28 July 2011

Learning stages for User Experience Design

What a delighter to find my weekly helping of "A list Apart" this morning came topped with the title "UX for Learning".  A List Apart is an impeccably produced online publication from the makers of some of the industry's best websites and books on websites.  The latest post by Tyler Tate shows that  Learning is beginning to slide its foot in the door with a larger design audience.

Tate demonstrates how basic stages of learning can be applied to the design of everyday websites and links some practical examples of interface design decisions for commercial websites back to Kuhlthau’s stages of the search process.

In my view, it's not just a great indication of a growing awareness of how our knowledge about learning needs to converge with our knowledge about design, it's also evidence of how the Beatrice and Benedict of industry and academia are truly meant to be together in the end.  They don't always speak the same language, or think they share the same values,  but (at risk of infringing copyright on an Obama campaign) we must unite - we've so much to gain by sharing research, methods, processes, data and worldviews that why wouldn't we?  As Bob the builder would say "Yes we can."

Image details: Web interface for the Learning Sciences Conference I just designed for the International Society of the Learning Sciences.

21 July 2011

Turn to the sherpa

Check out this highly informative, expertly crafted (and so pretty it's like dessert) new web publication: The Web Standards Sherpa.  "Journeying towards best web practices."  Everything here can be applied to the design of web-based learning environments.

15 July 2011

HTML 5 for learning interfaces

The global design scene has been nutty for the promise of HTML 5 for a while now, but can we use it for building elearning activities today?  Find out in the recent trial and report published by the Australian Flexible Learning Framework...

03 July 2011

Time management principle for design

Design is about details.  But then it's also about deadlines.  As such, I have developed this tenet to keep me focused...
"I vow to cultivate the discipline to not spend time on the details that don't matter, the patience to spend time on the details that do, and the professionalism to know the difference."
Thus today I will not double proofread my chats, or spend hours crafting email witticisms that only I will be impressed with, but I will do what it takes to get that alignment just right and not give up on my dizzying quest for proof of what works.

[Credit, of course, to Reinhold Niebuhr for the famous serenity original.]

01 July 2011

Clark Quinn on Educational Games

Engaging Learning: Designing e-Learning Simulation Games (Pfeiffer Essential Resources for Training and HR Professionals)
Clark Quinn, author of Engaging Learning: designing e-learning simulation games recently gave a masterclass in Sydney.  He introduced categories of educational games, how they differ from scenarios and simulations, and made suggestions for how they can best be used for learning.

Although the information he shared is primarily for instructional designers of elearning, rather than for interface designers, the inevitable overlap meant there was much to be gained for an elearning visual designer like me.  Here is a taste of some of his key points...