Hmmm…so you have a custom e-learning development project. Do you want it to set the mood of Old Blue Eyes or do you want the modernity of a Lady GaGa performance? Had you even considered the ” mood” of your e-learning project? Believe it or not, the mood or tone of your e-learning piece can be as important and compelling as the content.  And the tone is impacted by the design approach, the music, the illustration or photo style and the many other other subtle details of the custom e-learning project design. It is critical to the training content development discovery and scoping process to really develop a description of the tone you wish the piece to express. And it can help your e-learning development partner to know if you want it to feel more like Frank than Lady GaGa. In fact, pop culture references can really provide cues to the overall feel of any custom e-learning development project. Using these references, which are readily available and relateable for most people, can greatly enhance a design brief. For example, a client wanted a very engaging, thematic module series for a youthful, diverse sales team. The creative brainstorming session with the client revealed that:

  • they loved a “cartoon” illustration approach
  • they wanted it to be “hip” like This American Life
  • they wanted custom music to reflect a lively and relevant sales team
  • they wanted the characters to be realistic but stylized
  • they wanted the series to represent their diverse employees, global locations and wide range of clients

The module content focus was for computer application training, a necessary and vital part of the sales team’s corporate life. But one in which they had very little natural interest. They viewed it as a necessary evil. The challenge for the sales enablement team was to create a custom e-learning series that would not only provide the information necessary but would generate excitement and interest in the applications. Because they carefully considered their target audience and applied that knowledge to the design and tone of the project, the resulting custom sales application training was a resounding success.You can do the same thing with your online soft skills training, customer service skills training, compliance training, sales training, onboarding or any type of training. Here are some questions to ask yourself and your team:

What are your preferences for characters, motion graphics, etc?

  • Style (pick a character type)
  • Tone (funny, serious, casual, business, etc)
  • Humor (dry, wacky, ironic, juvenile, etc)
  • Color palette
  • Representation (realistic, abstract, stylized)
  • Media type (photo, illustration)

How do you want your audience to view this project?

  • “Tech –savvy”
  • “Direct & accurate”
  • “Slick & hip”
  • “Fun & friendly”
  • “People-centric”
  • “Wacky & wild”
  • “Gritty & real”
  • “Don’t know”
  • “Don’t care”
  • Other: ________

How do these preferences align with the perception of you and/or the your brand?

How do these preferences speak to and address your target audience?

For expert consultation on your custom e-learning development project contact Margie Herron at mherron@kmilearning.com. And take a look at the some of KMI’s custom e-learning development work at: http://www.kmilearning.com/case-studies/

Margie Herron

Margie Herron

Director Business Development Margie Herron has been an executive manager and senior sales executive for the past 25 years, specializing in custom services and products. Herron has managed several key accounts in the technology, service, finance, healthcare, non-profit and manufacturing sectors. Since the early 2000’s, her focus has been on custom eLearning content development and LMS implementation. Herron has orchestrated activities of teams that have been recognized with 12 Brandon Hall Custom Content Awards. Through her role as Business Development Director at KMI Learning, Margie brings unique experience in not only account management and customer relationships but also has broad knowledge in learning and development challenges, objectives and strategies. Her past management experience brings a skill set sensitive to, and understanding of, the environment faced by her clients. She collaborates with clients of all sizes on their specific business and learning objectives in a consolidated effort to achieve those goals through innovative and comprehensive solutions. Helping clients create true learning organizations that excite, engage and grow employees is the real motivation for Margie’s efforts.