Designing for limited bandwith.

Jul 15, 2013

Good day heroes,

Let me start of by saying that I'm very new to the e-learning game, so please excuse my silly questions.

To make a long story short, I'm interested in assisting schools in using e-learning based courses. The issue though is that most of the schools in my country (South Africa) have very limited resources, and especially bandwidth may be a prohibitive factor when designing for these guys.

My question is, what do i need to look at when designing a course with this in mind ? I would presume that video streaming will be one of the issues, but what else can I do to make the course package as small as it can be ?

Is the amount of slides an issue ? What does layering do to the size of the course ?

Thank you in advance !

9 Replies
Matthew Kliewer

One thing that helps a lot, although it's at the point when you're ready to publish, is changing the publish quality settings. You can decrease the image quality with hardly any degradation, and your files size will decrease quite a bit if you use a lot of images. You might have to experiment with quality vs. filesize to get to the point that's acceptable to you.

Amount of slides should only be an issue if there's a lot more content (images/audio/video) on those slides. Eliminating anything that isn't strictly necessary will streamline things.

Bruce Graham

Hi Hofmeyr, and welcome to the Heroes Community.

I had to do this for one client-community in the UK.

Reduce images to the smallest size/quality, not voiceover, no video, and try to make up for that loss with interactivity.

Matthew's points are all valid.

If the bandwidth CAN handle it, some media once in a while can be inserted and provides a counterpoint to the rest of the course. If you can do that, just make sure you make that slide "work" as hard as it can! 

Hope that helps.


PS - smaller font sizes save bandwidth.


PPS - not really

Hofmeyr de Vos

Bruce Graham said:

Hofmeyr de Vos said:

Thank you for the replies guys, I played around with your suggestions, and they all work, thank you !

...except smaller font sizes

There's a back story here. I read your post ; got to the "PS" part, and actually said out loud " really ??" , only to be answered by your PPS saying, "not really" , so actually had a good chuckle at my own expense.

Steve McAneney

I'm a fan of PNG images. These are not only tiny, but you get the added bonus transparency, so the end product looks slick. I convert all my images to PNG using Photoshop Elements, which came free with my Wacom Bamboo tablet. You have to watch out the Articulate settings don't over-compress the images and you lose quality though.

Chris Martin

I ran into this issue as well. A customer had several videos already being used for locations with strong bandwidth.  I was able to use still shots from the video and the following tutorial to create a comic book images and just added speech bubbles for the same dialog the video had. There were about 60 jpgs by the end of the course, but when saved at the lowest quality, the course was about 10 MB total.

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