As I read online, I bookmark resources I find interesting and useful. I share these links periodically here on my blog. This post includes links on story design, visual design and usability, tools, and templates.
Rance Green summarizes the structure for instructional story design.
To sum up this structure, it looks like this:
STORY > REFELECT > SOLVE > FEEDBACK
Tell the story first.
Ask the learner to reflect on the story.
Ask the learner to solve something based on the story.
Give the learner feedback on their answers.-Rance Greene
A Twitter thread with tips for writing stories with internal and external conflict from narrative design in games. I don’t explicitly think of it this way for writing scenarios for learning, but I do think this concept could be applied to storytelling in training.
Visual design and usability
Tim Slade explains basics of visual design for new elearning developers, focusing on picking fonts, colors, and images, plus creating slide layouts.
Longer text should be left aligned, not centered, to improve readability
Left aligned text is easier to read than centered text for paragraphs. This is because when you center your text, the starting place of each line changes. This forces your users to work harder to find where each line begins to continue reading. Without a straight left edge, there is no consistent place where users can move their eyes to when they complete each line.
Centering text makes it harder to read, especially for longer paragraphs. This hurts accessibility and usability.
The reason why center text alignment is horrible for user experience is that with each new line the user reads, there is a brief moment where the user has to find where the next line begins – decreasing the users reading speed…
In my opinion centered paragraphs are only acceptable up to a point, 3 lines of text to be specific. Anymore, it becomes too displeasing to read each line after…
Primary page titles should be okay centered as they tend to not have as many words and therefore lines of text. Most page titles aren’t long enough that text alignment becomes an issue with usability. However, with secondary titles (h2’s) and anything under should always be left-aligned to match its paragraph text…
Left text alignment should be used in 95% of cases to help your readers read at an optimal, undiminished reading speed…
You can use center alignment in small doses like main page headings without detracting from the user’s experience…
Only use justified text for mediums where its commonplace like material books or e-books…
The only commonplace acceptable use of right alignment is navigations on websites.
Tools and templates
Jane Hart’s report on the top 100 tools for learning in her annual survey. Tools are categorized based on whether they are mostly used for personal learning, workplace learning, and education (although there’s plenty of overlap and exceptions in those categories).
Templates for Affinity Publisher, including brochures, project proposals, and ebooks.
An AI tool for writing a viral LinkedIn post–the kind with one sentence per paragraph and some vaguely inspirational advice that the LinkedIn algorithm loves. Use the slider to control the “cringe level” of the text. While this is good just for a funny break in your day, I could see using this as an Easter Egg in a scenario or a mockup in an elearning course.