Writing about Digital Tools
I thought long-time users of QuickBooks Desktop for Mac might find the 2019 mandated security changes confusing and onerous. I wrote an article for the software’s online magazine/social media site offering a little background and how the user benefits.
I wanted to reassure users about the discontinuation policy.
Over the course of three editions, I variously wrote chapters, and acted as developmental and technical editor for this book.
Recently I helped prepare data for an online auction. The UI was non-intuitive, confusing, and unforgiving. It occurred to me that many of the volunteers entering the items for auction would have trouble and this could lead to a poor auction experience, and to the school failing to meet fundraising goals. I decided to document the procedure. In the process, I noticed that once you get the hang of the environment, all you need is a cheat sheet, a job aid, so I created that too.
I wanted to make the User’s Guide as useful as possible while staying within (a small) budget. Each year I’ve been able to make incremental improvements, starting with converting from a long and crash-prone Microsoft Word document to an InDesign book. Most recently I was able to implement a hot TOC.
I thought a better use of the client’s annual business profile space might be something that would give prospective customers (i.e., parents) some insight into the special methods of a Montessori school, and tie in to the bumperstickers the school had just produced. I pitched an article idea describing Montessori’s Cosmic Education. The educators at the school were so pleased they keep copies of the article in the lobby for parents to pick up.
I'm always on the look-out for instructional materials when I travel. I find some delightful examples.
My dog, Cientos, loved to learn. Not long after I started training him, I noticed the overlap of the skills, knowledge, and questions I was applying as an instructional designer, K-9 trainer, and parent. I decided to share my ruminations in a blog.
A few years ago I was honored to be asked to be the cuer for Santa Cruz Ballet Theatre’s production of The Nutcracker. The job came with no instructions. Trying to come up with a systematic and long-range solution, I eventually devised these cueing instructions. The tool was presented to the board of directors and has been used ever since.