BLOG: Why "Sharing is Power!” for #elawards nominee Joanna

Unicorn’s Joanna Kurpiewska

On Wednesday (25 Nov) Unicorn’s Joanna Kurpiewska will discover if she is going to follow in the footsteps of her Unicorn colleague and 2014 award winner, Sam Yates, to land the coveted 2015 ‘E-learning Designer of the Year’ prize at the eLearning Awards. So who is Joanna and what makes her so passionate about design?

“People connect with their eyes. Learning has to catch attention from the very first slide.”

From Katowice in Poland Joanna Kurpiewska has an Economics Masters gained in Poland, and started designing eLearning professionally in 2007.

As well as Polish and English, Joanna also speaks and has designed courses in German. In her first 18 months at Unicorn, she’s greatly enhanced her own and Unicorn’s reputation as global Articulate Storyline innovators. ‘Unicorn Labs’ is an initiative encouraging innovation across Unicorn.

Joanna has used the Lab time to explore Storyline’s potential, tackling weekly Storyline Challenges to push her creative boundaries, while learning about features that could impact on Unicorn’s delivery of high-quality, interactive, fun eLearning.

Articulate showcased an example of her work – ‘Rapid Response Training: Ebola Outbreak’ – at the 2014 eLearning Guild’s DevLearn in Las Vegas.

1) In three words, how did you react when you heard you had been shortlisted?

Excited, happy, jumping for joy!

2) What is your favourite Storyline challenge you have worked on?

This one, challenge #86 - Interactive maps: where do you live? Try it!


3) How has the role of an eLearning designer changed since you started?

The number of eLearning creation tools has grown enormously since 2007. You don’t have to know all of them but you need to stay up-to-date with what’s going on. There are a lot of changes - going mobile with learning, interactive videos, changing graphic styles, game based scenarios etc. It all makes me search for more information and learn new skills.

4) What is it about Unicorn that allows you to thrive and shine at what you do?

I have been given the right tools (Storyline, graphic design pack, stock photos access) and time to participate in the eLearning challenges. Also my Unicorn colleagues were helpful with providing valuable feedback as some of them tested the projects before posting on Articulate’s forum.

5) Do you have a signature style common across all your projects?

I’d say simplicity; I’m trying to follow the ‘keep it simple’ rule. It’s visible in my graphics, no matter if self-built like the Ebola project….


…or bought ones…


I also try to add positive unexpected and surprising elements like in the ‘toggle button challenge’, when you can see electricity “running” in the cables, which was easy to build with motion paths in Storyline2.


“It’s inspiring when people tell me they can do things in Storyline because I did it. It’s very motivating when you can help people using your knowledge. Being appreciated by other eLearning professionals from around the world keeps pushing me to maintain the high level of quality and creativity. Sharing is power!”

6) What do you think is the most important factor in engaging, effective eLearning?

It has to go in a pairs – interesting story/plot with relevant visual design.

7) What new design innovation or feature would you most like to see?

Super intelligent online training, customizing graphic style automatically to user’s preferences. I’d choose simple hand drawn style ☺

8) What are you currently working on?

A software training project for one of our clients, about ordering car parts. We have two modes in the course – ‘show me’, a simulation explaining step-by-step how to order any car part, and ‘try me’, where users need to complete a real-life task.

9) If you could meet one person at the eLearning Awards to pick the brains of who would it be?

Someone who could tell me what new, useful skill shall I learn today, which will be crucial and essential in the future of eLearning ☺

10) Tells us an amazing fact about Poland.

The 151km Elblag Canal is not only the longest navigable channel in Poland but one of the most interesting because it is the only canal in the world where ships don’t just float on water, but also travel across land on special trolleys.

There is a distance of about 10km where the height difference - around 100m - was too large to build traditional locks, so this system was put in place to drag the boats!



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