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Instructional designer Veronica Celina Dominguez joins me to discuss the genius simplicity of, a website that contains endless project ideas for instructional designers. She walks listeners through how to use the site as a jumping off point for creating professional portfolio pieces, or as a way for people who are curious about ID to get their feet wet. We also discuss different thought leaders in instructional design, including Cara North, Alexander Salas, and Nyla Spooner.

Check out for yourself and get some new ideas for your own portfolio.


The following transcript was auto-generated and may contain typos or spelling errors.

Leslie Early 0:04

Welcome to "That's Awesome ID!" My name is Leslie Early and each week I will be speaking with a different guest and learning about one thing they think is awesome in the field of instructional design.

Okay, today's guest is drumroll...Veronica Celina Dominguez, a fellow instructional designer. We met through DESIGNxHUMANITY. We are on the same project team. And that's been a really awesome experience. You're actually the Agile Coach on that team and you're doing a great job. So anyway, thank you for being here. Is there anything I missed that you want to add?

Veronica Celina Dominguez 0:44

No, no, that was perfect. Thank you for having me. I appreciate it.

Leslie Early 0:49

Okay, so today you wanted to talk about

Veronica Celina Dominguez 0:54

Yes, that's correct. So this is one of my favorite websites that I discovered. One of the things that's unique about it is you can go at any given time to find a new project assignment. And it just allows you to expand your creative abilities. It has so many different things that you can be able to go on there and get assignments from, whether it's something you do professionally for your online portfolio, or if it's something that you just want to test to see what your skills could be, as an ID, like skilled person. So it's going to give you like an audience. It's going to give you a brief kind of like an overview of what what the, the stakeholders are asking for, and then also gives you the deliverable. So it's going to give you action items that they want in return once you're done kind of producing what you've created. And then of course, it's all real ideas. This isn't something somebody is making up from out of nowhere. They're actually really are content and resources that exist. So at the bottom, it's going to give you inspiration in terms of where it came from and how they came about with that idea.

Leslie Early 1:58

Yep, so um Just looking and and the thing I love about go design something dot Well, it's actually It's not SEO, but you just that landing page is just a rotating list of different things. So you get on the landing page, and there's already a hypothetical brief instructional design brief of something that you need to create. And then you kind of if you don't like that one, you can just swipe and get to the next one. It's great. It's like, Oh, I don't want to design an apartment move in checklist. But the next one might be like, do a how to on how to make a watermelon smoothie. And you're like, that sounds a lot more fun. So I'm going to do that one.

Veronica Celina Dominguez 2:38

Exactly. I have literally sat there hit refresh like a billion times just to see like, what was the limit of the design ideas out there? Like Was it the same six that they just rotated? But no, there really is a lot of content to that website where it you'll be there a while before you get the I think I've ever gotten the same one, honestly.

Leslie Early 2:56


yeah, I've done it too. And actually, I think you told me About this a while ago,

Veronica Celina Dominguez 3:02

I nerd out on. You ever say when did you first hear about it? I heard about it in May. I had attended like a, like a webinar. It was an instructional design feature that Karen North had actually did during Memorial Day weekend. And she actually just showed what it's like to create something from A to Z, just to show you like the span of what that field would look like. Because I think a lot of people get, you know, they have this magical aura about instructional design because they see the end product of it. They don't really see behind the scenes and what goes into it and how long actually takes to put stuff into the creation course of it, or course creation of it. But yeah, it's it's interesting to see how many different things you can get from that website because it isn't going to focus on one field of instructional design.

Leslie Early 3:52

So let's let's imagine Let's walk listeners through so like what how would you use this like, if you were You know, trying to build a portfolio right now,

Veronica Celina Dominguez 4:03

let's say that you have maybe just an interest in instructional design, you can start off with the training aid, that would be very basic. So if I go to this website, like right now I'm going to pull it up. And it says my audience is going to be for new drivers for ages 16 and up. And this is where I'm going to develop a training aid for checking your oil. So everybody has to know how to check your oil in the car, your 16, your new driver, how do you show them how to do some of the basic check ins for your car maintenance. The brief on here is basically going to say that it's coming from a new insurance startup, where they're trying to market towards new drivers. And as part of their efforts, they want to educate car maintenance. So as part of their marketing plan, if they can show how to how to maintenance your car, most people may want to sign up with that insurance provider because people don't usually do that insurance. So then your deliverable is going to be create a portable aid the checking for checking the oil How do you how do you have something that you can carry in your car where people are going to be able to check the oil level? So if I'm new and I'm, you know, brand new to the field, and I think this is interesting, I want to check it out, I can start out with a training aid, try to create that job to create towards the audience. And then in the inspiration field, it does give to different references. So you can even Google search, you can say, How do I do this, you can try to find YouTube videos that will show you how to do it, and then just try to translate that into a job aid.

