Top 3 PowerPoint Design Tips

Wouldn’t it be great if there was an easy-to-use program that could accomplish many of the same graphic design tasks as Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator? Better yet, wouldn’t it be great if this was a program you most likely have on your computer and have been using for the past several years? Well, I’m happy to say this program does exist, and it’s something that will meet many of your graphic design needs. This program is PowerPoint. That’s right, I said PowerPoint! Although you may not realize it, many of the tools you can use to design presentations in PowerPoint are the same ones used in programs like Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator. The key is to think of PowerPoint as a blank canvas, rather than a bullet-point-infested presentation machine. Checkout the video below to see how PowerPoint can be used a powerful graphic design...

Tips for Transitioning From Copywriting to E-Learning

I still remember my first time writing for e-learning. It involved a lot of squinting, deleting, and scribbling in my notebook. At first, I wasn’t really sure why I was struggling. I had done plenty of copywriting in my career. I’d dutifully made an action map, but it was a challenge to translate it into a storyboard: a document outlining text, graphics, narration, and interactions. I kept mentally repeating my project manager’s advice, “Find a way other than paragraphs to tell the story.” After a lot of coaching and collaboration, I got the storyboards where they needed to be. While writing for e-learning does require strong copywriting skills, it was a whole new beast for me—and may be for some of you as well. Perhaps these lessons I’ve learned can help you tame the beast. Seek Inspiration I had to learn to resist paragraphs and strive for interactive experiences. There are some wonderful e-learning blogs out there where you can get inspiration. You can learn about challenges and tips from more experienced writers and look for lots of examples of finished courses, such as those found in the Articulate E-Learning Community. Embrace Review Cycles Because e-learning incorporates objectives, facts, stories, media, assessments, and technology, it’s not always clear how to put the pieces together. After other team members have commented, edited, and made suggestions, my work is always better for it. Our developers also infuse expertise and perspective into the final product. Sometimes it is easy to feel protective of this “baby” you just created, causing resistance to the feedback. Even with the most experienced writers, different perspectives can...

Graphic Design Tips for Beginners

Whether you’re creating a presentation, a document, or an e-learning course, graphic design is what brings your content to life. The importance of graphic design can’t be understated—good graphics can take an otherwise boring piece of content and turn it into something that is both engaging and memorable. Of course, this is easier said than done. We’d all love to be master graphic designers, but the truth is most us never anticipated needing a graphic design skill set. However, here’s some good news: most graphic design principles are extremely simple. Tip 1: Use More Than One Font One of the easiest and most impactful graphic design changes you can make is diversifying your fonts. This means doing away with the default fonts you’ve become accustomed to using and selecting new fonts that communicate a sense of personality and design. Selecting new fonts is easy. I tend to follow a three-font rule, selecting specific fonts for titles, headings, and body content. On occasion, I will also select a fourth font for emphasis. The key to using the three- (or four-) font rule correctly is to use the fonts consistently. Title fonts are only to be used for titles, heading fonts for headers, and body fonts for body content. If you step outside these boundaries (even when it’s intentional), you run the risk of it looking like a mistake. Here are some examples of the three-font rule in action: I can’t talk about fonts without talking about the emotion of fonts. Have you ever thought about how different fonts communicate different meanings? Whether you realize it or not, you have an...

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