Design Tutorial, Part 1: How to Make Your Own iPad-Inspired Icons (and a Free Template!)

Following Apple's unveiling of the iPad 2 , I found myself inundated with tons of great articles and thought-provoking blog posts about the impact of the iPad on the tablet market, the growing appetite for mobile learning, and how the iPad is being used by companies to increase productivity.

Whether you come down on the side of iPad as hype or iPad as harbinger of our computing future, one thing is clear: there's a shift underway and it's in our best interest to pay attention!  Case in point: my mother-in-law. She's a pretty solid, if unsophisticated, PC user (sorry, mom!) but when she was given an iPad as a retirement gift recently our family witnessed an overnight transformation of her from beleaguered computer user to mobile computing power-user.  While she doesn't text, IM, tweet, or blog, her iPad is her go-to tool for web surfing, reading books, playing games, shopping, watching movies, and writing email. When I asked her why she abandoned her PC for the iPad she said simply, "It's easy. I just picked it up and knew instantly how to get to the information I wanted."  When mom is an early-tech adopter, something's definitely up...

retro mom ipad

My mother-in-law's words really resonated with me as a training designer. Shouldn't my courses have the same kind of easy, accessible feel for my trainees?  The more I thought about it, the more I realized that the simple "app" oriented architecture of the iPad's user interface really makes for an appealing way to interact with content. As such, it provides a good design model for those of us who struggle to structure our courses and create visual designs that intuitively support the way our trainees want and need to access learning.

In this post, I've assembled a quick tutorial on how to create your own custom iPad/iPhone app icons in PowerPoint using nothing more than drawing tools and free Microsoft clip art icons.  Once you've watched the tutorial, download the PowerPoint file here to leverage my work as a jumping-off point for creating your own designs. Check back next week for part 2:  How to Make Your Own iPad eLearning UI - and another FREE PowerPoint template.

Feeling a little inspired?  Check out some of these other great iPad-inspired ideas I found while researching this post:

How to create an iPhone/iPad element in PowerPoint

Free hi-res iPad images for download

5 iPad Presentation Tips

Have any training design tips or presentation pointers you'd like to share?  Leave us a comment.

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Trina Rimmer is a learning and communications consultant with thirteen years experience designing, developing, and delivering smart, engaging training. When her skills aren't being tested by her children, you'll find her helping others to develop their own training design muscles.

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