The Difference Between Good Design vs. Great Design

07/01/2024 6:44 AM | Paul Venderley (Administrator)

The above quote comes from Joe Sparano, a graphic designer. While he’s undoubtedly talking about graphic design principles here, we believe this statement applies equally to instructional design.

Good Instructional Design is Obvious

Obvious instructional design effectively communicates its purpose and is easy for learners to follow. It ensures that:

  • Content is Clear: Lessons and modules are structured in a straightforward manner.
  • Objectives are Explicit: Learning goals and outcomes are clearly stated at the outset. 
  • Usability is High: Navigation and access to materials are intuitive and user-friendly.

These are good guiding principles for designing training materials. What about great instructional design?

Great Instructional Design is Transparent

Transparent instructional design goes beyond mere clarity and ease of use. It seamlessly integrates into the learning experience, almost fading into the background, allowing learners to focus entirely on the content and learning process without being distracted by the design itself. This is achieved by:

  • Embedding Purpose: The design is so well-aligned with the learning objectives and content that it feels like a natural extension of the material.
  • Flow and Engagement: The progression of lessons is so smooth and engaging that learners move from one concept to another effortlessly, deeply immersed in the learning experience.
  • Supporting Autonomy: Learners feel empowered and self-directed, often not even noticing the guidance and support structures in place because they are so intuitively integrated.

These concepts are the heart of our upcoming Total Trainer workshop series. If you’re a training professional looking to elevate your skills and create truly impactful training programs, Total Trainer is your pathway to mastery.

How Total Trainer Incorporates These Principles

1. Aligning with Learning Objectives

Every element of the Total Trainer workshop is meticulously crafted to serve the educational goals. The structure of the workshops feels like a natural extension of the content, ensuring a cohesive and impactful learning journey.

2. Creating Intuitive Navigation

The course interface is designed so learners can navigate seamlessly, allowing them to focus entirely on absorbing information. You’ll experience a smooth and user-friendly environment that enhances your learning efficiency.

3. Enhancing Engagement Through Subtlety

Total Trainer uses design elements to subtly guide attention and engagement. Through carefully chosen colors and typography, key points are highlighted without being overtly conspicuous, ensuring a deeply immersive learning experience.

4. Minimizing Cognitive Load

By minimizing unnecessary distractions and cognitive load, the workshops enable you to process information more efficiently and effectively. This transparent design approach ensures that your focus remains on learning and applying new skills.

Real-World Application in Training

This is the goal of the Total Trainer workshop series – a workshop in which great instructional design concepts are not only discussed, but explored in a practical application that will result in the creation of a single learning experience.

Join the Total Trainer Workshop Series

By striving for transparency in instructional design, Total Trainer creates an environment where learning becomes a natural, engaging, and enriching experience. This approach ensures that the focus remains on your journey and growth, making the design an invisible yet powerful facilitator of learning.

Our two-part workshop series covers all aspects of training development and delivery:

Workshop One: Creating Training

  • Develop an initial needs analysis, effective training materials, and a final analysis required for any successful training program.
  • Learn to identify key components that make any training initiative effective, assess existing training programs, and recommend strategies for improvement.

Workshop Two: Delivering Training

  • Design and deliver impactful presentations for business meetings, conferences, special events, or classroom settings.
  • Enhance your ability to engage your audience through discussion, practice, and exceptional presentation skills. Learn to lead individual and group activities effectively, tell compelling stories, use humor, and handle off-track and challenging participants.

Transform Your Training Approach

Join us for the Total Trainer series and transform your approach to training.

This is more than just another train-the-trainer workshop. It's an opportunity to engage in a supportive, collaborative environment where you can practice your newfound abilities with real clients. Imagine the confidence you'll feel putting these lessons into action, and the satisfaction of knowing you're elevating the field of learning and development.


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