Suggestions for creating a lesson on how to design a page

Hello!

I'm creating a lesson on the basics for designing a page.  A few of the topics include the principles on how to use color, font, and messaging.  I thought it would be neat for the learner to create their own page based upon the principles they're learning.  Any suggestions on how to do this using Storyline?

Any additional ideas you can share?  I'd love to hear them.

Thank you!

Holly

23 Replies
Allison LaMotte

You could take a screenshot of the page and then insert hotspots on the things that you want them to recognize as problems (fonts that are illegible for example). 

Then you have a couple options:

  1. Have a pop-up appear when they click on something that's a problem explaining how they could fix it
  2. Have a better solution appear immediately when they click on something that's problem (illegible font replaced by a good font)
  3. Have them click on all the problems and then click on submit. If they miss some, you could point those out on the feedback layer.

I'm sure there are many other ways to do this, these are just the ones that come to mind right away! I hope that's helpful

Holly Greene

Hi Allison,

I could use your help.

I thought I'd base this page design lesson on a few facts about space (I know little and it seems like a fun topic to learn).  Also, the SME has indicated that this page design lesson is  based on the lack of design seen in PPT presentations.  So, I thought I'd incorporate the use of PPT into this lesson.

Attached is my initial direction with this lesson.  The design principle is included in the Notes section. 

Any thoughts on how to blend your idea of identifying the lack of a design principle with this PPT?  

Not sure if I'm making sense so let me know if I'm not doing so. :)

Thank you!

Holly

Allison LaMotte

Hi Holly,

I think what I would do is have a poorly designed version and a nicely designed version and then ask myself, "what's the difference between these two versions". For example, I would ask people "what are the 4 things you could improve on this page? click on the items". Then once they click on a correct answer, you could either show the improved version or ask them to choose the reason they clicked on that item. It depends on their level and how much you're expecting them to know how to do.

I hope that makes sense!

Ray Cole

I like Allison's idea of having learners identify elements of poor design. Can you take that further? I think so!

If the business goal is to improve people's PowerPoint designs, that implies that the course should present learners with a wide variety of business topics about which they need to create a PowerPoint presentation. That's a huge topic, so you'll want to have some basic underlying principles that can guide learners when they are evaluating their (or other people's) designs. For example:

  • CRAP is a common set of visual principles for good design (Contrast, Repetition, Alignment, and Proximity). 
  • Another principle might be to move text off the slide and into the speaker's notes and replace the (now empty) slide itself with visuals that illustrate your points.

Your subject-matter experts may have other or additional principles in mind, so check with them. Make sure you have a manageable number of specific principles you will be asking learners to learn and apply, otherwise the course will likely end up vague and ineffective as the possibility space is so large.

For learners to get good at applying these principles, they will have to practice applying them (seems obvious). So I might focus activities in the course along these lines:

Start with Allison's idea:

  •  Provide the learner with the raw information about a topic. This can be just a few paragraphs of text.
  • Present the learner with a (fictional) co-worker's "first draft" presentation. The co-worker is asking for feedback, so this gives the learner an opportunity to identify ways the presentation could be improved.
  • For each design item the learner identifies as "needs improvement" (e.g., by clicking it on the co-worker's first draft slides), ask the learner to "explain" why he or she identified this feature as needing improvement by choosing the particular principle it violates from a list of the principles. This should have the effect not only of helping learners identify design elements that need improvement, but should also ensure that they can articulate why based on the underlying principles they are learning.

This still doesn't get you to the end goal, though, of having learners design their own presentations, so after they've reviewed a few presentations that others have created, make them design a few of their own:

  • Again give learners a few paragraphs of text as the raw content, then allow them to choose  images (from a mock stock image database, for example) and where to place them on the slide. Give them several draggable text blocks that they can choose to drag onto the slide (or into the speaker notes section instead), etc. Then have the "co-worker" review the resulting presentation in terms of the underlying design principles they've been learning. If any principles were violated, have the learner go back and "revise" (i.e., try again) until the presentation aligns with all of the important design principles.

Anyway, those are my brainstorming ideas. Hope they help!

Cheers!

Holly Greene

Hi Ray,

Thank you so very much for spending time sharing your ideas - which I love!