Leslie Early 5:32

I love that because that's not necessarily these projects aren't necessarily focused on elearning. You know, because if this is something that's that an insurance company would be giving to new drivers, I'm thinking more of like a brochure or like a little something handheld physical in the real world is it's a very different design process. Then if you were, you know, trying to develop like an E learning about this and I always I love that it's like, instructional design as content marketing. Because I really think that that is that is a big part of instructional design or it could be one very big niche of like, designing learning materials as a way to market a company services is we see that a lot, but it's not talked about in a lot of instructional design circles that much that I hear,

Veronica Celina Dominguez 6:24

but agreed, and that's where that real world life experience comes in. Because I think part of what's interesting about the ID field is that it's changed a lot in the past five years because I checked in you know, five years ago it it was nowhere near where it is to be referred to as an instructional designer. It was more creating course materials. You know, I worked for a bank and that's what we did. We created a lot of workbooks. A lot of training packets for new hires are trying to do like things to show call center reps, how to use the materials during phone calls. So a lot of it was hard materials that were producing for them job aids, all the on the job training. And it kind of fell more into talent in development. That scope of sequence and set of the elearning. And elearning development is kind of what I want to get into now learning how to create course, courses to where you're using different programs, people are signing in to be able to do that, especially now with the pandemic and everything you can't really have a lot of in person interactions. So it's kind of interesting how this field is, is literally they're limitless. You don't have a glass ceiling within eight just depends on what side of it you want to jump into. And at what what level.

Leslie Early 7:41

Yeah, there's so many different. I mean, I've heard different people talk about specializing, you know, like some people are going to be good at Articulate Storyline and like really developing those kinds of things from scratch. I don't know if I'm that person. I like doing audio and video production, you know, so I'm hoping that I can kind of fit into a niche there somewhere. You know, but yeah, I just it, there's so many different possibilities within the field. It's kind of awesome.

Veronica Celina Dominguez 8:13

Yeah. And there's different types of instructional designers. So if you work, you know, Kendra through 12, that's completely different than somebody that did the university level, or somebody that did the corporate ID. They're all three different types of instructional designers, but they're still under the same umbrella. And then there's the contract positions where those are just going to be dependent on on what you're being hired to do, because ultimately, you can design things but the audience that you're designing it for is what matters more, and also who you're designing it for, like the people that are paying you to do that. That's one thing that I kind of learned the hard way, starting out is that I was like, well, I want it to look this way, but they're like, that's not what we want. Our marketing and branding guides show this way. So you have to go with what the companies want you to be flexible.

Leslie Early 8:59

Yeah. That's also that brings us back to go design something though because if you are trying to break into freelance work and you know you're kind of exercising that muscle of working to a brief in that brief is going to be very different from client to client right like I mean you can bring your own style to it and your own level of you know, expertise to it and try and make it consistent that way. But you know, doing something for an insurance company and doing something for like a smoothie bar are gonna we have two very different look and feel and and all of that so it's it's interesting that websites very interesting to kind of exercise that creative, thinking side.

Veronica Celina Dominguez 9:47

Agreed because when I had done that, that webinar series during Memorial Day weekend with Karen north, they had to create, like a small video that showed customers however, their, their electrical bill. So you know it's a summer. How do you explain where all the high usage comes from why it might be being billed for higher amounts. So when the energy companies switched over to a new provider, like a new online system, the way that the bills looked were different. So they needed something to put on the website to show customers how their bill is going to be broken down and how it should be read. And that was kind of where we actually like have different things featured on there to where we could see how it all comes together. And in Karen north, what she did is she brought in Alex Ellis, Mr. solace is someone that he's very like well developed, but he came in and kind of added his take on it and it's all on the spot too, as well. And then we also have some voiceover. People come in record and show what it looks like to make this little. It's like maybe like a three minute video on how to read your bill. But it can be something that is as big as you want. Want to make it how you mentioned you want to go into audio in visual you can be that person that comes through the project and does that part of it and not be just like the mean person designing it all or you can be the one who does design it all and then you have that skill set to where you could bring it to the table.

Leslie Early 11:16

Yeah, it's funny you bring up Alexander Salus I the first episode is all about Alexander elearning lunch with Eric Zimmer. Yeah. So yep, there's definitely a few people in instructional design who are like, you know, the thought leaders and that you know, you can learn a lot from so he's one of them. Kara north is definitely one of them. But yeah, so

I mean,

it's an awesome tool. I think people should go check it out. see for themselves. I mean, it's kind of hard to understand from just listening but once they get to the website, they'll they'll get it why it's so cool and why it's so versatile.

Veronica Celina Dominguez 11:55

So of course the quarters there is another one nightless Spooner, she has this idea The series of Are you new here, basically. And so that series is really good because she does talk about how there is a difference in instructional design. She she's really good at showing you the features of it and where it all comes from. So that was one that I had checked out early on to.

Leslie Early 12:20

And also she has a really cool mission. Her personal mission is she's trying to mentor 100 I believe she said, 100 bipoc women in the next five years, so she's trying to really mentor and get women of color into the field of instructional design, which is a very cool mission. So everyone should go check out nyla spooners podcast.

Veronica Celina Dominguez 12:42

Yes. And then I'm new here. Yeah, I'm new here. Yes. And it's a good project. I know some people that are in it, and they're talking late the world about it and how they're getting to see a lot of the development. So I'm so glad that something exists out there. Because it's hard when there is no platform that showcases some of those and in Yeah, it's hard to show people this is what field you want to be in unless you jump into it, I think. And yeah, and figure it out. Yeah. And sometimes if you're going through the college courses you find out halfway through, is it for me or is it not? And then you kind of are like, well, if it's not, you just did all that work. Right? Sorry, you

still gotta pay those bills.

But I mean, the websites a good way to let you be able to see like the go design something website. It lets you go see what's out there. And if you'd be interested in in it in it and see what you could build out of it.

Leslie Early 13:42

I love that. So that's, that's pretty awesome. So thank you, Veronica, for bringing that to. That's awesome. Id thank you for your time.

Veronica Celina Dominguez 13:51

Thank you too, as well. I appreciate it.


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