My favorite thing is talking shop, so feel free to contact me about anything learning related, and I’ll happily dive into the conversation.

If you think you want to hire me, I’d love to hear about that too.

I’m based in Minneapolis (US Central Time Zone), but I work with clients around the world.

  •  Julie Dirksen
  • 612-327-7264
  • julie  [[at]]

You can also find me here a few other places:

Twitter: usablelearning


64 thoughts on “Contact

  1. Hi Julie,

    I looked at your slide show on gaming and it was very informative. I’m the Sr. Screening Consultant for the State of Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse. My name is Dane Libart. Nice to meet you,

    I’m working on a mental health project that uses a web based screening protocol to assess for alcohol, drugs and depression. The screens we use are the AUDIT and DAST along with the PHQ9. The protocol is called SBIRT. I’m hoping to have physicians send thier patients to a web site to complete a comprehensive ” Wellness Visit” and the results will then be sent back to the physician to use in treatment planning. How to make the process enjoyable and fun is the task. Any ideas?


  2. Hi Julie,
    I saw your book today at B&N. As an instructional designer I was shocked to see a book abut learning and design of learning in the business section 🙂 Looks fun. Congratulations.
    Bedford Hills, NY

    • Michael — thanks for letting me know! I haven’t actually seen the book in the wild yet (keep meaning to go do that). It’s actually kind of cool that it’s shelved in business — I wasn’t sure where it was going to wind up.

  3. Hi Julie! Just finished your book and totally enjoyed it! My next project will be so much better because I took the time to laugh, pay attention, and learn something new – all from 1 book! Thanks so much!

  4. Love your book! Ordered through Amazon and found it so helpful I downloaded it on my Kindle so I could always have it with me to refer to! Would it be possible to get an estimate for your workshops and speaking engagements? Our college is working on a grant proposal that includes guest speakers, and I think you would be awesome!

  5. Hi Julie,

    I attended your talk at ASTD this week and was really excited by some of the work you are doing tying gamification concepts to learning.

    I was wondering if you could share your presentation from the talk. I would like to share it with some of my colleagues who are using the Switch (Heath Brothers) model and could learn from your approach.



  6. Hi Julie,

    I have recently joined our Corporate Learning and Development department and am very interested in receiving certification in Instructional Design. I know you teach an advanced course, however can you please share what the prerequisite would be? Would this be an accredited certification? If not, what would you recommend to receive an accredited certification?
    Thank You

  7. Hi Julie,

    I`m working with some teachers in Chengdu China in an Non-profited Organization. Our target is making some workshops, classes for collage students who will be teachers in the future, try to introduce things about how to improve education to them.
    Today I found your book publish in China, I bought one, it is on the way of delivering. And I searching your info and found here. U said u are also making some workshops base on the book. Can u introduce me more detail about the workshops? I have great interest about that. If it is for teachers, I would like to do that in China!

  8. Hi,Julie:
    I am a chinese student who is keen on user learning experience , I think help people to learn effectively is the most meaningful and interesting thing for me.

    To get a better education ,I want to apply for MA of learner experience design or related major ,I know you are an excellent expert in this filed ,would you please recommend some university and professors to me ? The ones emphasis on learning by doing and can cooperate with different with other departments are what I prefer.

    Thanks a lot .I really appreciate your help. 🙂

    Best wishes

    • Hey Dennis – thanks for commenting!

      Dorian Peters has been writing a fair bit about interface design for learning ( — she’s got a book coming out soon on that.

      I’m doing a session on UI design at DevLearn this year, and will post the presentation slides for that in a few weeks.

      I used to have a heuristic eval for elearning — I’ll see if I can track it down. Otherwise, there’s not that much out there. It’s sometimes hard to separate out what is a specific usability concern for learning applications, as opposed to any application, but that’s a much longer topic!



  9. One of my colleagues will be at the DevLearn Conference this month—his name is Brent Nowell. I asked him to drop by your session to meet you, introduce himself and gather any handouts you might provide at the session. Look forward to continuing the conversation.

    We have two areas of particular interest related to e-Learning and synchronous virtual learning: 1) e-Learning usability–especially in the area of ergonomic safety; 2) cognitive load imposed on virtual learners in a synchronous learning environment. Chevron has 3 virtual synchronous learnning hubs (in Houston, Aberdeen and Perth). I can explain the technology (based on Tandberg systems) if interested, but I’m really wondering if there is any research on learning effectiveness in this environment.

    • Hey Dennis — synchronous isn’t particularly my area of expertise. I use synchronous systems a fair bit, but haven’t really investigated that much. I think one of the central questions of learning interfaces is extraneous cognitive load, though, so I agree with that as an area of focus.

      Say more about your 1) point — elearning usability in the areas of ergonomic safety. I can interpret that a few different ways. Mainly, I’m wondering if ergonomic safety the subject matter, or the prime usability question?

  10. Hi Julie,

    Excellent thoughts.

    I saw on the e-learning Guild that there was a webinar on June 11, 2013 on Designing Learning for Behavior Change. Is there any way I could watch a recording or read more about using learning in general, and e-learning in particualr, to embedd skills and behaviour for the long run.

    Thanks and regards,

  11. I appreciate tonight’s webinar and would love a copy of the slides. Is it posted somewhere on the site?



  12. I’m reading your wonderful “Design for How People Learn” book.
    I use Adobe Captivate 7 to create eLearning. If I set up the modules following your suggestions, which I’m very enthused about doing, then everyone who takes the eLearning will pass with 100% correct answers to all questions (given multiple tries) and won’t be able to progress until they get 100% correct.
    Do you have suggestions for submitting results at companies that won’t be using an LMS? All that is necessary, in my case, would be for the student to submit proof that they have completed all the modules.

  13. Hi Julie,

    I am an instructional designer (and a novice at it) in India. I love your webcomics. I would like to send a copy of some of the comic strips to my team at work. It helps them recollect few I.D concepts without making it sound like a class or a lesson. Just a daily mailer-sort of a thing.

    • Hi Vikram — sorry I didn’t respond sooner — this message found its way into the spam filter, and I just saw it.

      No problem — as long as you include the link, feel free to distribute internally 🙂

  14. Hi Julie,

    I’m a games/apps designer and former lecturer (in Media, and Education) based near Cambridge UK.

    Love your site. And really looking forward to reading your new book 🙂 I think we’re very much on the same instructional design/accelerated learning wavelength so I would love to talk shop! 😉

    Here’s my – free – memory game, Memneon:

    I’d love to know what you think about it. I’m also designing a learning toolkit called Brain Toolz I think you’ll be interested in. The phrase ‘reimagining learning’ is over-used but that describes well what I’m aiming to do.

    Looking forward to hearing.

    Kind regards,


    • I’m sorry! To the best of my knowledge, the book is not available in Spanish (only English, Russian and Chinese).

  15. Julie,
    Your work — Design for How People Learn — is so important and so well written that it’s now the first book I recommend to our new IDers in IBM Learning. It cites the evidence-based findings, but doesn’t get so academic that it becomes impractical. It’s the best hands-on resource to understand instructional design and how to apply it to real-world learning interventions.
    Best to you,

    • Wow — thank you so much, Peter. You’ve pretty much exactly described what I was hoping for — so pleased it’s useful.

  16. Hola Julie.
    Me encantó su libro, la disposición de lectura, los ejemplo, etc. Estoy interesada en compartirlo pero necesito ediciones en español.
    Vivo en Guatemala, Centro América.
    Tiene edición disponible en español? pueden ser eBook
    En dónde lo puedo adquirir?
    Saludos y felicitaciones.

    • Thank you Ligia! I’m really sorry, but to the best of my knowledge, there isn’t a Spanish language version. I will double-check with the publisher, but I don’t believe that it’s available.

  17. Hola Julie.
    Me gusta su libro y me interesa adquirirlo en edición en español.
    Vivo en Guatemala Centro América.
    Tiene edición en español? En dónde puedo adquirirlo?

    Felicidades su libro está muy interesante.

  18. Hi Julie,
    I attended your talk at the recent PACT meeting in Minneapolis and enjoyed it very much – great nuggets and engagement of the group!

    You mentioned a mLearn keynote that is a good resource on content management strategy. I search the guild’s conference archives and it wasn’t obvious to me which one it was. Could you provide the speaker’s name again?

    Thanks for your help!
    Jennifer Herron

  19. Julie,

    Could you recommend more books or textbooks for further reading on instructional design – both practice and theory? I bought your book, and I’m half-way through. It’s great, and I’m already wanting to go deeper into this field.

  20. Hi Julie,
    Nice to meet you! I’m Candy from China.I work at Marketing Department in a training company.I read your book these days and think it’s very good to help people learn and design course. I hope we could collaborate to promote your course to let more people know it.Could you let me know your email address? We could discuss more detial about it. look forward to your reply!

    Best Regards

  21. Hi Julie
    I’ve recommended your book to all my teaching & training colleagues over here in the UK (NHS) – I’ve just found out your 2nd edition is available. I went straight to Amazon UK to order it – but it said ‘not available’. Not sure if they’ve run out?
    Do you know if there are plans for more to be available over here? (buying from US sources often takes several weeks).

    • Hey Nick — thanks for letting me know. I’ll check with the publisher. It shows 4 copies available when I pull up the listing, but it’s showing not available for you? Either way, I’ll see if the publisher has any ideas.

      Thank you!!


      • Thanks Julie, they must have run out when I first looked, there are 11 today – well 10 now, I’ve just ordered mine!


  22. Hi Julie,

    I watched the online recorded video of your ATD “science of attention, willpower and decision making” session and loved it! It was super informative and the pace was perfect. 🙂 However, there’re no powerpoint slides and the slides didn’t show up correctly in the recording (there was around a 5-10 min lag). Is there anyway you can send me the slides you used? I’d like to get the researcher names and go in a read more about the research you talked about!


  23. Hi Julie,

    I don know which one would suit my need.
    I am a L&D proff an working with a UX specialist in evaluating and setting UX metrics for an open enrollment online training. so which one shall I go for as a start?
    Is the workshop held in US?

  24. Hi Julie,

    I am a graduate student just started studying instructional design. I am very intrigued by one example you mentioned in your book (Chapter 1) – the group doing drug and alcohol prevention for middle school students. Could you please provide a link or some further reading? I found changing attitude is a difficult learning goal and very few examples successfully address it. So I really want to get to know more what you did for this group!!!
    Thanks a lot!

    • Hi Sophia!

      So the group was Project ALERT and there’s quite a bit of information about the program here: I specifically worked on moving the teacher training to an online environment (not the curriculum for the kids), but in the process I learned a lot about the practices and philosophies underlying the curriculum.

      The other model I recommend looking at is the the COM-B Model by Susan Michie, and the UCL Behaviour Change Wheel. There’s quite a bit of info online about it, including several of the academic papers.

  25. Hi Julie, I briefly met you at BlueVolt’s 2014 conference and enjoyed your talk. I have been a graphic designer for 15+ years and would like to transition to instructional design for business. Do you have any advice on training programs and/or certifications that are necessary for this career path? I currently have a BFA and knowledge of HTML. Thank you.

  26. Julie,
    Design for How People Learn is a dog eared, chewed through book. Fortunately, I have the e-book, so when I need a new one I just print it.

    I use it along with Make It Stick and the Serious eLearning Manifesto and other tools to design comprehensive performance support, including training. Your book is knock your socks off fantastic. I can tell it was a ton of work, so thank you.

    Question: I have colleagues who want to learn how to use Adobe Captivate in a way that reflects the principles of your book and the Serious eLearning Manifesto. Do you know of anyone who can help them learn how to use Captivate along with some underlying concepts? I can help with the underlying concepts too. We are based in the Wasington, D.C. metro area but the training could be online.

    Would appreciate your thoughts. thank you, Marsi

    • Hi Marsi – thanks for the kind words. Really happy to hear the book has been useful.

      For Captivate, I’d look at a few different people:

      Pooja Jaisingh has several resources available on her site, and does the captivate tutorials on

      Diane Elkins and her elearning uncovered group has captivate resources (and other good elearning material). She’s partially based in the DC area, so may know about local resources

      Joe Ganci does a lot with Captivate, so may also be a good option. I believe he’s based out of Virginia, so he may also know about local resources

      Hope that helps!


  27. Hi Julie,
    I just got a hold of your book and it’s been quietly waiting on my desk for a couple of weeks…I’m sorry I didn’t find time to look at it before now…four pages in and I’m hooked.
    Will keep you posted.
    Warmest Regards,

    Educational Designer
    Charles Sturt University

  28. Hello!

    I recently found myself in a position at a small company to create/design/implement a training program in a rather complex industry. Reading your book definitely got me excited about creating a learning program.

    What I’m finding about the training/learning world is that it’s difficult to get access to updated learning resources unless you pay a steep monthly membership fee, go to expensive conferences, or purchase pricey software. While I’m glad a company as small as mine sees the value of effective training, we aren’t yet able to afford these types of things.

    I’ve subscribed to podcasts, purchased some books, and plan to read the blogs you’ve listed, but I’d love to know if you are aware of any additional low-cost resources for getting started. I couldn’t even find a Coursera on corporate training or learning design. I can’t be the only one with this problem, as you’ve mentioned many learning professionals are thrown in to training simply because they are a subject matter expert, with no real training background.

    I’m hoping it’s possible to make at least some sort of efficient training program on a shoestring budget!

    Any ideas are appreciated!

    • Hmm, there are some (somewhat academic) courses out on, which some people can access through their library or through a professional membership. Otherwise, the main place really is the blogs — Cathy Moore, The Rapid Elearning Blog, Connie Malamed’s elearning coach website. Are you looking for help with classroom training, elearning, or both?

  29. Hi Julie,

    I’ve loved your book and am reading it for the third time. There is so much good stuff in it I find I keep returning to it. I’ve just found your blog so will be reading it regularly. Thanks again for sharing your knowledge and insights into elearning.



  30. Hello, greetings from Spain.

    Thank you for your book, it is really fantastic and from your reading I have learned how to improve my teaching, also in a very funny way. I am using the first edition, and I have a doubt about the quote you make from the work of Song and Schwartz (2009). In fact, in their three studies they do not use different lists of tasks with different sources, but refer to the work of Alter and Oppenheimer (2008). I am not sure if it is an errata already corrected in the second edition.

    In any case, thanks again for sharing so many great ideas !!!


    • Hi Pedro — Thanks for the heads up! I’ll take a look. I tried to be very careful with references, but mistakes do get made sometimes. Appreciate you letting me know!

  31. Dear Julie,

    I really like your content and appreciate you sharing all your knowledge and materials. I wish you many more inspirations and impulses for your further work!

    I reached out also because I believe I could share with you some article that might be of your interest. If you are searching for tools enhancing new ways of thinking about learning projects, new methods and ways to visualize them and explain to various stakeholders, this could be appealing. Please find below an article on a unique toolkit and method created by practicioners and for practicioners. Perhaps it would be interesting for you or your audience. Our tools have already been used in over 50+ countries in various context, which makes us believe they might be useful for our colleagues from L&D field. If you would be interested in testing our framework and cards, I will be happy to arrange for it.

    Let me just add, that the whole framework is under Creative Common license, and can be downloaded for self-prining free of charge.

    Best regards,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.