For many of us, we probably didn’t give a whole lot of thought to instructional design over the course of our careers. That all changed in March 2020. Suddenly, it was all anyone could talk about. How were companies going to handle their customer training when travel was restricted? How were salespeople going to demo products? How were students going to learn online when the lessons were clearly designed for in-person interaction?
We may not be experts in instructional design, but we certainly know a lot more than we did — both as communicators and students/consumers. We’ve experienced the frustrations and pitfalls of poorly structured learning environments; two years into the pandemic, the grace period is over.
In this issue, Guiseppe Getto and Christina Mayr introduce the distinctions between information design and information architecture. Jennifer Goode highlights the pitfalls we should watch for, while Jamye Sagan shows us the wizardry of good instructional design. John Clement and Saul Carliner look at the impact of the pandemic on instruction, while Paul Milliman and Lene Thirup look at new ways of teaching using games and VR, respectively. Terence Pyle examines how medical device instructions for use (IFUs) play a huge role in educating clinicians. And finally, Edel Pace discusses what to look for if you’re considering a career in instructional design.
I hope to see all of you this week at Summit! If you’re interested in learning more about writing for Intercom, I’ll be hosting a “Meet the Editors” session on 16 May.
Alisa Bonsignore (she/her)