Flat Design Graphics for E-Learning #50

Flat Design Graphics for E-Learning #50: Challenge | Recap

Whether you believe flat design is the right design for e-learning or that it’s another passing design trend, there’s a great deal of interest in DIY e-learning graphics. If you’re a course designer who wants to build custom graphics, the flat style could be a perfect fit.

Flat design emphasizes simplicity over realism. That means you don’t need mad illustration skills to create custom course elements. Using simple shapes and color palettes, you can easily create custom e-learning graphics without impacting production times.

Creating flat design e-learning graphics

Last week Tom shared a free learning interaction, template, and assets. After seeing the template and peeking at the graphics he built, I knew this would make a really fun e-learning challenge.

Another Free PowerPoint Template & Learning Interaction

If you don’t see yourself as a graphics guru, take a minute to download the StorylinePowerPoint, and editable assets Tom created. 

Ungroup the objects (Right-click > Ungroup) and you’ll discover just how quickly you can build graphics using the flat design style. Everything was created using basic shapes in PowerPoint and Storyline.

For example, a circle and square is all you need to create paper and push pins:

Take your skills to the next level by adding a rounded rectangle to your graphics repertoire:

Getting your graphics in shape

The minimalist style isn't just for office graphics. The design style can also be used to create e-learning characters. Using a limited color palette and basic shapes, Mike Taylor created a series of construction characters and equipment.

Ridiculously Simple Ways to Create Awesome Custom E-Learning Graphics

If you’re a one-person e-learning team with no budget and limited graphics skills, flat design is worth considering. And that’s what this week’s e-learning challenge is all about!

Challenge of the week

This week your challenge is to design an office or desktop theme based on your own workplace environment. Design as many objects as you like. For variety, try adding both top and front views of your workspace.

Extra credit: Share a photo of your office workspace so we can compare it with your flat design template.


You can use Storyline, PowerPoint, or any other graphics program to create your flat desktop templates.

Flat design templates and resources

Learn more about using flat design in e-learning:

Here are some free flat design templates for PowerPoint and Storyline to get your creative juices flowing.

Storyline templates

PowerPoint templates

Share your e-learning work

  • Comments: Use the comments section below to share a link to your published project and blog post.
  • Forums: Create your own thread in our E-Learning Heroes forums and share a link to your published demo.
  • Personal blog:  If you have a blog, please consider writing about your challenges. We’ll link back to your posts so the great work you’re sharing gets even more exposure.
  • Twitter: If you share your demos on Twitter, try using #ELHChallenge so your tweeps can track your e-learning coolness.
  • Facebook: Reply to this Facebook post with a link to your webcam video.

Last week’s challenge

E-Learning Challenge #50: Webcam Video in Online Learning

Before you go flat out crazy, take a look at the creative webcam videos you and your fellow community members shared in last week’s video challenge.

Wishing you a flat-tastic week, E-Learning Heroes!

About the E-Learning Challenges

The weekly challenges are ongoing opportunities to learn, share, and build your e-learning portfolios. You can jump into any or all of the previous challenges anytime you want. I’ll update the recap posts to include your demos.

Even if you’re using a trial version of Studio ’13 or Storyline, you can absolutely publish your challenge files. Just sign up for a fully functional, free trial, and have at it. And remember to post your questions and comments in the forums; we're here to help.

Gena Hocson
Donna Carson
Richard Watson
Richard Watson
Jackie Van Nice

@Melissa: I'm a massive Anthropologie fan (cutest cups and plates ever!), so you had me right there, plus I like the angles of your monitors contrasted with the striped wallpaper. @Daniel: Terrific job! I left more comments on your blog post, but loved everything you shared. Thanks for your comments on mine. I started to have either the cat or person resting in the giant orange chair, but for some reason that seemed to pull focus from the point at hand. :) @Dave (aka @elearningLocker!): Thank you so much! @Lyn: Congrats on your first challenge - and welcome! Loved what you did, and it was a brilliant idea to introduce yourself via the picture on your desk. I tried to give Sophie a treat, but don't know if she got it. Your bits of audio were a nice touch, too. @Nancy: Thanks! Glad you ... Expand

Jackie Van Nice
Daniel Adeboye

Thanks everyone for the comments... doing some reflective thinking; is there really a rightful use of time-lapse videos in e-Learning? To the forums! Matthew - Welcome to the first challenge, hope to see more of your creative work subsequently. Richard - I gleaned a little more from your work (I don't know if anyone noticed that). Your work made me do a little re-thinking about engaging learners. It resounded the principle of designing with the learner in mind. I think I must have followed through your space the way you arranged the learner to follow through. (And maybe several went that way too!) You must have achieved that with Size, Picture...So I naturally clicked on the large pictures first (Jackie's) and though the clock was nice to click, I went down to the computer and fou... Expand

Jackie Van Nice
Andrew Sellon

Sorry, I'm late with this one. I didn't go with creating a flat version of my own desktop--if you look back at my photo from the workspace challenge, it will tell you why! So I decided to create a manager's workspace. And then I kept adding little flat things…. I can post the story file if anyone wants it, but based on the quick look I took at a few of the dazzling submissions (cat on printer? '50s floor lamp? squeak toy? fantastic!), I doubt anyone here needs it. I look forward to going through all of the submissions first chance I get! Blog post: http://www.sellonsolutions.com/fun-with-flat-graphics-and-manager-training/ Direct link to sample: http://www.sellonsolutions.com/wp-content/uploads/Manager/story.html David--could you still add me to your Recap? I put my 5... Expand