Visual Storytelling

This demo was inspired by the Articulate e-Learning Heroes weekly challenge #130 Audio Slideshow Storytelling for e-Learning and the subject matter from a project I previously developed on 8 Stages of Psychosocial Development.

The Challenge

The challenge was to share an example that demonstrates how audio slideshows can be used in e-Learning, with the final slideshow being under three minutes in length.

The Process and the Design

In contrast to the demo I previously designed and developed using this same content topic, the design of this slideshow focuses on the concept of storytelling.

I began the process of designing this slideshow by reading some background information on exactly what constitutes an effective audio slideshow.  The most useful resource I came across in this regard was this one from Kansas State University on Creating an Effective Slideshow.

From my research I gathered that audio slideshows are designed to convey information in the most effective way possible, consist of a sequence of slides (text and imagery), generally follow a linear storyline, include audio narration and are enhanced with audio sound files.

The minimal basic elements I wanted to include in this design were:

  • an opening screen to introduce the topic
  • an overview of the objectives to explain purpose and intent
  • an overview of the contents to provide general trajectory
  • the contents to convey the main information
  • conclusion to wrap up the slideshow

My main focus for this design was the use of imagery.  I believe that good images stimulate all the senses and go beyond communicating a place or thing – they can create warmth and evoke nostalgia, so for this design I chose relevant, engaging, impactful and compelling images.  I then combined these with background music and natural sounds to enhance the story.

Keeping in mind that audio slideshows do not use animated graphics, bullets, text boxes or progressive reveals like those found in most e-Learning courses, I incorporated fade transitions to move through the image sequence.

The Result

I must admit, having spent so long working on designing and developing engaging animations and innovative ways to display bullets and text on the screen, I found I needed to take a very different approach to this design, but in the end it was quite liberating to be able to focus solely on conveying the story in an engaging way without using animations which can often be very distracting.

I believe the final demo combines images and sound to create an engaging story.

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