stuck between a rock and a blank slide

Hello All,

I'm staring at a blank canvas, awaiting the first "Aha!" idea, color scheme, ANYTHING, but my mind seems to go straight to the "find a character first" and build out from there (It's how I've kinda-always dun-it).

I've received a steady amount of "We love the Cartoon Characters" to literally "Whoever made this needs to get smacked" (BOTH RESPONSES FROM THE SAME COURSE). I can say more good seems to pour in than bad but I guess what I'm ultimately trying to get at is: What can I use besides a cartoon character that could please all??? Perhaps inanimate objects? More animals, less people? I JUST DON'T KNOW! AGGGH. Perhaps, pleasing all is a luxury few attain but I'd like to take my first step in the direction!

I've read material on the benefits of using cartoon characters, but what else!? There's gotta be more! Am I alone in this thinking? Anyone else find themselves stuck between a rock and a blank slide wanting more than to revert to the same ol' character bank?

5 Replies
Christine Hendrickson

Hi Leah,

While I totally admire your need to please everyone that views the course, keep in mind that it may be impossible. Even if you're able to create the most fantastically awesome course ever developed, someone will dislike something about it. So, try not to focus on this too much, it may end up becoming an even bigger roadblock if you do.

Try to focus more on the course content and the audience that's going to view it. If you're developing for a corporate office, maybe cartoons aren't the way to go. Then again, some companies may appreciate that approach - do your research first. If you're developing for something for children, this is pretty much a "safe" zone. 

One thing I want to add before I pop off to other threads - get your inspiration. Think about the material you're going to use in the course, instead of how you want to design it and which character or personality you want to use. When you think of that material as a whole, who do you see instructing the users for the course? Is it a friendly up-beat illustrated woman with a little humor, or a strictly professional guy that wants to make a serious point?

I'm sure you'll get a lot of feedback and suggestions on this. I wish you the best of luck in your project and I look forward to seeing everyone's tips!

David Anderson

Hi Leah,

Can you tell us a little more about your course topic and what type of course you're going for? The content really drives the design. You dont need characters to design great elearning and I hear what you're saying about illustrated characters.

Let us know more about the project you're working on and we should be able to give you some specific design ideas.

Leah Lopez

Thanks Christine! I love the get your inspiration bit. Very helpful!

David, the content will cover the basics of Immunology and Allergy Principles & Practices in a 3 module course. Corporate headquarters (mixed age group) and also field employees (Majority are young 18-29 yr old lab techs with the occasional Vet lab tech age 30+) will be required to complete the course.


After Christine's "Inspiration" bit, I focused on content and am leaning towards a mad scientist instructing a large classroom... begins with far too complex layout then transition with a "NOT REALLY" slide and a young lab tech instructing the class, providing the basics. But like I said before, something other than a character would be awesome. I'd love to hear your ideas!

Daniel Brigham

David is spot on. Tell us the content, and let us give you ideas.

For a developer's perspective, it sounds as if you want to do something other than you usually do. So do that. What helped me break out of my "lush, corporate look" was gritty stick figures. Might give you an idea: Stick figure prez

But again, let us help. Tell us more about the course. --Daniel