These are my Jumptags for October 1st through October 6th:

These are my Jumptags for September 9th through September 16th:

These are my Jumptags for September 8th

  • The Five Design Elements Every Website Needs – Discover the five design elements that every well-built website needs. Includes tips and tricks for content and navigation design.
  • How To Jump Start The Website Design Process – Discover a simple four-step process that can help any web designer squeeze inspiration out of a competitor's website design.
  • Project2Manage – Free Project Management – Project2Manage is an Online project management system that allows you to stay up-to-date, on task and connected with your team. We’ve taken the hard work of staying organized and simplified it for you.
  • 15 Essential Web Tools for Students – It's time to head back to school and there are a number of web-based and social tools to help you get through the school year. Here are 15 essential ones.
  • Microsoft Launches Tools For Teachers – Microsoft's Education Labs launched a new project this afternoon and it's better on trees and the environment. The group just announced a new Math Worksheet Generator where teachers …
  • Kineo – Tip 27: Tear down the visual wallpaper – It is time to tear down the e-learning wallpaper and take heed of some top tips on using graphics for instructional use.
  • 30 Amazing Alphabet Recreations | Tutorial9 – The Alphabet dates back to the Egyptian era and forms the basis of our language, through the years people have experimented and created a wealth of interesting and unique alphabets. This is a collection of some of the best examples.
  • 3 Successful Small Businesses on Social Media – To help you see how social media can work no matter how big or small your business, I’ve found some great case studies of small businesses that get it and are seeing results!

About a year ago, I found the following slideshow, creating a post about it on a previous —now somewhat defunct — blog. So, I’m reposting it here. It will be able to get archived and found easier. Plus, maybe it will resonate with you.

Consider this slide show on Slideshare: “Knowing.the.World.We.Live.in.” In this slideshow, review it at full screen so you can read the legends for each slide. Another site called this “The Power of Stars.” The message is powerful.  How do you think the message in the presentation is interpreted through visual literacy, graphic design and message design?

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Some examples from my inspiration folder

Some examples of items I've collected in my inspiration folder

Sometimes I have a clear picture of how I want to approach a new project.  Other times, it’s open-ended, leaving me without a clear themed direction for the graphic design or instructional design. For a long time, I have kept a simple, nondescript manila folder in the bottom right drawer of my desk.  In it, I collect Sunday circulars, postcards, direct mail flyers, etc., for when it comes time to create a new layout, color scheme, theme or graphic design.  This is akin to interior designers or HGTV-wannabes collating a stack of tear-sheets from magazines.  This is a technique that I learned way back in undergrad when I was print-publishing-and-packaging major.

Even farther back in high school when I was on the yearbook and newspaper staff, we collected headlines from magazines and newspapers that we could reuse.  We used scissors and glue and pasted the headlines into manilla folders.  So whenever we were hard-up for a headline—that is, one that didn’t sound like we were desperate for a headline—we went through the folders.  It was and still is a great technique.

Not long ago, I had a teacher recommend to me that she gets her students to collect really good adjectives and puts these either on notecards on a key ring or in a spreadsheet.  Whenever the kids need to write descriptive paragraphs or just use better adjectives, she gets them to pull them out.

More recently, I’ve begun to collect cartoons and images that I would like to reuse in my instruction.  I use Jumptags to collect my bookmarks, and it also allows you to save images (plus, video and HTML code, too).  So, particularly, now when I’m looking for an image to communicate an idea on a slide or in instruction, I’ll save it into my bookmarks, too.  Just in case I’d like to reuse it or use it as a source of inspriration.

In addition, a few of the blogs that I subscribe to regularly post unique sources of inspiration for designs, such as skateboard designs, photography and typography.  Here’s a list of a few that I am inspired by:

But here’s a few instructional design, development and elearning blogs that I also use for inspiration:

Where do your inspirations for graphic design, message design and instructional design come from?  Leave some comments and share, please.

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David Lindenberg

David Lindenberg

We’ve all seen it:  The training material that is a jumbled mess of mismatched graphics, hard-to-read text and no sense of cohesion whatsoever.  What good is the content if the learner needs a decoder ring to decipher it?  Therefore, I offer up my Top 11 List of Style.  Why eleven?  Because eleven is the new ten (actually, I just couldn’t narrow it down).  None of these topics are new, but rather a collection of style principles I adhere to when developing materials.

  1. Font style – Pick two fonts, one for your body text and one for your headers.
  2. Font size – Keep it standard, not too big, not too small.
  3. Graphics – Exercise prudence.  Don’t mix and match (i.e. don’t use a clipart cartoon in one spot and a photograph in another).
  4. Colors – Generally, stick with dark font colors against a light background.
  5. White space – Embrace space.  Make it your friend.  Not everything needs to be covered with text or pictures.
  6. Text blocks – Avoid large chunks of text.  Use bullet points to break the text into more visual-friendly parts.
  7. Alignment – Pick an alignment and stick with it.  Use center align sparingly.
  8. Branding – Put your company and/or department logo on the material.
  9. Consistency – Strive for a consistent look and feel throughout the material.
  10. Template – If there is a chance of reusing the material again for another project, put all of your style options in a blank template.
  11. Style sheet – Create a style sheet for others who may be helping develop the material, or for future reference/reuse.

For a more in-depth explanation of many of these principles, see Robin Williams’ The Non-Designer’s Design Book.

Guest blogger:  David Lindenberg is a practicing instructional designer at Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare in Memphis, Tennessee.  He is a graduate of the Instructional Design & Technology program at The University of Memphis.

Valentine's Day StudyHappy Valentine’s Day and welcome to the inaugural post of my new web site and blog, ViralNotebook.com. I hope you’ll find my blog interesting, provocative, funny and informative. I’m going to be considering design broadly, including instructional design, message design, interface design and graphic design. I’ll also be looking toward instructional development and learning technologies, such as e-learning, Web 2.0 and technology integration.

When I off-handedly mentioned mentioned the name of my new site to a group of doc students, one student (David S.) asked me what the name meant. So, I thought I would share a little bit about the name like I did for him. Certainly, a notebook is a catch-all: a container for unfinished and refined thoughts, a bound collection of related and dissimilar writings and a place for chicken scratch that hasn’t been fleshed out or found a home. Viral (rhymes with spiral) connotes the infectious nature and methods that so many good ideas are spread from one individual to another. So, hopefully, this site will become a venue for sharing. I hope you’ll help with that, too. And as the title suggests, “Show some love.” Comment and share. I welcome both.

As part of the launch for my site, I invited a slew of friends and colleagues from around the country to offer up their thoughts on topics they are currently pondering. I am pleased and honored to announce that over the next weeks, their posts will celebrate the launch of this site. Here’s the prestigious list:

  • Paul Ayers, International Paper
  • Elizabeth Boling, Indiana University
  • Rob Branch, University of Georgia
  • Ward Cates, Lehigh University
  • Jongpil Cheon, Texas Tech University
  • Anna Clifford, Union University
  • Chuck Hodges, Virginia Tech University
  • Corey Johnson, FedEx
  • David Lindenberg, Lebonheur Methodist Healthcare
  • Yuri Quintana, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
  • Lynn Schrum, George Mason University
  • Sharon Smaldino, Northern Illinois University

Can you say, “Wow!”? This is an awesome list of experts, researchers and practitioners. I hope their thoughts will prompt you to comment on their posts, as well as either subscribe to the RSS feed or submit your name in the form on the right sidebar to receive email updates.