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Best of the Best 2014: What You Wanted to Know on Our Blog This Year

Blog_image_large_2014 Year in ReviewWith 2014 quickly fading in the rearview mirror, we decided to take a look back at the year in blogs and see what you liked best. We had a lot to choose from because the talented folks at Allen like talking about what they do and where they see the future of learning. It turns out many of you are interested in how learning programs can be used in new ways and for different audiences than in the past.

Learning and development departments should not only adapt programs to the way people learn, but they can also recruit other departments to expand learning to new areas of the company. Many of the most-read blogs discussed how L&D can work with consumer education and content marketing to get more and higher quality leads. In the past, companies have been focused on internal training, but the same concepts can be applied to helping customers learn and connect with a brand. By breaking out of department shells, L&D can also solve problems they’ve never before addressed, like brand education, so employees understand their effect on the company.

So in case you missed any of them the first time, or you just want a refresher, take a look at the ways Allen has helped solve different problems and what we’re seeing as future fixes.

  1. 2014 Trends – The Big No Trend by Ron Zamir
    With so many new advancements in learning tech and instructional design, we took a step back last year to think about where the industry was headed. We’ve had several trends building over the last few years and 2014 was the year without a trend, instead focusing on using those technologies more effectively.
  1. Motion Graphics: Increasing the Effectiveness of Training Through Storytelling by Charles Plummer
    Motion graphics can set the stage for employees to better retain information, and they can enhance learning systems to help you better tell a story.
  1. An Instructional Designer’s Case for Consumer Education by Ron Zamir
    People are becoming increasingly aware of how instructional design can influence marketing efforts and be applied to consumer education. Applying learning techniques to consumers can connect them more deeply with your brand, and are useful strategies across a wide variety of industries such as retail, finance, healthcare, education and more.
  1. The New Reality of Marketing in Healthcare: Zero Moment of Truth Validates the Need for Consumer Education by Brock Smith
    Consumer education was a hot topic, and we wanted to help you figure out how Google’s Zero Moment of Truth applies to healthcare. Many consumers were confused by the changes surrounding the Affordable Care Act, but Hawaii Health Connector was able to cut through the confusion. We helped them create a direct-to-consumer education program that not only gave consumers the information they wanted to make a decision, but also clarified the issues for employees so they could better understand customer needs and concerns.
  1. Building Brand Champions with Consumer Education by Michael Noble
    It’s all too easy to forget in our daily silos how different departments can work together to achieve better results. We examine how the field of instructional design can be applied to customer relationships to make them advocates for your brand instead of passive consumers.
  1. Four Reasons You Need Instructional Designers For Your Content Marketing by Manya Chylinksi
    Manya’s guest blog was not just one of your favorites, but one of ours too, because she spells out how integrating learning design and interactivity into content marketing can have a big impact on the bottom line.
  1. Six Dimensions of Learner Experience Design by Benjamin Miller
    The evolution in instruction design to have a greater focus on the learner and their experience means people will better absorb the information. But how do we evaluate the effect Learner Experience Design has on outcomes?
  1. Allen’s New Home – A Few Thoughts on Creating a World-Class Learning Design Center by Ron Zamir
    Allen got new digs in May, and we wanted to show you around. Our new building has spurred even more creativity and growth now that we have more room for collaboration and in-house film and audio capabilities. Even better, we have improved space to meet with clients, whether for a brief update or to have someone visit for several days. We hope you visit soon, and not just because we want to show off our view of the Wasatch Mountains.
  1. Consumers and Cognitive Load: The Telling Tale of the Infographic by Catherine Curtis
    Part of the balancing act of instruction design is making sure learners are engaged without overwhelming them. One of the tools Allen uses to do that is interactive infographics. You can break down the information so it’s easily digestible and have the learner interact to make sure they don’t check out.
  1. Learning with Gamification: Pairing a Powerful Business Vision with the Right Design Strategy by Ron Zamir
    Gamification can be a valuable learning tool, but creating a game just for the fun factor can backfire. However, a game can be great if you design it with good, structured content, specific success metrics, and a personalized approach built around learner needs and motivation.

We hope you enjoyed the stroll down memory lane. As we move into the new year, it’s important to keep in mind the many ways learning and development can have an impact on business objectives across the company. Talk to sales, marketing and the web development teams about how weaving instructional design into other departments will be a bonus to the bottom line. Allen is taking instructional design and learning programs in new directions, so add us to your blog reader, bookmarks or social sites so you know when we post a new blog with industry insights.