Create 3D tabs in PowerPoint
Challenge 199 was about creating tab-based interaction. While describing the challenge, David Anderson (Articulate Storyline’s community manager), asked the community to share ‘fresh examples’.
My mind latched on the word ‘fresh’. I asked myself about the things that freshen me up. ‘Beaches’, my mind replied. I decided to make a beach-themed template. I also wanted the template core – the tabs – to reflect a beach-like feeling. So, using the ‘Edit Points’ feature of PowerPoint, I created tabs having a wavy contour.
Was I happy with the result? Nah! The tabs looked drab; the vibrancy and freshness associated of a beach was missing. I decided the tabs are going to be 3D.
To make the tabs sport a 3D look, I needed to add depth. I achieved this by:
The tab still did not sport an elevated look, a factor that ups the 3D quotient. I addressed this issue by:
Thus, the creation of additional shapes and manipulation of the transparency settings was what I did to create 3D tabs in PowerPoint.
In case you wish to download the tabs and the template, you can visit the 'Templates' section of my website.
To temporarily disable the drag functionality associated with an object
For ELH Challenge #125, which revolved around scratch-off cards, my entry had the learners click a paint brush, dip it in a blob of color and repeatedly drag it over a canvas to draw a logo.
Note: If you are just getting started with Articulate Storyline, note that you can allow any object (including shapes, images, and text) to be dragged by using the trigger ‘when the object is dragged over’ from the trigger wizard.
To add authenticity to the interaction, I used Articulate Storyline’s ‘States’ functionality to make the brush slanted once the learner clicks it. The slant indicated that the learner has picked the brush.
The problem was that the learner could accomplish the dragging and dipping action with a straight brush too. Moreover, if the brush got clicked accidentally, it would become slanted, and the whole interaction would look rather odd. Check the video given below to see what I am saying.
The objective was clear: Until the brush becomes slanted, the learner should not be able to drag it.
Initially, I decided to change the state of the brush to disabled when the timeline started and change it back to picked – and thus reactivate the drag functionality – once the learner clicks it. My plan, however, did not work.
After a little thinking, I came up with another solution; and this is what I did:
1. Created a rectangle and made it invisible by choosing the ‘No Fill’ option.
2. Placed the rectangle over the brush; therefore, the brush was still visible, but no longer clickable. In other words, I had disabled the drag functionality of the brush.
3. Created a trigger to change the state of the brush when the rectangle (named ‘disabler’) is clicked.
4. Created another trigger to hide the rectangle once the state of the brush is changed.
With the rectangle hidden, the learner could click the brush and drag it anywhere across the screen.
Thus, an invisible shape was all I needed to temporarily disable the drag functionality in Articulate Storyline.
Tell us a little about yourself. How did you get started in e-learning?
I began my career as a content writer, and while working on one of the projects, I came across a term called ‘instructional designing’. As I began researching more about this field, I realised that it involved both writing and teaching. I love doing both and I am also fairly good at both writing and teaching. . Now one of the career advice that I got while I was at college was to always work in a field where your plus points get magnified and minus points, well they get hidden. So I thought why not try out instructional designing. And that’s how I got started.
Tell us about your e-learning portfolio. What types of projects do you include in your portfolio?
I include all entries that I have submitted for the E-Learning Challenges. I also include short demo courses that I’ve created based on my own ideas. My portfolio also includes freebies such as templates. The reason for sharing these freebies is that I myself have learnt a lot from downloading and deconstructing the files that people share. So when I was setting up my website, I thought why not share freebies so that when people visit my portfolio, they not only get to know me and my work but also gain something in return.
What do you think makes a good online portfolio?
I guess variety is the key to a good portfolio. So basically, a good portfolio deals with different topics, includes different types and levels of interactivity, different types of content etc.
What platform or technology did you use to build your e-learning portfolio?
I use Articulate and depending on my needs, I use software such as GIMP, Snagit and Camtasia. I share my work via free hosting sites for now. I have also got a my own website where I collate all my work.
What’s the most challenging part about building, designing, or maintaining portfolios?
I find building a portfolio to be the most challenging part. That’s because many a times I have had to try and combine different software and methods to bring my ideas to life.
How do you handle confidentiality issues with projects in your portfolio?
To handle confidentiality issues, I transfer my learning from my projects to my demos. For example, the first demo that I created was an animated one focusing on inflation. Now I had created animated modules for clients but those focussed on biology.
What are your top three tips for users looking to build their first e-learning portfolio?
Background Music: Audionautix.com
I have a question: Do you have a portfolio? If you are nodding your head, then congratulations for you have already put in a place a great ally; however, if you don’t have a portfolio, start creating one today.
You might question why I am insisting on having a portfolio. Well, a portfolio goes far beyond just showcasing your talents. It plays myriad roles.
Let’s presume you have an important function. Two of your friends have volunteered to photograph the function. Friend One owns the latest camera in the town, knows a thing or two about photography, and is an ace with photo editing software. Friend Two, on the other hand, owns a mid-level camera, contributes articles on photography and works as a freelance photographer for a magazine. Whom will you choose?
My hunch is you will opt for Friend Two. For we do know that the camera and the software are just tools, yet give these tools to a person who knows about composition and lighting, has an eye for details, and you will get breath-taking photographs. The bottom line is it’s the person and not the technology that can get you the desired results.
About the Challenge
In challenge number 125, David Anderson, the Articulate community manager, asked the community to develop demos that make use of scratch-off card effect.
When I first saw this newspaper article, I instantly turned over to the next page. Well, the article was a list of dos and don’ts, something that I don’t enjoy reading.
A couple of days after I had read the article, a thought struck me: What is the best way of making a person read through dos and don’ts? After tinkering with several ideas, I felt that the ‘Choice-and-Consequence’ strategy will work the best.
Moreover, if this strategy is combined with a story centring the learner, the dos and don’ts will go from being a passively read list to a high-stake activity.
‘A session of facial exercise’ was how my friends and I referred to a lecture of Economics. That’s because we would yawn and yawn during the entire lecture. And no, my Economics professor was not to be blamed. She did all that she could; she taught with gusto and interspersed the lecture with anecdotes. Our yawns, however, simply refused to die. The only time my professor could reign in the yawns was when she used coloured chalks and drew graphs to explain economic concepts. Clearly, visuals — graphs in this case — proved to be a great way of bringing alive a theory-laden subject. Also, we acquired a greater understanding of the concepts when the explanation was paired with visual aids.