storyline. In case you’re wondering what I mean by “custom shapes” I simply mean that using shapes that are available within Storyline I created the items you see below:
Everything in the images was created by me (except the wood texture background) simply by using shapes and lines with the appropriate gradients and shadows, right in Storyline. The fun thing about this is that since they are really just groups of shapes, you can de-construct them, edit them as you please, change the colors, etc. You can also do a right-click on the group, Save as Picture, and then save the shape as a .PNG file that can be used in projects you create using other applications, like PowerPoint or Captivate. As pointed out to me in the forum, it’s a fun way to extend the functionality of Storyline from an e-learning development tool to a graphic design tool, by using what’s available to you in the right way.
All you need to do to create your own custom shapes is create your individual shapes, color them (using shadows and gradients, such as the path gradient used on orange rectangle below, is critical to making it look realistic), line up your shapes, and then group them together. The image below breaks down how I created the pencil.
Like I mentioned earlier in this post, I’ve now developed a bit of an obsession with creating fun new shapes. It’s given me all these ideas for fun projects and themes I can create using the shapes I’ve made. For example, I created a really cool looking desk phone (which I will share in a future post) and now I’m working on adding some functionality wherein you press numbers on the keypad, and it links to various slides. I also find that now I’m often challenging myself to see how far I can go “re-creating” simple items right in Storyline. My latest challenge was creating the Microsoft system calculator using shapes in Storyline. You almost can’t tell the difference between the two!
Since the shapes I created last week were a hit, I decided to make a few more this weekend. I created a couple of folders, a notepad, and a clipboard. I’ve posted these files in the e-Learning Heroes forum as well, so check it out, and if you use Storyline, by all means, save them for your own projects. Here’s a photo below to show you what the new shapes look like.
I hope this has inspired some of you guys to create your own custom graphics in Storyline! And if anyone has any suggestions or ideas for future shapes or challenges for me — bring it on!