Looking back at the changes in design can be as painful as looking through your old wardrobe. Just like the questionable fashion choices of our past, some design trends are just a product of their period.
Don’t follow trends just for the sake of it! They may well have been popular techniques for good reason, but make sure it’s in your learners’ interest. I have listed 8 trends I hope not to visit again (optimistically)!
Yes, you’ve read that correctly, we can make learning sensational! Although the LMS landscape has evolved considerably over the years, with the introduction of sleeker interfaces and innovative features, there are still systems out there holding out against the change. It’s more important than ever to have a modern and engaging user experience for your LMS. So, let me expand on my formula for making your learning sensational.
Augmented reality (AR) has been a buzz word for some years, in fact Minority Report already had me hungry for the chance to experience a new digital dimension. Companies like Disney are using static content, a marker and a camera (could be webcam or my personal favourite, a mobile phone camera) to bring content to life and in this example they take sketching to a whole new level!
The marker, which is sometimes called “a target”, can be a barcode or simple series of geometric shapes. When the computer’s AR app or browser plug-in receives the digital information contained in the marker, it begins to execute the code for the augmented reality program. So far, AR has been mainly used in: entertainment, retail, travel, advertising, and social communication.
Google Goggles make use of AR tech in a refreshing way. The Goggles can “scan” various objects and Google Search will try to identify what it is for you. This works for things like landmarks and artwork along with things like consumer products and various media.
Perhaps its most useful feature is the ability to translate foreign text which was later added directly into Google Translate.
I was wondering how we could use similar technology to enhance learner interaction and have listed a few of my ideas below:
- Fire safety posters that reveal description on what type of extinguisher you should use during an emergency situation when scanned.
- Animating technical diagrams for training materials that explain processes.
- Financial charts that can come alive and share more detail about individual segments.
Speaking of augmented reality technology in learning, the first thing that comes to mind is the wonderful Aurasma app. Using the simple tools within the app, you can create your own Auras and share them with other Aurasma users. Anyone with the app can view the Auras that you make, and watch everyday things come to life with engaging graphics, vibrant audio and exciting content.
This example from SMART MOBILE FACTORY shows how it can be done.
There’s also full virtual reality (VR) to think about. I recently played with Occulus Rift during a product launch, the experience was wonderful but currently VR is in its initial phase with a lot of problems left to solve – not to mention the expense involved.
But now there is ubiquitous and cheap access to smartphones, we should explore bringing static images to life wherever we can with AR. The possibilities are literally limitless: brochures without physical boundaries, logos which reveal information about products and visiting cards which directly connect calls.
Augmented reality can also redefine learner engagement in elearning. It offers a ground-breaking canvas by merging digital learning materials with the real world. It creates an environment where learners control their own learning, through active interactions with the real and virtual environments. AR is now transforming the way we learn, making these experiences more engaging and rewarding.
What do you think we can do with augmented reality in elearning? Contact us to discuss your ideas.
“The utmost thing is the user experience, to have the most useful experience.”
Slick interactions create a more dynamic elearning course that responds to the user and allows the user to really play and interact with your content instead of just looking at it. HTML5 has come a long way from its predecessors, and with the JS libraries which are currently available it’s time for us to push it to the next level! Below are six ways you can start exploring the full potential of HTML5.
1. SVG – Scalable Vector Graphics
In this cool example they show how to create an interactive infographic with SVG and CSS. This experiment with motion blur effect shows that there are plenty of ways we can bring life into animations with an SVG object.
“To design is to communicate clearly by whatever means you can control or master.”
To turn a good design into a great one is not rocket science – you just have to think outside the box. The box I refer to here is a colossal text panel over a bland image – which is usually what elearning ends up looking like. But there are hundreds of ways to bring a new dimension to your design. Here’s six to try out:
1. Substitute large chunks of text for images that tell a story
Thinking visually, large chunks of text often look dull. Instead, try telling the story using a scrolling, parallax animation. Here’s an example that comes to mind.
Creating a sequel is easier said than done. We’ve seen some software, games and movies losing the plot completely. But, with Storyline 2, Articulate have excelled themselves. Storyline 2 includes new and enhanced features, giving us multiple ways to bring our content to life with more control over how it looks and behaves. The new and enhanced features are exciting but I should warn you: as much as I love it, it runs a little sluggishly.
Recently, England cricket Captain Alastair Cook, came under fire for his ineffectiveness, which was apparently affecting the performance of the other players. But he proved all of them wrong by leading from the front: scoring runs and making tactical field placements in the very next game.
When Florence Nightingale used a Coxcomb diagram to present the case for improvement in military hospitals to Queen Victoria in the 19th century, little did she know that the diagram would not only form an important part of the history of hospitals, but also the history of visual representation.
“Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away”
Antoine de Saint-Exupery, French writer (1900–1944)
So you don’t believe me when I say that design is more about taking elements away than adding new ones? Try taking a look at the evolution of the Starbucks logo. The concept of ‘less is more’ may be a little clichéd, but you can see how powerful it is here: the simple, clean image is instantly recognisable and familiar; nothing is extraneous.
As an e-learning designer, there are many things I love about Hollywood! Here I’ve put together four ways to help you bring a touch of tinsel-town to your training…