Design Visually Rich Slides Using This Simple Technique

Blurred Backgrounds in E-Learning #131: Challenge | Recap

Design Visually Rich Backgrounds Using This Simple Effect

Background images are one of the best ways to add visual interest to your e-learning slides. The right background image can help establish the context for a slide, create a sense of location, or subtly add depth to your slides.

But background images can be tricky to work with. As the largest slide design element, full-slide background images often compete with instructional elements like text, graphics, and buttons.

Here’s an example of a full-slide background image that clearly competes with the on-slide text and character.

Image Background Competes with Visuals

An easy way to correct this slide is to blur the background. The blur effect creates better contrast between the background image and foreground elements.

Here’s an updated example with some moderate blur applied to the background image.

Blurred Background Creates Contrast and Readability

Notice how the character is better emphasized and the text is more readable? The image retains enough detail to set the scene while our primary design elements are pulled forward.

Moving from Blurred to Abstract

For an even more abstract background effect, dial in a heavier blur setting. The image’s colors are retained but the detail is lost.

Blurred Background Abstract Effect

Backgrounds don't need to dominate your slide to be effective. Sometimes a subtle, supporting role is all your slide needs. Finding the right balance is what this week’s e-learning challenge is all about!

Challenge of the Week

This week, your challenge is to share an e-learning slide, demo, or design comp that features blurred backgrounds. Try to include before-and-after examples to show how your background graphics transformed your original slides.

Bonus: Share your backgrounds as a separate asset or download. We’ll post a blurred backgrounds round-up in a few weeks to share your bundles of blurred goodness.


Creating the blurred background effect in PowerPoint

How to Create Blurred Backgrounds




Last Week’s Challenge:

Before you run a background check on this week’s challenge, take a few moments to review the audio slideshows your fellow challengers shared over the past week:

10+ Examples of Storytelling with Audio Slideshows #130

Audio Slideshows E-Learning RECAP #130: Challenge | Recap

New to the E-Learning Challenges?

The weekly e-learning 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.

Daniela Slater
Brenda Tyedmers
Jeff Kortenbosch
David Jordan
Daniel Adeboye
Crystal Cooper