One of the things I enjoy most about instructional design is finding the right visual voice that reaches learner and helps them understand a new skill or concept. That’s why I found Tom’s recent post on font learning games so engaging.
Fonts are one of those elements we all use but know little about. Rather than overloading users with theory, he uses the games to engage learners of all skill levels by getting them to interact with the letters.
I was able to recreate the same options for adjusting letter spacing, viewing my result, and comparing my result to an expert solution. The only thing I couldn’t do was constrain the drag motion horizontally. That’s okay because I had still captured the overall essence of the activity using the tools I had available.
When you’re designing, you are rarely—if ever!—going to be creating a constraint-free course. The key is to master your tools and get a little help from the Articulate community.
Before we get into this week’s challenge, take a second to browse a few more games and interactions designed to help you learn more about fonts and typography.
If you’ve struggled using (or pronouncing) bezier, this is the perfect time to practice creating curves with the pen tool.
Designed and coded by Aaron Bloom & Erin Kendig, this interaction helps students learn basic type anatomy and classification.
Cheese or Font
If you love cheese as much as you do fonts, you’ll love this cheesy font game.
As course designers, you don’t need a degree in type design, but you should have a fundamental understanding of how type works. And that’s what this week’s challenge is all about!
Challenge of the week
This week your challenge is to create an interaction that teaches one or more basic principles of typography. This is a slightly bigger challenge than usual because it requires some content and interaction design.
Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Type terminology - Create an interactive glossary to introduce learners to common vocabulary terms.
- Anatomy of a typeface - Create an interactive guide using markers or callouts.
- Font quiz - Ask learners to identify fonts by name. Games like Arial vs. Helvetica are a great way to learn.
- Leading, Kerning, and Tracking - Create a learning game to help learners apply basic adjustments to line and letter spacing.
- History of type - Create a timeline interactions to let learners explore the history of type.
- Combining typefaces - Quiz learners on appropriate font combinations.
You can use Storyline, Studio ‘13, or PowerPoint, to design your font game or interaction.
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 font game or activity.
- 3 Interactive Games to Help You Learn About Fonts
- Learn: Anatomy of a Typeface
- 10 Infographics That Will Teach You About Typography
- Typography Deconstructed
- Typographer’s Glossary
Last week’s challenge
Before you type out this week's challenge, take a look at the creative webcam videos you and your fellow community members shared in last week's flat design challenge.
Wishing you a font-tastic week, E-Learning Heroes!
More 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.