As a kid (heck, even as an “adult”!) I’ve always loved comic books and graphic novels. They have a wonderful way of pulling you in and guiding you through stories in a fun, exciting, and informative way – which makes them a great tool for learning! Instructional comics not only engage learners because of their unique presentation style, they can also save you time and money on the project. Let's find out how!
Suspension of disbelief
Creating a fun experience for the learner is key to getting the content across. This is where suspending disbelief comes into play. If you have uninspiring performances from actors, or subpar photos, the learner may be immediately pulled out of the learning; and worse yet, distracted. This is where instructional comics have a bit of an edge over videos or photos. Comics and the characters in them have a simplified, universally relatable look. Visuals are still necessary to tell the story, but the timeless style of comics allows the learner to suspend that pesky disbelief and immerse themselves within the content.
Let’s talk about that timelessness, mentioned above. Watching older films, TV shows and commercials always makes for a fun walk down memory lane – but like me, you probably catch yourself making judgements on the hairstyles and clothing choices - even from the mid-2000s! Fashions change in the blink of an eye but if you stop and think about your favorite characters, they hardly ever change. They become recognizable even by the simple, powerful visual of their silhouettes. Utilizing comic book panels in your eLearning not only provides some recognizability to your training but can also stretch the shelf life of your content.
Updating made easy
Just like fashion, training needs change with predictable regularity. When it’s time for changes to occur in your training strategies, updating a few pieces of art is going to be way easier than trying to recreate or edit pieces of an already existing live action video or animation. With live action, you have to worry about finding the same actors you used before, hope their look hasn’t changed (no million-dollar mustache to remove in post), and hope you can still afford their rates - which have gone up. You can also run into problems with reshoots when it comes down to scheduling the location, which may or may not look the same or even exist.
Updating animations is a whole other barrel of “fun.” Updating the script, recording new voice over, and re-timing the whole thing takes more time and effort than your timeline (and budget!) may allow. With comic book panels, all you update is one image per panel. This makes it easy to quickly update dialogue, out-of-date uniforms, or even insert new panels
Getting more bang for your buck
Beyond all the fun you can have with a comic-style take on your training and the ease of updating down the road, there are up-front, practical benefits too. Even initially, animation, video and photo shoots can be time consuming and expensive. With timelines ranging from a few weeks to a couple of months, any one of these options can eat through a budget in seconds. Illustrations and comic panels, on the other hand, require a small, efficient team to create them and can be created in a fraction of the time. The other great thing is if tiny but crucial details are off, (a name tag is out of place, or a dress code element is missing), it can easily be remedied by the graphic artist, instead of taking on a full-fledged, budget killing re-do of EVERYTHING.
So, when it comes down to it, the timeless, powerfully dynamic, budget crushing, easily adaptable Super Comic Book Panels might just be there to save the day!
Want to see a comic style training in action? Check out the demo below and let us know how you see comics being used in your very own trainings!