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4621 N Ravenswood Ave.
Chicago, IL 60640
United States



NogginLabs was founded on the notion that custom e-learning design and development is the ultimate horizontal industry. Time and again, each new project, client, and industry proves it. The biggest advantage of the e-learning horizontal is cross-pollinating ideas from two wildly different domains. A restaurant service simulation for iPad may influence a high-fashion online retail challenge. E-learning for financial advisors in a bank could inspire a mobile outreach program for cancer survivors. This variety also keeps the creative folks at NogginLabs fresh. Fresh learning ideas and designs come from a set of constantly changing constraints.

If you give your e-learning vendor a cookie


If you give your e-learning vendor a cookie

Melissa Kinkley

The best way to start the workday (really, any day) is with an unexpected treat. Over the last month, homemade sweets from our talented Noggins, plus an array of holiday goodies from the clients who love us, have turned our kitchen into a very festive place. I’m not sure if it is our unseasonably warm December or my heightened blood sugar, but these gestures of appreciation reminded me just how important generosity and gratitude are in our workplace.

We talk a lot about how awesome our people are—and it’s true. Because we all care deeply about the innovative learning experiences we build and the creative people who make them (and those ultimately receiving them), we are willing to pitch in where needed on our own team’s projects and on others’ as well. Our clients are a big part of this motivation too.

We have the best client partners we could hope for (and I’m not just saying this because they send us tasty treats). Their commitment to building effective and enjoyable custom e-learning, their willingness to collaborate, and the great deal of trust they put in us as experts makes it easy for us to be equally generous with our time, ideas, and energy.

Now, we love a good specialty box of chocolates and we’ll always be more grateful to receive those impossibly delicious brownies than we feel guilty about consuming three. OK, four. But recently, we wondered how we could say “thank you” to our clients in a way that was a little more us. At the end of a project, when the final SCORM package is delivered, when all bugs are verified and closed, what else could we give?

We landed on a concept we love: a one-of-a-kind piece of custom artwork—a special, physical object to recognize an entire project’s worth of effort. Our inspiration came from movie, video game, and concert posters, whose punchy designs bear the burden of capturing an entire plot, gameplay experience, or album all in one compelling visual. Tasked with this directive, our designers fully embraced the idea, churning out some of the most beautiful designs we’d ever seen.

Not only do our clients really appreciate these thank you gifts, but our designers, who we worried would view it as extra work, now look forward to the chance to create an entirely fresh design that represents the essence of the project. Almost like a palate cleanser, this design task is free of constraints, and provides a nice counterbalance to the way we typically work. Some of the pieces have even informed the visual approach for entirely new projects.

So that’s the lesson after all: when you give, you get. And for the record, chocolate doesn’t hurt either.