In a recent post, I showed how to easily create your own silhouette characters. Today I share show some ways to use those silhouettes in your elearning courses. Something to keep in mind is that the silhouette doesn’t need to be confined to people. You can use them on objects, as well.
Create a Progress Meter
As a visual cue, use silhouette characters or objects to create a progress meter. As the learners advance, the silhouettes change to real images. This lets them see their progress through their course and where they’re currently at.
Create Section Breaks
Use silhouettes as a way to divide sections within the course. In the example below from Helmsmanship, you can see that the start of the section has the image and shares a core idea or theme. The following slides contain a silhouette of the core section image.
Silhouettes are great to draw the learner’s focus and isolate information. For example, in the first image I introduce a group. However, when I want to focus on just one character, I use silhouettes and only show the character of interest.
A great way to get a person’s attention is to create contrast. This is easy to do with silhouettes. I like the example below from a Goodwrench ad. By removing the car, you can tell something’s missing. You can apply the same effect to an elearning course.
First, the contrast draws your attention. Second, it can become a mechanism to find out what’s missing.
Be Politically Correct
It never fails that when you build elearning courses, HR shows up to make sure no one’s offended. While there’s obviously a lot of value in diversity, it can still be one of the most frustrating parts of building courses as you navigate which ethnicity gets to represent the good manager and who gets to be the bad example. A good way to work around this is to use silhouettes for your characters. This way you can be race and gender neutral and make sure no one’s offended. 🙂
Creating silhouettes is pretty easy. And using them in your elearning courses can add a little bit more visual intrigue and help make your courses more engaging. What are some other examples of how you’d use silhouettes? Click on the comments link to share them with us.
Upcoming E-Learning Events
- We'll be adding events for 2017 soon. If you'd like to see one of our workshops in your area just let me know.
- Mar 20 (Orlando). Want to learn to build courses with the right look & feel? Join David Anderson at his all day workshop on Graphic Design Essentials for Non-Graphic eLearning Designers.
- Mar 22-23 (Orlando). Come by the booth at Learning Solutions and say hello.
- April 13 (Minneapolis). Variables Made Easy with Articulate Storyline. Limited seats, so sign up now.
- April 13 (Minneapolis). Articulate User Meet Up. Details coming soon.
- April 14 (Minneapolis). PACT Meeting: Facing Today's Instructional Design Challenges.
Free E-Learning Resources
Want to learn more? Check out these articles and free resources in the community.
Here’s a great job board for elearning, instructional design, and training jobs
Participate in the weekly elearning challenges to sharpen your skills
Lots of cool elearning examples to check out and find inspiration.