Design For How People Learn, Second Edition

Hey Folks — the second edition of Design For How People Learn is now out! It came out right before the end of the year.  I’ll be updating the website this week.

Design for How People Learn, 2nd Edition

bookcover2nd

What’s different?

The first edition content is still mostly there.  I expanded on a few points about motivation and skill development, but the main change is the addition of three new chapters:

  • Design for Habits
  • Social and Informal Learning
  • Designing Evaluation

Both the social/informal material and the evaluation material are things that probably should have been in the first edition and weren’t (fixed that!), and the habit chapter reflects a change in my own practice — I’ve been finding it useful to call out habit formation separately when doing analysis and design.

Where can I get it?

All the usual places, in all the formats:

If I already have the first edition, do I need to get this one too?

Not necessarily (don’t tell my publisher I said that), but if you’d like to get around buying a whole new copy, here are some other resources:

The habit chapter is an expanded version of this article: https://www.td.org/Publications/Magazines/TD/TD-Archive/2015/07/Habitual-by-Design
The social/informal chapter is an overview of that topic, but there are lots of smart people writing about social/informal learning who specialize in that area.  A few include:
I collected a few other favorite resources here:
The last chapter is evaluation.  It’s an overview as well, but the biggest two points are:
– User testing (see Steve Krug’s Don’t Make Me Think book)
– Qualitative measure (see Brinkerhoff’s Success Case Method)

But what if I want the shiny new version?

I, of course, support that 🙂  Maybe you could pass on your first edition copy to somebody who could benefit, and get yourself a second edition? Just a suggestion.
Sincere thanks to all the readers of the first edition!  If I’m reading the royalty statements right (no guarantee), it looks like we are right around 25K copies sold, which is fantastic and amazing and gratifying. Thank you.

One More Book – Visual Design Solutions

Hey folks, I’ve got another book to share.

Connie Malamed is a lovely friend and colleague who has done quite a bit on visual design (including Visual Language for Designers), and now she has a new book written specifically for Learning Professionals:

visualsolutionbookcover

Visual design isn’t the first important skill an instructional designer needs, but it may be the second or third one.  Even if you are fortunate enough to work with a graphic designer, having a good visual sense allows you to communicate design needs much more effectively.

Connie’s book does a great job of giving people the basics of a visual vocabulary:

VisualPages1 I got particularly excited over the first explanation of the Rule of Thirds that I actually understood:

ruleofthirds

Visual Design Solutions: Principles and Creative Inspiration for Learning Professionals Paperback – April 13, 2015 by Connie Malamed (available in all the usual places).

 

The Best New Learning Book

The best new learning book doesn’t exactly look like a learning book, but trust me on this one, folks.

Cover of Badass: Making User Awesome, by Kathy Sierra

 

As I may have mentioned a few times in the past, Kathy Sierra’s stuff is FANTASTIC and this new book is no exception. I realize that nothing on the cover says “Learning & Development” exactly, but the mission of the title goes right to the heart of the whole purpose of L&D.

Specifically, though, this is one of the best accessible books out there that translates the science of expertise and skill development into compulsively readable material:

badass2

 

badass5

– images from Badass, used with permission

I read a review copy a few months ago, and have been stupid excited with anticipation of the book actually coming out. You can buy it here (and you should).

 

 

Design For How People Learn in Chinese

So, apparently there’s a chinese version of Design For How People Learn, which is delightful.

chinese_dfhpl_cover

 

Apparently when you take a Cammy Bean quote, translate it into Chinese, and then let google translate turn it back into English, you get this marvelous wisdom:

‘If you let me fall in love with a book, then I would deeply in love with this present. Julie Dirksen prepared for the beginner a most excellent book, so that they can be like the old bird as instructional design. “

– Cammy Bean, Kineo, vice president of learning design 

How great is that?  Be like the old bird, people.

