Watching advances in eLearning design has been like watching advances in web design. For better or worse, I remember programming in HTML. Just HTML. And just like all amateur programmers, when I learned a new code snippet, I used it everywhere. Because like many folks new to design of any type, I thought more was more. I’d like to think I’ve improved a bit as a designer, went through the requisite “less is more” phase, and have come to the conclusion that neither is really correct. The truth I design by…purposeful is more. And when you can’t build out, build up. Or in this case, down. All the way down to the watermark.
A watermark is an impression, usually in grayscale, at various saturation points. And the larger the the list of training materials, the more important it is. Say you’ve got a two-day training program, with Job Aids, Hand-Outs, Learner Workbooks, CBTs, and Instructor-Led PowerPoint slides. Tie all of these materials together, in different software applications, with a watermarked graphic.
• The more often you use it, the more transparent (or less color saturated) your watermark has to be. And with increased transparency comes increased real estate (meaning you can put text or other learning media on top of the watermark).
• With permission from your legal beagles, it can be an effective way to display confidentiality, proprietary, and other legal-y messages often required in corporate training.
• For the contractor or eLearning build shop, what a great way to include your company logo in the materials you create for others.
Watermarking is an oft-missed branding tool, and a superb way to incorporate consistency into larger training packages without beating your learner over the head with the branding stick. How do YOU build vertically? Share with us!