A few thoughts on design

There is so much to say here. But I have opted for a small number of activities and points to consider.

The hardest part of design is deciding what to design1.

The 1st activity is to read a short piece2 of a version of part of Matthew E May's book, In Pursuit of Elegance3. Do what May suggests. Stop at the point where he asks you to find a solution to the tape rewind problem. Don't read on until you do!!

May argues that there are four elements of design elegance: Symmetry, Seduction, Subtraction, Sustainability. You can find a collection of his writings here. Subtraction may seem an odd notion. He has a piece he wrote for the Harvard Business Review: The most engaging ideas leave something out. When we teach or build courses we tend to always think that more is better4. This is an opportunity to think a little differently. You task is to engage, not swamp with ideas and information. How to do that is the question. Have a prowl around May's site. The articles are at the bottom of the page and is headed: Other Work, stuff I've done for others. He has grouped them under the publication he has written for.

If your style is comics then you might find Dan Ward's The Comic Guide to Simplicity a fun read.

If May speaks to you, you may find his short piece on Why Beauty, Elegance and Design Matter well worth a look. It's deceptively short because he points to a thought provoking presentation on design5 by Paul Bennett.

Considerations for the design of teaching or resource materials is not far removed from those of interface or user design, commonly referred to as UX (user experience). Here, for example, is a simple list of UX considerations.