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ELH Challenge #4: Flat Design Interactions

By March 18, 2017 One Comment

The fourth Articulate E-Learning Heroes Challenge is to design a flat design template with at least three different content slides. The objective is to show how the flat design concept carries across the project. Flat design is one of my favorite techniques since it requires purposeful use of color and contrast, and is a technique I use whenever I can’t work outside of the primary development tool. It is a great test to see how far you can stretch Storyline’s built-in features!

The Idea

Flat design is a trend that doesn’t always get the best reaction from everyone involved on a project. I’ve heard quite a few people describe it as unprofessional, childish, and just a temporary fad. However, considering this particular challenge is over 3 years old and we still see flat design everywhere, I bet that flat design is here to stay. So, I thought I’d take advantage of the challenge and use my submission to share why it’s an effective technique to add to your tool-belt.

As I said before, I love flat design. But, it isn’t easy for me to always pull off. As an ISTJ on the Myers Briggs Type Indicator, I sometimes over think when I’m first working on a concept. So using a minimalist technique like flat design is quite the challenge for me! First, I checked out the resources that David had shared in the details for ideas and inspiration. I stumbled upon this awesome article and infographic on fltdsgn,on the seven benefits of flat design. All of the content comes directly from there—I just added the graphic design and functionality.

The Design

Finding the content was the easy part, though. It took a couple of hours of iteration to remind myself the point of flat design.

Keep it clean and simple.

At this point it is much easier to cut unnecessary animations and complex triggers. Instead, I focus on carefully using colors, typography, and simple interactivity to deliver the content. In the 7 icons, I like the use of primary colors, with a little bit of green added in. It largely compliments the stock Storyline 2 color scheme, “Median.”

With the 7 icons chosen, I decided that the interaction should consist of a welcome screen, main menu, and seven content screens with a largely consistent layout. The idea is simple—the learner clicks on each icon to learn about the corresponding benefit for flat design.

The Flat Design Interaction

When the learner starts, the welcome screen animates in and automatically advances to the main menu.

Animated GIF of the introduction screen and main menu loading.

The learner has the choice to select any of the seven icons and learn about the particular benefit. As benefits are completed, they are checked off.

Main menu with the first benefit of flat design checked off.

On each of the following seven content slides, the icon is enlarged with the content on the opposite side. Beneath the content, two buttons appear and control the navigation. Selecting the back arrow will return the learner to the menu, and the forward arrow goes to the next benefit (1–6), or back to the main menu (7).

An example of the content screen layout.

An example of the content screen.

The navigation could be configured in a number of ways. However this way, the learner can choose their path or have more of a quick reference guide experience—focusing on the content instead of focusing on the interactivity.


Final Product

The fact that the graphic and interaction design doesn’t get in the way of the content is what makes this interaction a good example of the flat design. Striking the balance between minimal and purposeful design is exactly what it’s all about—getting out of the way of the content and letting it shine!

Having sample content that is about flat design is just a bonus for anyone that wants to learn more about this particular style. For more resource and examples of flat design, definitely check out fltdsgn.com.

Mike Jones

Mike Jones

Hi, I'm Mike. I design and develop high-quality learning solutions that focus on outcomes—meeting the needs of the client, their organization, and their learners. As an Instructional Designer and L&D Professional, I have had extensive experience creating eLearning, blended, and traditional Instructor-led Training (ILT) in corporate, medical, and non-profit settings. My passion for lifelong learning and cutting edge technology is only furthered through collaborating with others that are just as passionate about helping people.

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