Previously we have seen what you need to do to manage the crucial relationship between the Instructional Designer and the Project Manager.
While this relationship is important, the most vital relationship in an eLearning team is the one which has the greatest impact on the quality of the eLearning material produced and this is between the Instructional Designer and the Graphic Designer.
We have seen before that the primary role of the Instructional Designer is to absorb the domain knowledge from the client SME, envision the most optimal way of transforming that knowledge into a delivery medium (video, interactive graphic, click and reveal interactivity, a game, etc.) and visualize how it should look on an eLearning / Web Based Training Page.
The role of the Graphic Designer is to take this vision from the Instructional Designer and design eLearning pages which are visually attractive, easy to use, pedagogically sound, meet the client’s educational & communication requirements and following any CI guidelines imposed by the client.
Here are 3 tips on how you can get optimal collaboration between the ID and the GD:
1. Put them next to each other
While we are big fans of distributed eLearning teams, you will gain a lot by putting your Instructional and Graphic designers in the same location. It will make the communication easier, build better rapport and trust between them and improve the quality of collaboration for both sides.
2. Make them responsible for each other’s work – drive common metrics
It is critical to make sure both the ID and the GD understand if one of them fails, they both fail. So measure their performance accordingly. Give them a common set of metrics. Tie their individual bonuses to these common metrics.
3. Replace long, dull Instructional Design Documents with Graphic Design Wireframes
In the eLearning industry there is an inclination to write long, dull documents explaining (in words) how something is supposed to work. This applies just as much to the document called the Instructional Design Document or the IDD. In theory, the IDD is the document handed over by the ID to the GD after approval by the client. In practice, no client wants to read the IDD.
So replace the IDD with Graphic Wireframes which can then be delivered to the client for approval. A picture is worth a thousand words and so you can get the same message across with a wireframe as you can with a long IDD.
And these wireframes can be the common deliverable of the ID and the GD making them both responsible for them.
To conclude, the relationship between the Instructional Designer and the Graphic Designer is very crucial. You need to create an environment where they complement each other, where they feed-off of each other and where they can challenge each other to deliver a superior output.