Reading Usable Help
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Gordon R. Meyer
The Sketchnote Handbook for Instructional Designers
For some people, computers, math, and public speaking are intimidating subjects. For others, like me, so are art and design. I am enthralled by "sketchnoting"--a visual form of note-taking--practiced by many talent people including my friend George Parker.
I'm pleased to have discovered Mike Rohde's book The Sketchbook Handbook. Aside from my personal interest in the technique, I'm finding it to be a fine example of modern instructional design, too. Like sketchnoting itself, the book is simple and clear. It combines great visual interest with a minimum of words, and expresses complexity in a compelling fashion. It's also encouraging, supportive, and more than a little fun.
Another fascinating aspect is that it's a mixed-media effort. The printed book is fantastic by itself, but there's also an instructional video component and a true sense of community. When was the last time an instruction manual not only told you how to do something, but also urged you to find your own way and do even more? It's a rare thing, indeed.