Feb 142014

This article correlates the adult learning experience with an at large user experience by looking beyond curriculum design and considering all aspects of learning. The author models his concept on Jesse James Garrett’s Elements of User Experience. As a web and technology instructor I greatly appreciate the merit of this approach.

Designing learning experiences must be treated in the same way as designing any sort of user experience. Learners, just like users, have needs that can only be solved through proper research, design, validation, and iteration.

Anyone involved in adult learning should step outside the limiting boundaries of curriculum design in order to account for the learner’s entire experience. By only focusing on content, we are missing out and what actually makes up a person’s reality, including the environment in which they’re learning in, and their lives before and after the learning experience.

Elements of Learning Experience Design « Boxes and Arrows.

Feb 112014

What a brilliant idea! Deliver an online course to a learner’s inbox one lesson at a time. At the end of each lesson simply click a link to trigger delivery of subsequent lessons. If learners lose track or interest you can trigger occasional reminders and you can even tie in ecommerce if you want to charge for your course

This can all be done using MailChimp. The author walks you through the MailChimp configuration process step-by-step which really amounts to calling up integrated event triggers.

How To Create A Self-Paced Email Course | Smashing Magazine.

Feb 112014

Here’s a handy set of references on using the style panel in Dreamweaver from version 8 through CS6. Functionality across versions is similar. This is a CSS tutorial using Dreamweaver as the development tool.

Jan 162014

Content editing is critical to the online success of any business. It’s responsible in large part for clarity in branding and task completion as well as usability and SEO. That’s because when looking at editing in the big picture it covers five broad areas according to the author.

  1. Substantive Editing
  2. Copyediting
  3. Fact-Checking
  4. SEO
  5. Proofreading

Effective editing has implications for all aspects of your content. It’s more than just proofreading for corrections and minor tweaks. In terms of SEO here’s what Google has to say about content in it’s quality guidelines.

  • Make pages primarily for users, not for search engines.
  • Don’t deceive your users.
  • Avoid tricks intended to improve search engine rankings. A good rule of thumb is whether you’d feel comfortable explaining what you’ve done to a website that competes with you, or to a Google employee. Another useful test is to ask, “Does this help my users? Would I do this if search engines didn’t exist?
  • Think about what makes your website unique, valuable, or engaging. Make your website stand out from others in your field.

Read the complete article for detailed information and be sure to check out the one on Confused Business Words and Phrases which is referenced and also linked below so you won’t miss it.

Editing Tips For Business Web Content | Smashing Magazine.

Commonly Confused Business Words and Phrases.

Jan 092014

This article is speaking to the choir for me. It rings true and reminds my of why a really enjoy teaching web design. It’s wonderful to pass along what I’ve learned and it really helps me better communicate technical concepts to non-technical individuals. There’s more, but you have to read the article. Suffice to say, I think the article author is right on the money.

The Challenges And Rewards Of Teaching Web Design | Smashing Magazine.

Dec 092013

This is a great little article on the creative process and those dedicated to it. One thing creative people who are dedicated to their art or craft require is time, and lots of it. This necessitates say no on a regular basis, especially to those who want your time so you can explain your creative process to them.

Creative People Say No — Thoughts on creativity — Medium.

Aug 292013

This looks like a good learning resource for beginners. I haven’t fully checked it out but my initial impression is positive. I like the video format and think this would be a good resource to use in conjunction with other more technical resources. Getting a grasp of basic concepts we designers consider simple can be extremely challenging for the beginner.

Don’t Fear the Internet by Jessica Hische & Russ Maschmeyer not Blue Oyster Cult.

Aug 292013

As a web design instructor I found this article informative and useful. I’ve been incorporating some of these approaches in my own teaching, and I plan to take a serious look at some of the others. I found the part on collaboration between adjunct and full time professors particularly worthy of consideration.

Teaching Web Design To New Students | Smashing Magazine article.

May 312013

Resources for Web Design and UX, Usability, HCI, Content Strategy etc.

  1. A List Apart Good articles on timely topics.
  2. Boxes and Arrows This site is more research oriented.
  3. Smashing Magazine You’ll find good articles here. The downside – way too many ads.