Coming up next: A Russian version in September 🙂

Update – here’s the Russian Version available for pre-order:

russian_dfhpl_cover

 

There’s no Cammy Bean quote, but run the title through Google Translate and it comes out:

“Art of teaching – How do any training not boring and effective.”

Well, okay then.

What’s your best design advice?

Peachpit (my publishers) are doing kind of a cool little series of posts on the Best Design Advice You Ever Got.

Click here to see my entry: http://www.peachpit.com/articles/article.aspx?p=1930037

What’s the best design advice you ever got?

(Artwork is courtesy of Judy Unrein, the Awesome color is courtesy of Crayola, and quote is from Alex Hillman via Aaron Silvers)

Good Practice Book Club

Hey folks – apologies for the sadly neglected blog — I’m actually home for a WHOLE MONTH, which makes the prospect of new blog posts muuuuch more likely.

This is just quick note to mention that the Good Practice folks (http://goodpractice.com) are using Design For How People Learn for their inaugural book club, which is very cool on their part — they’ll be blogging and tweeting so other people can join in on the conversation:

“So on Friday 29th June the GoodPractice team will get together to discuss the first two chapters of Design for How People Learn. If you’d like to join in (and we hope you will) the discussion will continue online via this blog and the Twitter hashtag #gpbookclub. In the meantime, grab yourself a copy of the book (it’s available for the Kindle and iPad, as well as in hard copy), read the first two chapters ‘How Do We Start?’ and ‘Who Are Your Learners?’ and I’ll see you here next week.”

http://goodpractice.com/blog/introducing-the-goodpractice-book-club/

A few things going on

So, I’ve had a crazy spring so far — between a brutal travel schedule and some unexpected health stuff (all resolved now), there’s barely been time to draw breath.

There have been lots of good things, including some interesting projects in the works.  A particular good thing recently was a really nice review of the book by Clive Shepherd:

There’s book a I’ve been meaning to write which I hoped would address the problem. I tentatively called it ‘What every L&D professional needs to know about learning’ (not so catchy I know). But I’ve been beaten to the gun by Julie Dirksen.” – Clive Shepherd

Still giddily fanning myself a bit over that…

For local folks (Minneapolis/St. Paul area), there are a few things going on also:

On Thursday (April 12th, 2012), I’m doing the Design for Behavior Change talk for the local UPA (Usability Professionals Association) chapter.  The event starts at 6:15 PM, and the talk starts at 6:45 PM.  You can get details here http://www.upamn.org/events?eventId=456463&EventViewMode=EventDetails

Also, the fantastic Connie Malamed (author of Visual Language for Designers and http://theelearningcoach.com/) is in town this week, so check out her talk on Friday:

Your Brain on Graphics: Research-Inspired Design, Friday April 13th

Information here: http://www.pactweb.org/ (you can also get details about her 1/2 day workshop at that link)

Program Details: Learning through visuals opens up new pathways in the brain. You can optimize opportunities for visual learning and provide better learning experiences when you understand how people perceive and process visual information. During this presentation, you will learn how graphics can leverage the strengths and compensate for the weaknesses of our cognitive architecture. You’ll learn how to make design decisions based on research. We’ll look at lots of examples in the process. Topics include: * How our brains are hardwired for graphics * How to speed up your visual message * How to make graphics cognitively efficient * How to speak to the emotions through visuals * How to visualize abstractions This presentation is for anyone who selects, conceives of, designs or creates visuals or anyone interested in visual communication.

Location: The Metropolitan, 5418 Wayzata Boulevard, Golden Valley, MN 55418 When: 8:30-11am

(She also wrote a very nice review of the book, btw)

Want Attention? Talk to the Elephant.

Do you want to capture and maintain your learners’ attention?  You need to talk to the elephant.

The elephant metaphor is from Jonathan Haidt's book, The Happiness Hypothesis (http://www.happinesshypothesis.com/)

Peachpit (my publishers) just posted an article I wrote based on Chapter 5: Design for Attention. You can read the entire article here.