Would you share how you'd implement these two ideas in Storyline II (SL2)? 

Present the learner with a (fictional) co-worker's "first draft" presentation. The co-worker is asking for feedback, so this gives the learner an opportunity to identify ways the presentation could be improved.


For each design item the learner identifies as "needs improvement" (e.g., by clicking it on the co-worker's first draft slides), ask the learner to "explain" why he or she identified this feature as needing improvement by choosing the particular principle it violates from a list of the principles. This should have the effect not only of helping learners identify design elements that need improvement, but should also ensure that they can articulate why based on the underlying principles they are learning.

 

Also, how would you implement this idea in SL2?

Again give learners a few paragraphs of text as the raw content, then allow them to choose images (from a mock stock image database, for example) and where to place them on the slide. Give them several draggable text blocks that they can choose to drag onto the slide (or into the speaker notes section instead), etc. Then have the "co-worker" review the resulting presentation in terms of the underlying design principles they've been learning. If any principles were violated, have the learner go back and "revise" (i.e., try again) until the presentation aligns with all of the important design principles

 

Thank you Ray! 

Holly

Ray Cole

Hi Holly,

Let's say the principles you're teaching are the following:

- Minimize on-screen text
- Favor images over text
- Pay attention to CRAP: Contrast, Repetition, Alignment, and Proximity

Then, to answer your first question (How to give the learner the chance to 1) identify principle-violating design elements in a coworker's design, and 2) identify which principle the identified design element violates):

You'll need to design a slide that has design issues for the learner to find. For example, suppose you build a timeline slide like this:

Alignment Issue Example

The learner would have to recognize that 5/30/18 violates the "alignment" principle: it should be aligned with "5/20/2018" but instead it is too low on the slide.

The learner would click "5/30/2018" and when he or she does so, you'd pop up a layer asking the learner why he or she identified "5/20/2018" as a problem, e.g.:

What is the problem you see with this element?

  • Insufficient contrast
  • Too much text; replace with image
  • Poor proximity
  • Missed opportunity for repetition
  • Bad alignment

The learner would click one of these options and you'd provide feedback about the learner's choice. You'd do this for every element on the sample screen until the learner has identified all the problems and why each is a problem. (Obviously, you'd have to litter the sample slide with more problems than just this one for the exercise to be interesting).

When you're ready to give the learner a chance to design his/her own slide, you could maybe set it up as an email request from the learner's manager:

Incoming Email from Manager

When the learner clicks the email message, you'd bring up a layer with the message written a bit larger so that the learner can easily read it. When the learner is done and clicks OK, you can move onto the next page in your course where the learner constructs the requested slide. My original thought was to do this as a drag-and-drop a bit like this:

Drag and Drop Slide Construction

The learner would drag elements from the left onto either the PowerPoint slide section or PowerPoint speaker notes section (I forgot to put a yellow drop target in the speaker notes section, but if you want learners to be able to drag to that section--and I'd argue you do--then there would need to be a drop target there too). I only put a few of the elements on the left, but in reality they'd all need to be there.

In mocking this up, I realized that this would be very challenging to implement because the "bad" design (see below) and "good" design (also below) have different elements in different positions on the slide, making it hard to put drop targets  that could accept either design.

Lousy PowerPoint Design example

[Above: a "bad" design for a PowerPoint slide: all text, no images]

A Better Design for PowerPoint Slide

[Above: a better design covering the same information: text moved to speaker notes; images used on slide]

So you will have to put on your thinking cap and see if you can devise a clever way to give learners enough control so that they can create either a good or a bad slide. Maybe you could use a drag-and-drop like I originally thought if you first have the learner choose the PowerPoint slide layout: e.g. "Title + Content" or "Title + Picture". That would allow you to arrange the drop targets differently depending on which layout the learner chose. But clearly a bit more thought needs to go into how to implement this activity.

This is the fun part of designing in Storyline!

Cheers! 

    -Ray

 

Holly Greene

Hello Ray and Allison,

I'm follow your creative ideas in the development of  this project.  One of the ideas is the use of a bad-example - Using Hot Spots and a poorly designed page.  Is there a way to assign points to when  learner selects the correct answer? For instance, for they click  on the correct hot spot?

Thank you!

Holly