Developing online and hybrid learning experiences for Cellebrite

Developing Online and Hybrid Learning Experiences for Cellebrite


If you’ve ever bought a cell phone from a retailer and asked them to transfer your information from your old phone into your new one, chances are you have come into contact with Cellebrite.

Cellebrite is “a global company known for its breakthroughs in mobile data technology, delivering comprehensive solutions for mobile lifecycle management and mobile forensics.”

One of those breakthroughs was the technology I just mentioned. That’s the mobile lifecycle side of Cellebrite.

One of Cellebrite’s other breakthroughs was a product called the Universal Forensic Extraction Device, or UFED. This technology enabled law enforcement officers to extract data from suspects’ mobile devices, in many cases even if that data was recently deleted. This and a suite of other products and services (including programs teaching police officers how to extract that data) is the mobile forensics side of Cellebrite.

Cellebrite is an international company. You can read about all the work I put into getting their learning management system (LMS) and their first web-based training (WBT) course offerings up and running here.

A sampling Cellebrite course and certification offerings. By the way, I also made all the shields you see here.

A sampling Cellebrite course and certification offerings. By the way, I also made all the graphics you see here (except for the Cellebrite logo).


Cellebrite and its mobile forensic clients found the web-based training I helped create before this project to be a great success. These products aided law enforcement professionals to advance from novice to expert in dealing with mobile forensic methods from around the world and opened up a new revenue stream for Cellebrite.

However, Cellebrite has recently identified a need: even though investigators and forensic practitioners throughout the world are using Cellebrite’s technologies and training to prosecute criminals successfully, there are too many cell phones for any one forensic unit to process in a timely manner. Police departments are deluged with cell phones, and most of these cell phones do not require a forensic specialist to extract the data from.

Cellebrite created the UFED InField Kiosk, a touch screen device using UFED technology that allows field officers and investigators who are new to the field of mobile forensics to conduct basic extractions.

This, in turn, meant that law enforcement officers needed to learn how to use this new product. At this point Cellebrite’s Vice President of Global Forensic Training turned to Cellebrite’s Senior Training Manager and Developer to create the instructor-led training (ILT) version of this course – the Cellebrite UFED Field Operator (CUFO) course. It was determined that participants who pass the CUFO course would be awarded a CUFO certification.

Additionally, because these devices could be networked, meaning that a police department could have a kiosk in each of its stations and be monitored by a manager, Cellebrite also created the ILT version of the Cellebrite UFED InField Manager (CUFM). Participants who pass both the CUFO and CUFM courses are awarded a CUFM certification.

Some Cellebrite clients also wanted to be able to deliver this training themselves. That is, they wanted to have their trainers trained to deliver these courses, and then be able to provide them. From this, Cellebrite asked that we create a “Train-the-Trainer” version of CUFO. This became a hybrid version of the course, where the content, like the WBT versions, would be on the Cellebrite Learning Center, but the students would be accessing this content (with different versions provided for both instructors and students) in a live classroom.

In other words, the instructor version would be used to present the content and the student version would be used to ensure students were able to participate with the activities and learning checks from the laptops at their desks. Instructors would be able to gauge student progress from the quizzes at the end of each module via the Cellebrite Learning Center’s learning management functions.

Something else anyone who reads this should know: The vast majority of Cellebrite’s mobile forensic training team are superbly professional ex-law enforcement officers who have years of experience as both law enforcement officers and as professional trainers. When they teach in the classroom, it’s an amazing experience to glean from them the things they share from their first-hand experiences in the field.


The project included the following tasks:

  1. Convert the CUFO course to WBT (6.5 hours of instruction)
  2. Convert the CUFM course to WBT (4.5 hours of instruction)
  3. Create the CUFO Train-the-Trainer course (which had a large reuse of CUFO content applied to student and instructor contexts)


I was the lead instructional designer and developer for this project.

During the project I:

  • Created the new graphic user interface (GUI) and customized the Articulate Storyline player for the WBT as a whole
  • Provided all narration (around 11 hours)
  • Developed highly interactive demos of the UFED InField Kiosk
  • Created interactive learning checks
  • Took and edited photos of the product
  • Designed the new CUFO and CUFM certification shields
  • Provided a great deal of consultation to ThinkThru regarding the advanced use of Articulate Storyline (by the end of the project ThinkThru was creating super-advanced, level 3 eLearning software emulations on their own) and much more


While I haven’t been given approval to show much more than what I have done here, the client stated specifically during one of the acceptance reviews for this project of our work, “This is the best training I have ever seen.”

Here’s a sampling from the project.

Graphic User Interface

Regarding the GUI, I made some sketches that I had thought would be a good improvement to the Cellebrite WBT from the work I had done previously.

What did the previous interface look like? You can see some screenshots here, taken from this page on the Cellebrite Learning Center.

From the start of the project, I knew I wanted to improve the interface, and, using Illustrator, I created the following mockups.

However, we found out that Cellebrite had completely changed its forensic team color scheme. I’ve heard that many who work with international companies can relate to having to be able to rapidly change course on a moment’s notice. Working with Cellebrite is no exception to that rule.

I changed the colors and the layouts of the template I had made that day, and we were able to continue making progress on the course. Thankfully we were meeting onsite in Phoenix, Arizona, with the client during this time, and we were able to iterate rapidly and everyone had a clear idea of what the project would look and feel like before I left the client site and completed my observations/analysis.

Here’s some samples of what the interface looked like.


A sampling of the interface I designed for this course. The Cellebrite forensics team liked it so much they asked me to change their PowerPoint templates for them, as well.


A view of a learning check as presented from the instructor’s Train-the-Trainer version. Students typed in the passwords here into their versions in order to proceed at the same pace as the instructor. Both the instructor, student, and web-based training versions were hosted on Moodle. This setup allows instructors to obtain live feedback from students via the LMS.



From start to finish, I made this slide. I took the photos and footage of the product and made the interaction you see here. Each of the highlighted fields are clickable and contain additional information.


What the branching looked like within Articulate Storyline for the finished product of the hybrid "Train-the-Trainer" instructor version.

What the branching looked like within Articulate Storyline for the finished product of the hybrid “Train-the-Trainer” instructor version. Note that some of these slides include dozens of layers of interactive software emulations.


I loved working with ThinkThru and Cellebrite to help create world-class e-learning and instructor-led training experiences for those who depend on Cellebrite’s technologies to successfully prosecute criminals all over the world. Working with Cellebrite has always been very challenging, but very meaningful and rewarding.

If you would like me to work with you and your team to create world-class, interactive content like this, please let me know.

You can contact me by clicking here.