On any given day, you might walk into the Maestro offices and catch us waxing poetic about our favorite blocks in Rise (it changes all the time!). We’ve professed our love for Articulate Rise before, because we’ve seen firsthand that it’s the future of innovative eLearning.

While it’s true that anyone can develop their own Rise course, we’re doing things a little differently here. Our developers are constantly working in Rise, and they’ve found countless ways to push the limits of the platform and create the best possible eLearning experiences. Our process is intentional and thoughtful, from the way we design a page break to custom illustrations that make a course look and feel better.

Basically, we know a thing or two about developing great courses in Rise, and we’re excited to share it. Take a peek behind the Maestro curtain with insider tips from our agency’s designers.

New Ways to Think About Rise

If mobile is important to your company, you probably already know that Articulate Rise is far and away the best tool for responsive eLearning. But because the tool makes custom design more challenging, you run the risk of having a final product that feels cookie-cutter and underwhelming. In order to make the most of the tool, you have to know how to think outside the box and push the limits of the platform.

There are plenty of innovations in Rise that the typical user wouldn’t know about. At a base level, Rise is already a well-designed tool that looks really good. But we all want a course that’s more than just good, right? The trick is to think beyond the formats and layouts that every other Rise developer is using. You can use Photoshop to customize things like page breaks and component transitions. Or use custom illustrations throughout the course to change up the feel of the course and grab your audience’s attention. In all of your courses, try to do something that pushes the limits and creates something special.

Articulate Rise Hacks You Can Try Right Away

Most people see Rise as a limited eLearning solution—you turn to it for responsive, rapid authoring. But the Rise we know and love is much more than that. It’s the best responsive authoring tool out there, and that’s huge for us (because it’s huge for our clients). But when you push the limits of what’s possible from a design perspective, there’s so much more you can do to set your course apart. Here are just a few hacks that we’ve learned along the way:

Custom Web Fonts

Just say no to default fonts. Make your course feel like part of the brand by uploading corporate fonts throughout the course. Incorporating your brand into headings and body text takes the learning experience to the next level and helps create a cohesive story through all of your courses.

Custom Iconography

Upgrade the look and feel of your course by uploading custom iconography that ties into your brand. You can use the icon throughout the course as header supplements or alongside specific callouts like notes or warnings. Pro tip: upload icons as small, full-width photos and insert them wherever you want.

Photoshop Hacks

Photoshop is one of the best tools for efficiently customizing in Rise. You can use Photoshop to design unique page breaks and different component transitions. It’s an easy way to elevate your course and keep users engaged.

When you’re scaling customized courses like we are, it’s important to have a process for editing and developing unique additions. At Maestro, we developed a Photoshop template that incorporates all of the ideal photo sizes we need for different components. That way, we can edit photos and customize our design that much faster.

Information Database

If you have an Articulate subscription, make the most of it. Rise is a great tool for developing training courses for your own staff or relaying information to clients. And Rise isn’t just an eLearning platform. Hear us out—because Rise has a search function and organized chapters, it’s effective as an information database, too. Plus, the tool’s clean, beautiful interface can easily double as a quick, web-based content delivery platform.

Do’s and Don’ts for Developing in Articulate Rise

You’re thinking outside the box, you’ve got an arsenal of insider hacks—but there are a few more things you should know. Maestro Designer and resident Rise expert Grant O’Dell shared a quick rundown of the do’s and don’ts he and his team have learned through their many trips down the Rise rabbit hole.

Let us help you (or just let us do it for you!). Grab your notebook—here are a few things you should know about developing in Rise.

Do’s for Developing in Rise

  • Think outside the box. Don’t limit yourself to just pre-made components and default designs.
  • Customize everything. Use color and brand collateral to make your course distinct and professional.
  • Incorporate custom illustrations and photos. Drive the look and feel of your course with personalized, thoughtful design that connects with your audience.

Don’ts for Developing in Rise

  • Overuse unnecessary components. Sometimes a block component is all you need. Don’t get hung up on using complex components for the sake of interest. Forcing a user to use hotspots or flashcards when it’s not necessary can be distracting and confusing.
  • Overuse the same components. Be intentional, but don’t be repetitive. Using the same components over and over can make a course feel rote and stale. Remember that Rise is a scrolling experience—variety will help keep the user engaged and alert.
  • Have extremely long pages. Rise is designed to be a user-driven experience, but your design has to keep up. Whenever you can, separate your pages into bite-sized chunks so that your user doesn’t feel overwhelmed by content.