Flatten Up Your Course Design Skills #4

E-Learning Challenge #4: Challenge | Recap

Flat Design 

If you’re like most e-learning designers, you’re always trying to grow your skills and improve what you create. Yet practicing your craft can be a challenge if you work for a company that’s comfortable in your comfort zone, and doesn’t always embrace your stretch opportunities. So you may have plenty of work, but when you do too much of the same thing, your skills and creativity can start to feel flat.

Well, this week’s challenge is around flat—flat design, that is. Flat design is hot right now, and I’m guessing a lot of your clients haven’t embraced this trendy style. So here’s your chance to rev your design engines from flat-line to phlat-tastic!

Challenge of the week

Show and share your best flat design template ideas for e-learning:

  • Objective: Create a flat design course template. Include at least three different content slides, and more if you’d like. Your slides can be static or built out as working interactions. The objective is to show how your flat design will carry across your project.
  • Tools: You can use Articulate Storyline, Articulate Studio, or PowerPoint to create your examples.


Tom has some great posts on finding design inspiration, creating starter templates and using websites to get started. If you read only one post, I’d check out the post on creating an e-learning template. It outlines the most common slide designs found in courses.

Flat design examples:

Last week’s challenge

You guys are amazing! The ideas shared in last week’s gate screen challenge were superb. Examples included a variety of use cases from scenarios, reviews, and even social media.

To flatten you up for this week’s challenge, check out the creative examples your fellow community members shared last week:

  • Montse Anderson shared a course-review gate screen that presented the learner with options to review resources, collaborate in discussion threads, or continue to the next chapter.
  • Tracy Parish shared an out-of-this-world gate idea that featured a summary gate with options to dig deeper into the topic or return to the navigation slide. Great idea, Tracy!
  • Lucia Salters shared a decision-making gate that asked learners to confirm their scenario choices or return to make a different selection. This is a practical approach for a lot of the courses we design in corporate e-learning.
  • Blair Parkin took things in a creatively different direction by overlaying ribbon-styled gates over the in-slide video. While this approach is more subtle than the others, it’s an ideal solution that keeps the learner in the moment. Blair also shared his source files in this forum thread. Thanks, Blair!
  • Joe Deegan added a playful admonition into his shark-infested gate example.  Be sure to view the minimum number of videos or Snuffy gets it!

Have a flatastic week, E-Learning Heroes!

Post written by David Anderson