Part 3 is meant to address two of the most common challenges: what do I do if all of my work is proprietary or I’ve signed an air-tight non-disclosure agreement?, and I’m not creative, where can I find inspiration?
Sanitize That Sample!
Folks are always asking me what to do in situations where they are legally not allowed to share their work samples, and for those individuals, I recommend sanitizing that sample! Check out the two versions below:
The original is part of a client project that I used as an example for how easily you can sanitize a work sample. Now, I will say that the conversion is not the most visually appealing, but it serves the purpose of illustrating that sanitation doesn’t need to be a huge undertaking.
As you can see in the example provided, sanitizing a work sample doesn’t need to be a huge undertaking. In this case, I removed the logo, changed the background, and changed the colour palette. The content for this organization is readily available online, so it’s not considered controlled goods; therefore, I was able to keep all of the existing textual content. For those of you who are restricted by branding AND textual content, I would suggest removing all branding and replace textual content with dummy text, and tada! You’ve sanitized your work sample!
I came from the wonderful world of military contracts, and there is not a whole heck of a lot (aka nothing) you can share because everything is considered controlled goods. But don’t get hung up on not being able to include the super cool 3D render of an aircraft, and instead just focus on pulling apart the elements of the e-learning project (e.g. the menu structure, the iconography, the visual elements used in various screen styles). So, another suggestion for dealing with proprietary content would be to pull elements from existing work and create your own customized version of it. This is great because if you’ve been working on a project for awhile, there might be things about it that you hate (but which have been approved by a higher power), so you can change those things and really make it yours!
Inspiration comes in many forms, and you just need to make something your muse and run with it! There are so many websites and cool apps out there now, so you can easily fall in love with a beautiful design – you might find inspiration in websites, digital magazines, video games, or templates built by others. Whatever inspires you, put your own stamp on it, build it out, and don’t forget to toss it into your portfolio!
For example, one of the E-learning Heroes Challenges (more on that in a moment), was to create our own digital magazine template. These creations were inspired by existing digital magazines and they elements they consist of, and with a little imagination, I was able to bring together my own digital magazine, The Meadows.
The E-Learning Heroes Challenges
For me, the Articulate E-Learning Heroes Challenges were huge when it came to kickstarting my motivation. Half the battle is your own imagination, so the challenges were great. Each week, there would be a new challenge and a prompt for entry submissions, and each week, I would be blown away by the entries.
The E-Learning Heroes Community is a supportive environment, and comments tend to be positive or constructive in nature – I’ve made some of my closest friends here! The weekly challenges are a great way to see what your peers are capable of doing and get ideas for how you can apply similar approaches in your future projects.
My portfolio has grown considerably since I began participating in the weekly e-learning challenges, and the greatest praise I have for the weekly challenge is just that; it challenges me to think outside of the box and create interactions I may not have previously considered creating!