Kim Jackman, Manager of the Multimedia Design Group, has seen many changes in the way learning content has been designed and delivered in her 20 years with DeakinPrime. ‘When I first started,’ says Kim, ‘we were usually provided with handwritten manuscripts that had to be typed up before being desktop published, and materials were exclusively in the form of paper study guides and notes’.
According to Kim, the design of printed learning material was primarily focused on presenting information in an effective manner with clear page layout and typography, informative graphics, adequate white space and effective design elements, such as icons and bullet points, to aid learning.
As technology developed, the emphasis moved towards electronic delivery. ‘Initially, this was in the form of pdfs and electronic books that could be accessed in a more flexible delivery format’, says Kim. ‘This allowed additional design elements and functionality, such as navigation tools, web links, audio and video content, and more detailed and interactive examples and case studies.’
In recent times, the DeakinPrime Multimedia Design team has been clearly focused on delivering the very best of digital learning through elearning modules, videos, motion graphics and a state-of-the-art learning management system with inbuilt cloud learning, assessment and communication capabilities.
‘The ability to design flexible, innovative, highly visual and engaging content for learners using modern software is almost unlimited. Digital delivery also allows people to access knowledge and build their skills and capabilities from anywhere at any time’, says Kim.
The common theme that runs through the evolution from paper to digital materials delivery is that of good design fundamentals. ‘Good design allows for good communication and learner engagement; bad design puts up barriers to effective communication.’
So what in Kim’s opinion makes a good multimedia designer? ‘Artistic ability, a passion to communicate, an extensive knowledge of design tools, a willingness to keep up with the latest versions of software and technology and, of course, a touch of inspiration!’