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


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.


Meet the Team: Articulate challenge #43

After a couple of weeks I had published my third presentation made with A. Storyline in this post; something incredible happened. David Anderson, one of the community managers at Articulate, checked the link of my presentation in a tweet and he found it so inspiring that decided to dedicate one of the weekly challenges to “Meet the team” concept.

The challenge #43 “Interactive org. chart” started last Friday 18th July, and rapidly become one of the most popular challenges of the site. It is the most commented challenge up to now, with almost 30 demos shared, new community members took part, some of them were so inspired that published two or even three examples!. The goal was to design an interactive graphic to introduce an organization’s team members or key players. All of the submissions were very creative, with different styles; it’s been amazing!.

I want to express my gratitude to e-Learning Heroes community, for being so supportive, to the community members who warmly welcome me, and especially to David Anderson, who comes up every week with a different topic, and encourages us to participate and improve our skills by doing our own e-learning examples.

Check out the impressive collection of “Meet the Team” challenge!

Meet the Team: examples for introducing people

Inspired by some good examples I found in the amazing community E-learning Heroes, I decided to build four examples for introducing members of a team.

For the first slide “Team Picture”, I replicated the example Create a snapshot focus effect by Linda Lor.

The second slide “Organizational Chart” can be used to show hierarchy within a company. This could be a good resource for a new employee induction course; every picture includes a short welcome message.

Click on the image to launch presentation

I basically got fun with the slide “Sport Team”.  The focus for this sample is to emphasize player’s positions.  I could have chosen any sport, but I realised having less than 7 players, it was easier to arrange the pictures on the playing field.

Last slide TV Channel can be used to give a quick overview of the different teams or departments in a company. For building this example, I combined two great ideas: The collage image by Tom Kuhlmann and Tabs interaction-meet the team by Montse Anderson.

Images are public from and all names contained are fictional and included as example only.

Let’s meet the teams!


User Interface Design Patterns

When taking the course “UI Design Patterns” I learnt the basic patterns used for interfaces design. At the same time, I’m learning how to build e-learning content with Articulate Storyline, so I thought it would be a good idea to merge the design theory with the practice of the authoring tool.

Interface patterns can be grouped in different categories, depending on their function: for organizing content, for navigating, for structure the page, for getting input from the user, etc.

I made a presentation with five patterns used for organizing content:

  • Two-panel selector
  • Navigation tabs
  • List inlay
  • Slideshows
  • Hub and spoke

Although they were originally designed for websites,
they can also be applied in Articulate’ slides.

Click on the image



I’m aware the aesthetics might be better (I’m still not expert ;)),

but I focused on each pattern’s implementation.

Hope you find this topic as interesting as I do.

User Interface Design Guidelines


In the nineties, two well-known usability experts established a list of user interface design principles. Ben Schneidermann posit “Eight Golden rules of User Interface Design”, while Jakob Nielsen published “Ten Usability Heuristics for User Interface Design”.

There are some overlaps between Schneidermann’s and Nielsen’s recommendations.

Click on the image to see some examples

Although more than 30 years have passed, these rules are still taken into consideration to design user interfaces and to carry out usability evaluations.