“Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away”
Antoine de Saint-Exupery, French writer (1900–1944)
So you don’t believe me when I say that design is more about taking elements away than adding new ones? Try taking a look at the evolution of the Starbucks logo. The concept of ‘less is more’ may be a little clichéd, but you can see how powerful it is here: the simple, clean image is instantly recognisable and familiar; nothing is extraneous.
Against Violence and Abuse (AVA) works with education and youth practitioners around the country to develop and deliver prevention education programmes. Now Saffron Interactive, a bespoke e-learning provider, is helping AVA to create a new digital prevention portal. This will give practitioners the tools needed to increase the number of prevention programmes delivered to children and young people.
The HTML5 mark-up language has now been around for about three years. It’s not yet fully recommended by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) but, as of last December, it’s well on the way. Some of us have already embraced the change, thrown out Flash and welcomed HTML5 into our e-learning content. But what does HTML5 actually deliver above and beyond Flash? Is it right for you?
As reported in the Metro last week, the latest figures from the National Office of Statistics show that a record one in five Britons is suffering from anxiety or depression. Mental health is now a national emergency. Taboos and stigma (which are often promoted by organisational culture) may prevent us talking about the problem, but they don’t alleviate the harm it causes.
Behaviour change through emotional investment is the focus of Saffron Interactive’s seminar at Learning Technologies Summer Forum on 18 June.
Having been raised in a household of oral storytelling, stories have been in my life blood since the day I could understand language and narrative. Being able to explore human behaviour and cultural differences through stories has always fascinated me. So when I listened to a webinar involving Pat Kenny, a national e-learning manager from the Health Service Executive, that discussed using storytelling in e-learning it, it made me think.
Like most of Londoners, I rely on tube transportation to travel around the city. When on the tube, I usually spend my commuting time playing video games on my smartphone. When I look around I realise that many others, like me, are immersed in trying to solve puzzles, escape from zombies, shoot pigs, and so on.
A few days back I was browsing my favourite website on my sister’s new smartphone. Even though I made sure I was accessing the mobile version of the site, I still wasn’t able to see content I could see when browsing the same site on my PC.
These days, whizz-bang platforms in the world of e-learning are aplenty. The problem is that great content isn’t. In fact, the typical experience of e-learning content remains so negative that to many outsiders the word itself seems somehow doom-laden and ill-fated. (Forget this preconception at your peril, by the way.)
Continuing from last week’s blog post, one of our most experienced language specialists at Saffron has put together another five top tips to help avoid your e-learning projects getting lost in translation!
One of our most experienced language specialists at Saffron has put together her five top tips to help avoid your e-learning projects getting lost in translation!
As an e-learning designer, there are many things I love about Hollywood! Here I’ve put together four ways to help you bring a touch of tinsel-town to your training…
It may sound absurd to say we should ‘organise’ creativity. For many people, creativity and organisation are two extreme ends of a spectrum. Creative ideas are supposed to appear from nowhere when we don’t expect them. That’s just how the creative process works – which means it must be okay for creative people to be totally disorganised, right?
No doubt many of you reading this will be aware of the food scandal that’s currently going on within our supermarkets, rocking a nation of meat-lovers. Revelations that many supposed ‘beef’ products on sale on our shelves contain a percentage of horse meat have shocked and caused outrage amongst consumers.
This week Saffron Interactive explains the methodology behind a forty minute e-learning course on mental resilience which delivered a £7.8 million return on investment for Transport for London.
For over a decade, SCORM standards and specifications have been at the heart of web-based e-learning. These standards have served their purpose and were well suited to the technology of the day, but they fail to capture the bigger picture.
Paul MacCartney speaking for Saffron Interactive at Learning Technologies Conference 2013.
What is crowdsourcing and what does it mean for your organisation? Paul MacCartney, former president of global talent development company MindLeaders, will answer this question when he speaks on behalf of Saffron Interactive at the Learning Technologies Conference on 29 January 2013.
This is a guest post by Paul MacCartney
150 years ago last week, London built the world’s first underground rail network to deal with the crowds flocking to work in the City. Managing the Tube well continues to be a key economic enabler – and a challenge – as London’s population grows. It is no surprise that booming mega-cities across the world are investing in metro systems. Dealing with the crowd as a ‘problem’ is essential for growth.
Thanks to tough campaigning by many key interest groups, successive Acts of Parliament and changing public attitudes, real progress has been made in the advancement of diversity, equality and inclusion in the UK. The effects have been felt particularly in the workplace, as employers have woken up to the fact that a diverse workforce offers real performance benefits and opportunities.
This year the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) tightened up its guidelines to prosecuting the Bribery Act 2010. This means that as Christmas gifts begin to arrive, so does the threat of unwelcome legal action. Saffron Interactive, a provider of premium Bribery Act training, is warning businesses not to be complacent.
It’s that time of year again. Good food, apocalyptic weather, spending time with the family and finally getting the tablet you’ve been dreaming about. But it can also be a risky time for many organisations. Putting the office party compliance ‘nightmare before Christmas’ to one side, there also is the issue of bribery.
