LMS Customization Guidelines - Course Thumbnails

Course thumbnails add visual data to your courses increasing user engagement and click-through rate for your courses. A good course thumbnail should summarize or represent the course contents. 

In This Article 

By Default

If you do not upload image thumbnails to your courses there will be a default graphic assigned depending on what course is created and what is defined at the portal level for course thumbnail defaults. To get started on course thumbnails go to Online Course Configuration

Recommended Image Size

229px x 173px


Appearance on the LMS

Card View


Detail View


Course Thumbnail Image Details

When selecting a image for a course thumbnail, ensure to choose an image that is within the Safe Zone (blue highlight) to avoid unwanted clipping of images keeping in mind image thumbnails have additional buttons and details depending on your course status. Make sure that objects or actions can be seen clearly in a 229px x 173px image size.

Important Note:  In order to make Global Resources more visually engaging as well differentiate one from the other, Absorb has added admin thumbnail configurations for Global Resources as well.


 The images below are good course thumbnails for the following use case:

check.svg   You can clearly see the actions in the photos

check.svg   80% of collective or group images are captured clearly (e.g. groups of people, mobile apps) 

check.svg   The aspect ratio of the images are proportioned

check.svg   The colour contrast between background and text is legible

check.svg   You can instantly relate images to topics 


Using Caution

Images with a lot of text

Limit the words in your image, make sure it is legible in terms of colour, font, and size. Exceptions for abstract images is if the purpose is to showcase a programming language, word documents, and handwriting. For best practice, use the Course Title and Description for text.


Busy or abstract background

With the exceptions, if the topic is regarding about that specific pattern or object (e.g. Aztec, fleur delis, etc...) Some images may be misinterpreted and to reiterate: make sure objects can be seen clearly and actions can be made out easily.


Images that are not within the safe zones

Your course thumbnail will have additional buttons or symbols depending on the status of the course or any other relevant information. Ensure that the important aspects of your image is within the safe zones, as referenced previously within this document.


Images that are distinctly one colour

A good course thumbnail should reflect course topics or content, adding to the overall aesthetics of your courses pages. 


Crop your images appropriately

Unless it is intentional to capture a specific object or action, crop appropriately so as to not lose any important visual data.


Ensure standard image aspect ratio of 4:3

An aspect ratio of 4:3 means that for every four units of width, the picture will be three units high. If images with transparency aren't in a 4:3 aspect ratio, your course thumbnail will stretch.



Protect your content from copyright infringement

Use images that you own, have purchased, credit authors properly, ask permission for image usage or use creative commons license images with caution.

Avoid using animated gifs that loop once and have a vague last frame

If the animated gif loops forever make sure frames are continuous. As for WCAG compatibility animated gifs should stop blinking within 5 seconds. Reference: https://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG20-TECHS/G152.html


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