eLearning Designers, How Much Time Do You Spend on Graphic Design?


Curious. Those of you building elearning with Articulate products, how much of your project time is spent "designing" as opposed to getting it all working in the software (setting up Master Slides, Layers, Triggers, etc).

Graphic Design = typography picking, stock photo sourcing, color choices, layout (bevel or flat), photoshop work, design iterations, choosing button state colours, etc. etc.

Feel free to estimate by percentage of your time or roughly how many hours?

Me. I find that my design time is roughly 70% of Storyline development (significantly more than half).


5 Replies
Ryan Martin

Thanks Phil & Alex.

This is kind'a what I figured; that we spend a lot of our time (50%+) on design.

I'm prepping a blog post about my experience with an illustrator that has a lot more details about illustrator cost, efficiency, etc. Honestly, it was one of my best elearning experiences.

The post will also share the real Basecamp project communication I had with my illustrator to show what it was like: me giving direction, and him following up with pencil drafts that I can test in Storyline (I'd get all the elearning functionality working with the pencil drafts).

I think the article will be helpful because we are spending money (our own time) doing this anyways, so it may be economical to bring an illustrator on board to mock-up scenes, scenarios, and backgrounds. At the very least it will bring awareness that we have other resources at our disposal to design elearning (and give our clients a custom experience if they choose to go that route).

Thanks for the feedback. Wanted to know I wasn't alone in how we spend our time.

Scott Hewitt

Hi Ryan,

depends on the graphic style and also the project (custom, semi-custom, tool, course). If the project is 100% custom (each screen is unique) we can eat up design and programming time but if the project is using a series of frames, master slides we can reduce the graphic time. 40%-70% of graphic time is usual across projects

Another consideration is the assets - if we are using illustration then this will also increase development time. We tend not to use stock images but will try to use client images.

We try to obtain the copy of the client brand guidelines (if they have a copy). This can reduce the time we spend on re-work and helps a lot during the design process. If we are working with a client we will always complete a creative brief to make sure we understand the client creative requirements, this is especially important if the design has to be approved by brand, marketing and sales teams.

Hope this helps,


Ryan Martin

Well, the article is out.

You can read it here: Consider This Before You Design Elearning: An Interview With An Illustrator

Included two Basecamp project conversations (for additional context).

Feel free to critique, provide feedback, share if you find it helpful.



P.S. @Scott - Your feedback was a little out of scope for my article (you'll see). However, totally know where you're coming from and appreciate the need for a project management methodology and having business systems in place.