Learning Resolutions: How Delightful!

So, I originally wrote a different version of this post, talking about my resolution to create better end-user feedback loops for the learning I design. I was an okay resolution – I’m already doing that, but I could do a better job.  It’s something that I believe wholeheartedly in, and think is very, very important.


But honestly, it was very earnest, and the tone was a tad preachy.  It wasn’t making me excited about what I was resolving to do.  So I considered the question–what would be a delightful resolution that I could get excited about unwrapping?

I settled on DELIGHT. My resolution is:

I will look for opportunities to create delightful elearning.

This idea is partially inspired by the Delighters card in Stephen Anderson’s Mental Notes deck (which is itself part of a delightful set of cards that look at different principles for better design).


Used with permission from getmentalnotes.com

The card observes that “We remember and respond favorably to small, unexpected and playful pleasures.”  This stems from a bigger body of research that suggests that delightful, well-designed things actually work better (See Donald Norman’s book Emotional Design).

So, I should make things that are delightful, and that can in turn make them memorable and better-functioning? Yep – I like that resolution. Let’s go with that one.

(If you want to help give me a head start, I’d love to hear suggestions or examples of delightful learning experiences)

Julie Dirksen is an instructional designer, author and consultant. Keep up with her on Usable Learning and on Twitter