Cinemagraphs - The Latest Trend in eLearning

Written by Liz Bark | Sep 22, 2015 9:33:42 PM

In the development of eLearning, we’re always creatively incorporating great technology into our interactive courses, including videos, infographics, and animation. Cinemagraphs are the latest trend to join the multitude of resources at our eLearning fingertips, but what makes them so great? A photograph with a spot of subtle movement, a cinemagraph is quite literally a photo come to life, and its simultaneous naturalness and unusualness can be utterly arresting. When trainers custom design courses, the eye-catching nature of cinemagraphs can be used to enhance learning programs with visual cues, to create easy and relatable graphics, and to strengthen marketing and memorability for learners. The actual creation of cinemagraphs used to be a complex process, but newer technology make these great graphics simple to create and great candidates to incorporate into and enhance eLearning.

Create Visual Cues

You have a photograph showing the layout of a room, and it is important for your learner to notice the kettle in the corner. So maybe you draw a big red circle and an arrow pointing straight to it - not extremely subtle and definitely not natural. A cinemagraph won’t need all those colors and awkward drawings. Instead, it might highlight the kettle by having steam rising from it in the kettle itself. In this way, the cinemagraph captures attention in a more natural way than colors or diagrams. The room itself is depicted as a photograph rather than a diagram, and the kettle grabs the eye. Such visual learning cues are more natural, more eye-catching, and possibly more relatable than imagined drawings or arrows. There are no bright red arrows drawing our attention in real life.

In addition to drawing attention and identifying things of importance, cinemagraphs may also be used to demonstrate a process in a similar fashion as a video. The animated GIF format of a cinemagraph means that the process will be repeated as long as the learner remains on the page, allowing them to absorb the picture while reading about the process.

Easily Used and Shared

Cinemagraphs are created using a series of photographs or a video and can then be saved as either a video again or as, much more commonly, an animated GIF. GIFs are the newest and most popular language of the Internet and are easily viewable across Internet browsers and mobile devices. This ease of use means learners can easily access full content from their course across platforms and devices. Cinemagraphs encourage continuous learning in any environment. GIFs are highly sharable, making it much more likely to share their success with your course across social media.

In addition to their practical easiness, cinemagraphs are also easy to use because of their naturalness and subtlety. As a photograph, they’re more relatable than a diagram and speak a universal language to viewers. As a motion picture, they are more capable of reflecting natural movement than most graphics, but their unusualness draws the eye. Can you imagine a simpler graphic than a moving picture?

Photography styles are as brandable as the fonts and logos used in your course, and they have the power to stick in learners’ brains very easily, both for learning and marketing purposes. And as moving pictures, cinemagraphs are no different.

For learning reasons, cinemagraphs can enhance a course design, drawing the learners’ eye and capturing their memory, all while making your course stand out from the throng of Internet chaos. The subtlety of a photograph is entangled in human emotion and has the power to evoke much more than a diagram does. Where a diagram will very obviously match the branding of your course, a photograph and a cinemagraph offer the opportunity to continue the overall feel of the course while reaching for a more universal language of understanding. Seeing steam rise from a kettle will be a soft visual cue but also very easily understood. Cinemagraphs are often unexpected, but they are also incredibly subtle. In an Internet world teeming with loud graphics and busy animations, the subtlety of the cinemagraph incites a pause of attention from a viewer.

As with the other techniques and technologies used in the development of new eLearning courses, the use of cinemagraphs needs to be creative and tasteful. They can greatly enhance the interactivity and memorability of the course, so get creative and add cinemagraphs to create memorable, subtle, and eye-catching graphics throughout your eLearning courses!