This blog is now closed

Apologies to the readers, but for personal reasons, can’t find the time to continue posting. I decided to close this blog until further notice.

Thank you for your interest, and I hope you find the archives helpful!


Animated buttons in Storyline

Did you know that animated buttons and tabs can be created in Storyline?

Animations can be added to the different states of a button or tab. Check my demo, and others great examples from the Weekly Challenge nº89.


Convert a double-entry table using Storyline

Imagine that you need to include a large double-entry table in your e-learning course, but you want to avoid scrolling up and down. You can convert this type of chart into an interactive double-tab navigation table in 4 simple steps using Storyline.


  1. Set up tabs for rows and columns. Each tab should have at least three states: Normal, Hover and Selected. Make sure each group of tabs is a Button set.
  2. Create as many layers as cells the table contents. Label each layer to avoid confusion when adding the triggers.
  3. Add triggers: “Show layer A-1 when user clicks Tab A and Shape 1 is equal to Selected” and the other way back: “Show layer A-1 when user clicks Tab 1 if Shape A is equal to Selected”
  4. Copy and paste the triggers to each combination of tabs.
Click on the image to see the result Essentialvitmins

Check out another example of double-tab navigation in this post

The transparent echo effect for image backgrounds

This week the Articulate team shared a super easy technique used in advertisements and presentation backgrounds: the echo effect. This effect is achieved by duplicating one of the images and placed it on the background. The background image is scaled beyond the slide size and transparency is increased to blend the image into the background.

Watch the tutorial where Tom Kuhlmann explains clearly how to do it:

My sample:

To create this cover, I used images of a cooker showing a prepared food in different poses.  Background photo was scaled and blurred. On top I added a shape with a transparency of 70% and placed the other image. Finally, I imported the PowerPoint slide to Storyline.

healthy eating cover

Very cool design tip! Check out other great examples in the Weekly Challenge 117


Images by Photl

Font: KaushanScript by Impallari Type. SIL Open Licence

Comic book: The Multimedia Design Dilemma

“E-Learning and the Science of Instruction” by Clark and Mayer, this book is essential reading for anyone wishing to design and develop multimedia content for e-Learning.

At the beginning of each chapter, the authors challenge the readers with a “Design Dilemma”, a scenario to introduce one of the principles explained in the book. In these scenarios, an eLearning team is committed to create an online course on Excel for Small Business. Every character, the VP, the Instructional Designer, the Graphic Designer, the Programmer, etc, they all have different views on how to design the multimedia content for the course.

At the end of each chapter and after the Principles are analyzed with evidence-based examples, the reader is taken back to the scenario where the dilemma is resolved.

Click on the image to view my comic book

multimediaDilemmaThe Idea

After reading the book, I wanted to write a post about the Multimedia Principles, but there are tons of articles and presentations about this, so I decided to turn the “design dilemmas” into a graphic story.

The Result

I was looking for illustrated characters and backgrounds for the story, when I came across with this cool and free Comic image collection. Using the source files, I could create different scenes; changing character’s dialogues and expressions. The characters fit perfectly into the story. I changed their names and made a slight variation of their choices.

In the book, the team is designing a course on Excel, but I replaced this with a course on Applied Optics.

Unfortunately, I don’t have enough time to finish the book: Multimedia, Modality and Redundancy Principles in this first printing. Wouldn’t be great to have the complete edition one day?

Check out more comic book examples in the Weekly Challenge #11

Design a Cover for an odd eLearning training title

This week the eLearning Challenge was one of the most popular and funniest ever. The objective of Challenge #73 was to:

  • make up an odd or silly title for an e-learning course
  • design a course cover slide using your silly title

After checking some Training Course’s Titles in various websites, I decided to come up with something related to the Workplace Safety.

Every company should protect employees with safety training courses. No matter if it is a big industry or a small office; these courses must help employees identify potential hazards in their workplace.

The title for the Cover I designed is “Hazard Hunters”, referring to the fact of being alert to detect and prevent different types of hazards. The font I chose for the Title is Stencil Font, commonly used for army-themed texts.ELHChallenge#73-Odd-cover

Most common hazards would be included in this Safety Course, so on this Cover, every category would be represented by an icon and colour.


Using Characters in e-Learning: illustrate and engage

After publishing the post about the Types of Characters used in e-learning, I found this topic so interesting, that I decided to go deeper, writing a second part about the roles of the characters used in an online course.

I searched the web and after reading some posts about this topic, I came to the conclusion Characters are commonly used in 6 ways that can be grouped in two categories:

To illustrate the content: Characters are integrated in the content, representing real and abstract concepts, and being part of scenarios and stories.

As social actors: Characters interact directly with the learners, providing guidance and support.

Find more details in this video, which I created with Powtoon.

No matter whether Characters are cartoons, photos , or even live actors, integrating them in a course can add value to the learning experience.


ATD Blog. Avatars in e-Learning by Vanessa Bailey

Learning Solutions Magazine. Animated Characters in e-Learning: the benefits of social roles by Audrey Dalton

E-learningArt Blog: Use conversations to deliver eLearning content by B. Jones

eLearning Industry Articles: 6 tips to create Characters in eLearning by Henson Gawliu

De Vries, J. (2004) Character-Based simulations: What Works. Bersin & Associates

Images used in this video: