As an instructional designer, it is critical to the success of any e-learning project to nail down some basic design standards prior to your beginning any development work. A well written and thorough document takes time however, and you will find many clients unwilling to invest in this necessary step. Whether working solo- and more importantly when designing and developing e-learning in a team environment―I encourage you to fight for the time at the very least to nail down some basics. Skip this step at your own risk. Done right, you can literally shave days off the project plan by investing this time up front. Or, as I tell our clients, “I understand you don’t have the budget to allow us to develop a design document Mr. Client, I believe you will have the time later on to come back and fix all of the inconsistencies in the course that will pop-up.”
There are simply too many variables, interface options, fonts, colors, and other user interface tweaks available in today’s authoring tools to forego this critical step. You wouldn’t pressure your homebuilder to lay the foundation to your new home before the architect has completed the plans for your home, would you?
Don’t allow yourself to be pressured into skipping this all important step. To read more about what’s in a solid design document, click here.
Alex is a co-founder and Managing Member of Collabor8 Learning, LLC, an instructional design and performance management consultancy. His firm collaborates with organizations to enhance the way they develop and train their people. To learn more about Collabor8 Learning, click here.