Monthly Archives: June 2008

Good Design Principles

This article is for designing forms but I think it translates fairly well to documents as well. This site is also a great source for design ideas and tutorials.

Some of the problems with forms and I’d say documents as well, include:

  1. a lack of emphasis on anything. (Note: if you emphasize everything that means that NOTHING is emphasized)
  2. wasted space (Note: White space in documents is GOOD. This one may not translate as well from forms to docs.)
  3. not easily scannable
  4. not organized logically

Here is a before & after look at the example form. Some simple changes make it more readable/useful.
before and after of form design Tutorials | How to design a smart, functional form


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Filed under design, instructional design

Quotes on Learning & Mistakes

“The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn.” Alvin Toffler

And via Michelle Martin…

“Nobody learns except by making mistakes,” Drucker wrote in his 1954 landmark book, The Practice of Management. “The better a man is, the more mistakes he will make—for the more new things he will try. I would never promote a man into a top-level job who has not made mistakes, and big ones at that. Otherwise, he is sure to be mediocre. Worse still, not having made mistakes he will not have learned how to spot them early and how to correct them.”

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Filed under learning

Cool Training Idea

This is a great idea for the right situation. 29 topics in 90 minutes. Dareen Barefoot used it to cover web 2.0 sites but it could be adapted for lots of other things. Great Idea!

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Filed under instructional design, learning, training

Training Content Search

Looks like a good option for finding training content.

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Filed under instructional design, learning, training

Say Goodbye to Adobe Suite

Free alternatives to the Adobe Creative Suite via

  • Adobe Acrobat Reader ==> Sumatra PDF
  • Adobe Acrobat ==> PDFCreator
  • Adobe Photoshop ==> Paint.NET
  • Adobe Dreamweaver ==> Kompozer
  • Adobe Flash ==> Synfig
  • Adobe Illustrator ==> Inkscape
  • Adobe InDesign ==> Scribus
  • Adobe After Effects ==> Jahshaka
  • Adobe Premier Pro ==> VirtualDub
  • Adobe Encore DVD ==> DVD Styler

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Filed under DevTools

When to use video

Per Karl Kapp via Jane Bozarth:

“If the only thing moving is somebody’s lips, then you don’t need video.”

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Filed under elearning, instructional design

Improving Google Skills

In response to Tony Karrer’s post about improving Google skills, here is a 12 minute version that I built for an assignment in the Ed Tech Master’s program at SDSU. Here’s the link to it via my portfolio site. which has a little additional explanation about how I created it awhile back.

(The direct link is here and I hope it remains available since it’s on an SDSU server and I just graduated.)

So I hope it’s beneficial even though I didn’t quite make the 5 minute criteria. I’ll make you a deal if you get to the 5 minute mark and still don’t like it just click Exit! 😎

If you click the “Attachments” link in the top right of the course you’ll find links to a Google “Cheat Sheet” which is digestible in 5 minutes and which is a pretty extensive resource on this topic.

Let me know what you think. Thanks!

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Filed under elearning