Small, Simple and Instantly Useful

This will take less than 4 minutes to complete.


Today’s adult learners always ask themselves a few key questions when faced with training.


How Will This Help Me?

The first question is always “how will spending this time right now help me?”

If there is no clear answer that this will be helpful, to the learner’s life, there may be resistance and cognitive dissonance.


How Long is This Going to Take?

The second question today’s adult learners ask, is “how long is this going to take”? Wouldn’t it be great if all training told us how long this will really take right at the start? Simplicity is a design approach, and in a proper design we can ask answer these questions very early on. The best part is this simple design approach actually costs less to develop, and highly expensive post production is not required to deliver results.


Here is an Example of Simplicity and Adult Learning Theory in Action.

This video by the Crazy Russian Hackers uses very little post production effects, motion graphics, expensive cameras, and yet the video successfully achieves its objective of teaching you a new and effective way to sharpen your pencil. High production value can look impressive, and low production value can achieve results with very little money spent. Also, and power drill is quite a flexible tool.



Principle #1: Use simple video for concrete examples and shorter videos


Principle #2: The learner understands the principle and expectations in the the first few lines of text, or seconds of video.


#3: In this example you learned:

  • Create smaller simple video assets
  • Low production value can be effective
  • You learned to sharpen a pencil


Did you learn anything else? Tell me in a comment below.


Yes I’m Speaking at Devlearn

I am very excited to announce I will be speaking at the DevLearn Conference at MGM Grand in Las Vegas on Friday October 2nd. I design learning experiences and in my field DevLearn is the conference where designers, developers, managers and executives get together to learn about Innovation in the field of Online Learning and development. I am very excited to speak my passion teaching with video.
I will be presenting with Sam Rogers, and our Our session is entitled: Video Within Reach: Myth-Busting & Testing To Greatness, and  we’ll be showing attendees how to prioritize learning content and scale video production to the available resources.

Here’s the gist of what that means for laypeople:

  1. Following good cinematic advice is often overkill
  2. Figuring out what works best in your case is an adventure, not a formula
  3. Designing to your constraints is the only way to go, and we’ll show you how before you leave

709 Video Within Reach: Mythbusting and Testing to Greatness

8:30 AM – 9:30 AM Friday, October 2

There are things that prevent us from making the great video learning content that we are capable of. Sometimes these things are technical, sometimes they are budgetary, but mostly they are due to our misconceptions about what is involved. While some blaze into situations making bigger promises than they can ever deliver, others scare themselves out of ever getting started in the first place. Most of us fall in between, perpetuating common video myths without even knowing it.

The truth is, great video learning content does not have to be expensive or complicated. It just has to work within your particular constraints. In this session, you will learn what kind of content for learning makes the best content for video. You will gain a better understanding of the best designs, scripts, tools, and techniques to fit your organizational context. In this session, you will find the answers to your questions and create a preliminary action plan for your video learning projects.

In this session, you will learn:

  • What learning content makes the best video content for your organization
  • How to test your way to the best designs, scripts, specs, tools, and techniques for your environment
  • To address fears and questions about video learning
  • To create a preliminary action plan

Novice and intermediate designers, developers, project managers, and managers.

Technology discussed in this session:
Workflowy, Scrivener, GoogleDocs, iPhone/iPad, GoPro, YouTube, JW Player, Camtasia, Screenflow, Captivate, FinalCutPro, Premiere, Litmos, Moodle, Saba.

What is it Like to Be A Designer?

When you are the expert it can be very difficult to explain design to those that have no clue how or what you actually do. In the world of creative work, sometimes explaining the simplest concept is what’s required.


Hooray! I’m Speaking at the ELearning Guild’s Online Forum

I am so excited to be speaker at the ELearning Guilds Online Forum. I love the how the ELearning Guild focuses on what IS working in the ELearning world by promoting best practices and focusing on designers who are making a difference.

Sometimes I suprise even myself, and I am so glad to have the opportunity to work with Sam, and to present on a topic I feel is really making a positive change in the world.


Myself and Sam Rogers will present:

 YouTube U: Integrating your LMS and Learning Strategy

We will present on: Thursday, May 21, 2015 8:30 AM – 9:45 AM

Our presentation focuses on how to integrate YouTube into your learning and how you can use the YouTube platform as a hosting and promotion tool.

Learn more about the session here.

Here is a breakdown of our talk:

Video learning is here; now what do we do with it? With bitrates, streaming, hosting, tracking, sharing/securing, content changes, software updates, and learning management system (LMS) weaknesses, distributing online video to learners can be a technical and administrative challenge. But you probably knew that. What you might not know is that YouTube can eliminate many pain points for the information-technology and marketing departments while robustly delivering your training to existing audiences … and those you haven’t yet been able to reach. The YouTube platform offers simplified uploading of video content, built-in interactivity options and social engagement, a mobile-friendly and ubiquitous user interface, surprising methods of selectively protecting/sharing/integrating video, analytics your LMS can only dream of, unlimited storage capacity, and the best adaptive streaming on the planet. Not bad for a free product, right?

In this session, you will explore how to evaluate your video training, your YouTube channel, and your LMS in ways that reinvigorate your learning designs and engage organizational opportunity. You will receive several handouts that will guide you in your next steps and supplement the necessary conversations with others in your company. You will leave this session with a better understanding of how you can use the YouTube platform to complement your organization’s LMS.

In this session, you will learn:

  • How to evaluate training content for longevity, audience, and placement on the YouTube platform
  • How to audit a YouTube channel and Google settings to maximize appropriate sharing/security
  • How to describe YouTube integration options for your learning management system (LMS)

Intermediate designers, developers, VPs, and CLOs. Those generally familiar with the production of online learning, delivery of video assets, and use of LMSs will gain the most from this session. Experience uploading to YouTube is a plus.


Rapid Prototyping in e-Learning Using Sketches

Creating an initial design can be the hardest part in an e-Learning project. When I move straight into development tools I often find myself unsure of what to do next. I can make a few shapes, but I feel like the creative process can freeze up with the mouse in hand.  It turns out a sketchbook is often the answer. When I mock up a design in Photoshop or Articulate Storyline I run into the objection of it doesn’t look fully developed or people cringe at the lack of formatting.

I scheduled a meeting once to discuss an outline of a script and my team members spent 30 minutes formatting the text! Starting with a sketch removes the formatting from the equation. This article from Christopher Palm @ Allen Interactions is Spot On.

4 Creative Process tips for the e-Learning Graphic Designer


What are your tips and tricks to getting a design started?