How can I make my courses more visually interesting?

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  • Kristi Koistinen (Knowbly Art Director)

    Using color is an excellent way to add visual interest to your course. It can entice your learners to want to read more, and help them make sense of complex content. Color can be used to communicate hierarchy, create emphasis, and organize content into digestible chunks. 

    Below are some of examples on how to easily use color with Knowbly.

    Fill a block with color to call out a section

    How to color a block

    In this example, I colored the block containing my call out section with a color from my theme. In the Settings block tab, click the Background fill to open the color picker and choose the color you wish to use. To create additional visual interest, I used inline styles to make the paragraph text in my colored block white (more information on inline styling is below).

    Use inline styling and themes to colorize content elements

    How to style text inline

    To style text inline, highlight the text then click styling tool you want to use in the top toolbar. Here I made my call out text blue.

    How to colorize elements with themes

    In this example, I used tints of the theme’s blue for styling table elements. This screenshot shows how I assigned tints and color opacity to my table rows.

    Color palettes

    When choosing a color palette, it’s important to consider the mood of your project. For example, bright colors typically set an upbeat and playful tone, while dark or muted colors are experienced as more serious or formal. To be sure that your content is accessible to your audience, it’s important to select colors with good contrast for readability.

    There are a lot of great online resources about color and accessibility. Here are a few:

    Contrast Ratio

    Colors – A nicer palette for the web

    Color Hunt

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  • Kelly Neyland (Knowbly Account Manager)

    I love to add a background image to my title blocks and header text blocks. It’s a great way to add both color and texture to your course. 

    Knowbly has tons of royalty-free stock images available for you to use for free. Try searching things like: wood, texture, stone, leaves, sand, (you get the idea!).

    Here are some lessons I created using Knowbly stock images as a background on my title and header blocks:



    Here’s how to achieve the look:

    STEP 1: Click on a title or text block while in Edit mode. Then click on the Block tab in the left panel.

    STEP 2: Click on Add background image. You can either add your own image from your desktop, reuse an image from your Content Manager, or select a Stock Image.

    Additional Settings & Tips:

    • Want to see more of the image? Adjust the padding to increase or decrease the amount of space above and below your header so you can see more (or less) of your background image.
    • Want to tone down or lighten the image? Add an Image Overlay color. Select a color that’s similar in color to your actual image, then adjust the opacity of the fill color to lighten or adjust the coloring in the image.
    • How to select a good background image: Look for images that have consistent coloring throughout the image. If there is a lot of contrast (such as an image containing black and white or a variety of colors, it will be hard to read your header text.
    • Organizing your background images: Add tags to your background images so you can easily find and reuse them. Some suggested tags are: Light background, Dark background, and Texture.  
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  • Great suggestions everybody!  Just to help out anyone looking for more details on creating your own jazzy content, we have some Knowledge Base articles on these basics:

    How to style your course block

    How to setup style themes you can apply to a course

    Happy to help further if this doesn't give you all the details you need to recreate these examples or build your own.

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  • iain MacLaren

    not sure what the top part of the navigation section is called, but is it possible to customise either the colour of that section alone or indeed to have a background picture/image in that location?  As below: the top left corner and the runner across the top?  Not sure where in the editor that is accessible?  Thnx.  Iain

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  • Hi Ian - those colors (top left and header bar) actually inherit their color from the navigation buttons. They will match whatever color you use for the nav buttons here (Themes->Basic->Buttons->Navigation Button default).  

    We've heard from other users that this is, shall we say, less than intuitive. So we have a product request in to give these fields their own setting so it is easier to find. Let us know if that doesn't get you what you need.

     

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  • iain MacLaren

    Thanks. I noticed that changed the colour. I guess am asking whether at some stage in the future there'd be scope for having a background image in there rather than just a block of solid colour.

     

    Iain

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  • iain MacLaren

    Oh. and genuinely, thanks for the quick and helpful response above. At least I have managed to finesse my rather bleurgh colour scheme as a result of your advice.  ;-)

    Iain

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  • Always happy to help! I see on the image. You are correct, we don't currently have the ability to put an image there. I can put in a feature request to our product team for this. Given the small space, are you looking to put a logo there or is it another use case?

    The closest we get today - if you apply cover art image to your course via settings like this:

    That cover art will appear at the top of the Start navigation page for the course. This only applies to the Start page, once they enter the course that image will not be visible until they return to the beginning.  Understood that you are really looking to have this image always present via the navigation panel. 

     

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  • Lauren Schroeder

    How do I remove the "Lesson" with sheet of paper icon/text at in the title block?  It disappears with a white colored background, but of course the idea here is to have it more visually appealing.  I see Kelly had some that do not have "Lesson" showing.

    Thanks!

    Lauren

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  • HI Lauren - so at this time our theme allows you to remove those "Module", "Lesson", etc text labels. There is not a current way to remove the icon completely although you can change it, or as you have already discovered, color it so it disappears.  

    Here's how to turn off the navigation labels in the theme, navigation section:

    Here's an example of navigation for a course with "Show Label" toggled on:

     

    And a course with the "Show Label" toggled off:

    Beyond that toggle, you can adjust the icon used and the coloring in the same part of the theme navigation tab.

     

    Please let us know if we can clarify further!

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