More thoughts on design

There is much to be said for making some use of exemplary models in thinking about how to design your resource. What is exemplary, of course, is in the eye of the person making that judgement. Here are a few exemplars, more to illustrate the role of exemplars than to suggest this is the way to do it.

The important thing to remember in all of this is that you are building something small. So please don't try and replicate the scale of things in these examples.

Here is an elegant example of design and the thinking behind it that will take a few minutes to read. Well worth the effort.

Carmine Gallo wrote a useful account1 of the heuristics the late Steve Jobs employed when he was presenting. Your resource may not be a presentation but I think there are useful, handy insights into how to go about thinking about the design of your resource. Jobs was an impressive presenter/salesman which is one way to think about your task, how to sell your ideas/resource to your audience. You can find other accounts of Jobs' skills, tricks or devices that he used to convey his message with a simple search.

For a somewhat different take on the selling of your resource, you might find Hugh MacLeod's account of social objects worth a read. MacLeod's expertise is on the visual. He has a social objects factory in which you can find many examples of his work.

What is interesting in thinking about these ideas is that while these examples fall under the broad banner of marketing, they are not too far removed from the practices one finds in a classroom in which teachers sell ideas to their students. IMHO, the world of business has interesting insights to offer those of us who aspire to teach and communicate.

Here are a few sites, that have attributes that may be worth thinking about, even stealing2

Maria Popova's Brain Pickings is a site in which she basically does what you have done in this course, except she does it once a week. She researches a theme and then conveys her key take ways of the theme via her blog. Note how she personalises all of her writing. It is stuff she is passionate about. She tells you why. It's not a bad resource for thinking about your writing generally.

Returning to a visual theme, the web site of Albert-Lázló Barabási3 is worth a visit for it's simple, visual organisational structure.

This short read is a good way to think about design, building a prototype (1st version) giving it a try and then making use of the feedback.

Design Like You’re Right. Listen like you’re wrong.

One more from visually on creating compelling ebooks makes a number of useful points with good illustrations. An ebook is a common format for many things these days. Using it here in no way suggests you need to design and build one. It is the design ideas that are worth considering.

You might find this resource concerning the production of an ebook worth a look purely in terms of the process they map.

I've put way too much stuff in here but if you have sites you think are design noteworthy feel free to add them. This is your Wiki also! :)