Something is happening in the world of public policy and it ought to be happening within learning and development. Earlier this year, the government’s “Behavioural Insights Team” opened their report with something that should be learnt from and used to transform the way in which we evaluate training.
‘It’s about making a difference’ says Saffron Interactive designer shortlisted for Learning Awards 2013
Moira Nicolson of Saffron Interactive has been shortlisted for ‘Instructional designer of the year’ at next year’s Learning Awards for designing a course on mental resilience with Transport for London (TfL). The award recognises the instructional designer behind the most ‘innovative learning intervention’ which delivers a ‘demonstrable performance improvement.’
As U.S. political speeches go, many of us will agree that George Bush was never destined to grace us with the same public speaking prowess that seemed to come so naturally to individuals like Martin Luther King Jr. and Steve Jobs. Bush once proclaimed “You teach a child to read, and he or her will be able to pass a literacy test”.
What is it that makes 007 the suave, confident and cool agent that he is? As impressive as some of his gadgets have been – from dagger shoes and garrotte watches in his early adventures to his Sony Xperia T mobile phone in Skyfall – his outstanding array of personal communication skills have proved time and again to be a more effective arsenal of weaponry at disarming foes and lovers alike.
Why do companies offer compulsory compliance training to their employees? To meet the company regulations that are in place. When staff training is approached in this way, many individuals may have reservations before they even begin, because ultimately, they do not have a choice in how their learning material is delivered.
Some of you will have no idea what I am about to talk about considering your lack of experience in e-learning.
The review of employee engagement that was commissioned by the previous Government is an exciting initiative aimed at investigating the state of employee engagement in UK businesses. This initiative, currently being led David MacLeod and Nita Clarke, has been put in place in to contribute towards growth in the economy. After years of gloomy economic news, including a double-dip recession, the UK economy needs all the help it can get.
I was at a party the other day which involved meeting and speaking to lots of people I hadn’t met before. One of the guests, a tall unshaven man holding a plate full of buffet food, introduced himself and asked me what I did. I didn’t tell him that I was an instructional designer because most people, understandably, don’t know what this is – instead, I told him that I worked for an online training company. As this didn’t pique his interest, and his conversation looked to be drying up, I didn’t bother elaborating and fired back the same question at him.
In my former life, I was a bit of trade show junkie. Having worked for retail companies the Autumn/Winter round of shows, exhibitions, and supplier meetings started in August and finished in September culminating in the glamour of London Fashion Week! This season things are slightly different. Firstly I’m on the “other side” – selling rather then buying and secondly I’m not discussing hem lines or the ecology of bamboo as a material, but whether mobile technology has been harnessed effectively by the learning and development community.
Joining the Saffron Interactive team last week, I’ve quickly come to appreciate the significance of an issue that I’ve known has existed for many years concerning the use of learning technology.
Saffron Interactive are exhibiting for the first time at this year’s LEARNING LIVE event in London on 12th and 13th September.
Saffron Interactive is proud to announce that three of our e-learning courses have been shortlisted for the prestigious E-Learning Awards, despite stiff competition from over 200 other submissions. We have been recognised for the following categories.
Have you ever wondered why the US produces so many radical innovators like Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg and Google duo Larry Page and Sergey Brin and why Germany produces expert business builders like the Samwer brothers? Or why people in the UK and the US tend to go to university or college to study general subjects like English, Economics, Engineering or the coveted MBA whereas people in Germany tend to study industry specific subjects like Technology, Education and Nursing at Germany’s professional universities? Have you considered how employment law might influence your employees’ incentives to develop skills that are relevant to your business? And what effect might this have on the type of products and services that these countries deliver as well as their capacity to innovate?
Olympic fever is truly taking over. Flags are waving from every window, the TV commentators are getting more and more excitable, and gym memberships are shooting up as people decide that they could be the next Michael Phelps. Winning twenty medals may be a bit out of the average person’s reach, but we can still take on board some Olympic inspiration to make our e-learning world-class.
Over the last few years there can be no argument that e-learning has come on an awful long way. What started off in many cases as animated PowerPoints has evolved to courses that include animations, branching scenarios, video and in some cases incorporates gaming mechanics and social drivers to increase user engagement.
What does innovation in e-learning really mean anymore? Is it merely a buzzword, just like all restaurant cuisine is ‘authentic and made from fresh produce’ all e-learning is ‘engaging, interactive and innovative’?
Imagine a world in black and white. While it might appeal to some, it definitely doesn’t sound too exciting to most of us. And that’s because colour plays an important part in our lives. Every colour has something to say; your brain reacts differently to different colours. Colours create ambiance, catch and maintain our attention and stimulate us.
e-Learning designers face many of the same challenges as designers of classroom training – they’re aspiring to a learning experience which is relevant, motivates, incentivises and inspires learners to change or improve certain behaviours or attitudes.