Interface Inspiration

I’m committed to online learning that is focused on activity, typically of the real-world, application-focused variety.  However, imagining how to translate real-world situations into meaningful learning interfaces for a computer screen can sometimes be daunting.  Even in the 21st century, significant portions of our lives still don’t revolve around pointing and clicking.

One strategy I use is keeping an “interface inspiration” library – essentially, a folder on my computer where I keep screenshots of learning interfaces that I think are particularly nifty.  When I get stuck while trying to translate activities into interfaces, I can browse through my collection of screenshots for ideas.

So, where should you go if you want to create your own interface inspiration library?

I’ve included some links below to get you started and will update this page as I remember/discover others!  These sites are a mix of learning venders and educational game sites, but all include multiple clickable demos that I found useful.  Most of the learning games sites target school-age children, but the interface ideas are absolutely still relevant for learning aimed at adults too.

Allen Interactions

I think that Allen Interactions creates some of the best performance-driven, application-focused eLearning available, and they have a number of courses with amazing interfaces on their web site.  You do need to sign up for an account to view their case studies and demos, but it’s quick and free.

Filament Games

Filament Games is my current educational games company crush.  The link above goes straight to their large library of games that you can play – the iCivics games are probably my favorites.

Enspire Learning

Enspire Learning is another learning-focused company with some great demonstrations of intuitive yet creative interfaces on their web site.  Again, handing over your contact information is required to view the demos.

Doorways-to-Dreams Foundation – Financial Entertainment

I have mixed feelings about casual games for learning, but Doorways-to-Dreams has a good series of financial entertainment games created by several different venders.  My favorite for interface ideas is Celebrity Calamity.


EdHeads in a nonprofit organization that designs and develops really neat educational online games focused on science, math, and critical thinking.

Nobel Prize – Educational Games

This section of the official site of the Nobel Prize offers a series of educational games based on Nobel-prize achievements over the years.

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