When making eLearning themes, you have to own it. For example, if you work with dogs. Live in the world of dogs. Everything should be about dogs. Think doggie bones, balls, fire hydrants, frisbees, dog catchers, and paw prints. Everything in your eLearning would resemble dogs as your theme. Lets go over a few of the basics when making a theme:
#1 Choose a Topic
The first step when making a theme is to choose a topic. For this blog, let’s choose Dog Heaven.
Once I have got my idea I start an exercise of free association, write everything down, everything, and keep that pencil moving for at least 5-10 minutes. Lots of the time for me, the writer’s block will only be lifted after I write it down. You can also use mind mapping or any other word generation ideas.
A few of the words I came up with are: dog, leash-free, fire hydrant, truck/car, window seat, bones, walks, trees, gate made out of bones, Saint Peter is a Saint Bernard, Podium at gate is made from a bone (or other object), Holes under the gate is the way to get in?, forest, plains, water hose, etc….
#2 Research, Ask Questions
After you have written down those words, pick a few to research. Get images to look at. Google is a great resource, but in my opinion, Pinterest is better (a search algorithm versus real people). Look at sources offline as well.
Anthropomorphized the animal, what would they be like if they could talk, do dogs talk or is it thought bubbles? What does your dog like? What does he dream of? Would he bury a truck fender if he caught the truck? Would he be as human as Brian from Family guy, or more like Garfield? Look at magazines, movies, TV and other media. These questions must be answered, or at least asked.
#3 Bring It All Together
After you have done the research, start sketching. It doesn’t matter your skill level, it is important that you sketch to keep everything unified. Run with the idea, you are creating a blue print. Once you have a style you can either download your stock photos, or create those graphics. We will need buttons, characters, UI elements, backgrounds and miscellaneous other items as needed.
Of course your course may not be so illustration heavy. But you can also research UI styles this way as well. Attached are the sketches I did for this exercise, if you’re curious of what I came up with.
I would love to hear your ideas and your process. What works best for you? What would you change?