Transforming your staff's potential

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Finds: On Good Clients and How to Serve them Well

Designer Michael Bierut gives a presentation on "Clients." The first part of this (rather lengthy... I fast forwarded some) presentation is about what constitutes "good" and "bad" clients. He makes some insightful points here and exhorts his audience to work hard to vet for good clients. Then, around minute 22, he discusses how to serve those good clients well. I found this the most interesting and instructive portion of the presentation. Although Mr. Bierut is speaking to "physical" designers (e.g. industrial designers, exhibit designers, graphic, etc.), his insights apply well to other professional services.

2010/01 Michael Bierut from CreativeMornings on Vimeo.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Finds: What Makes Design Seem Intuitive?

This entertaining and informative presentation by Jared spool of User Interface Engineering on, "What Makes Design Seem Intuitive?," addresses web design, but much of his message applies to instructional design as well. Some of the gems of insight include:

  1. Good design is so intuitive it is “invisible,” like the perfect temperature in a room
  2. You know when design is NOT intuitive when:
    a) It’s taking much to much time to figure out
    b) You stop thinking about the thing you’re trying to do and start thinking about the tool you’re trying to do it with. That focus shift disrupts everything
  3. What is intuitive is personal. It is based on what people already know walking into the process: their previous experience with that tool (e.g. learning activities, web forms, etc.) or something similar and their domain knowledge. You need to know who your users are.
  4. Design is an evolutionary process. It happens in stages
  5. This process often evolves resistance to evolution by vested interests of the current status quo
  6. Design is needed to bridge current knowledge (what user already knows) to target knowledge (what user needs to know). A user experience is best is when gap is nil (you eliminate the need to learn the tool) or so small you don’t know you are being trained

MFA Interaction Design Spring Lectures: Jared Spool from MFA Interaction Design on Vimeo.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

This Goes for Instructional Designers Too...

I'm not quite sure I completely agree with all 7 rules vis-a-vis instructional designers, I certainly agree with most... especially #1.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Finds: On Being Less Helpful to Support Learning

In this hour-long (and worth the time!) video, Dan Meyer presents to teachers on how to help students develop problem-solving skills by being less immediately and directly helpful and, instead, guiding them through their own critical thinking and helping them be comfortable with ambiguity.


I found this presentation on the Usable Learning Blog:

Computers are dumb – make smarter e-Learning

That takes these concepts and applies them to the elearning context.

Monday, January 11, 2010

A Shout-Out to my Readers

Over the past few years, a small community of readers has grown on my site. Some of you subscribe to my feed, some find my site when searching on specific topics regarding instructional design, eLearning, or other training-related topics.

I blog as a way to share the best of what I find on current thought/idea topics in the instructional design and training world. I subscribe to many other blog feeds and save what I feel valuable to my Delicious library. If you find my posts relavent to your work, you may also find value in linking to my Delicious account and subscribing to the Delicious feed to receive a more current source of my finds, and see some of whom I source for information and inspiration.

I would love to get to know you and why you follow my posts or otherwise visit my site. It would be of great value to me to know what value I add to your work and professional development. So, I ask this favor, please post a comment including any or all of the following:

Describe your interest in instructional design, training and related topics
Comment on why you choose to subscribe to my blog... what value do I add?
Make a wish of what you would like to see more of (or less).

Thanks! I look forward to hearing from you.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Finds: Sushi Etiquette Job Aid

Via the Always Looking blog, a fun example of a visual aid / job aid:

Given the immense popularity of the graphic novel form, this is an interesting (and fun!) style option for job aids for some learner groups and topics.

Sunday, January 3, 2010 Tidbits: Social Media Policy

As social media becomes more prevalent in business and learning, the challenge of creating policies guiding its use, to both encourage and ensure appropriate participation, is of growing concern.

Here are the articles I found in my favorites list that include the tags, "SocialMedia" and "Policy."

Social Media Usage Policies: Less Lawyering, More Encouraging: From "The Conversation" blog at the Harvard Business Review, a recommended list of the concepts a social media policy should convey.

A twitterable Twitter policy: From, a nice, concise Twitter use policy example.

Social Media Policies of 113 Organizations: From SocialMediaToday, a substantial list of links to various companies' social media policies.

Corporate Policies on Web 2.0 : eLearning Technology
: Frome the eLearning Technology blog, another link list to corporate social media policies.