Have you ever wondered what all the buzz was about when it came to Articulate skins? I’ve been using Articulate as an authoring tool for years and never explored this facet of the program.
So I did some investigating at the eLearning Brothers site, where I knew they were busy as elves designing skins, games, templates and eLearning paraphernalia.
If you’re not familiar with the “skins” concept, this is software that works with Articulate Presenter to allow you to display a unique look to the user interface of published courses. The player buttons, menu and chrome (the border areas around the screen) are reworked with a new visual design.
Gazing across the eLearning Brother’s gallery of player skins, it was easy to understand why someone would want to use them. These new skins provide a break from the standard approach to published Articulate Presenter courses. Sure, Articulate comes with publishing options and a full range of color choices, but these skins make things look quite different. They give you a wider variety of options for matching the mood and purpose of a course. You can choose from the whimsical Gizmo, the glistening Aspen, the streamlined Slick or the ultra hip Edgy.
Andrew, one of the karate chopping eLearning Brothers, informed me that the skins are extremely easy to install and use. Articulate player skins use the file extension ARTPKG, as in the file name gizmo.artpkg. The install process is a matter of double-clicking the file. Upon double-clicking, it installs in a few seconds and the message below displays.
How to Insert in Course
At first, I couldn’t find the location of the newly installed skin. I bothered Andrew one more time. I now agree that it’s just as easy to use the skin as it is to install it. Just select it from the Player drop-down list as you would any template. Then click Publish. Later, of course, I realized the eLearning Brothers have all the instructions right on their site plus a video tutorial.
The New Look
The finished product looks quite different with a new skin—more contemporary! I particularly like the placement of the pop-up menu in the lower left and the lack of chrome on the sides. I’d say changing a player skin is quite easy and the results are quite good. You can check out the other Articulate skins from the eLearning Brothers if you’d like to learn more. The skins are priced at $450 each or a bundle of eight skins for $2520 (would normally be $3600 for eight).
If you’re using skins, tell us which ones you like in the Comments section.