I’m currently enrolled in CECS 5210 (Instructional Systems Design I), and for the first blog assignment, my classmates and I were instructed to go into a real-world setting, find two examples of instructional design where the audience is expected to learn something, and evaluate their goals and effectiveness. Therefore, after work yesterday, I headed to the mall and strolled around, looking for some examples of instructional design. Being in a mall, I saw several advertisements and signs trying to draw customers into the stores to shop, but because I didn’t really learn anything substantial from those advertisements, I moved on. It wasn’t until I entered Brookstone that I found some great examples. This store had some great informational leaflets accompanying their high-tech gadgets and innovative products. The two I chose to evaluate were made for the following products: Dormeo beds and Aero wine aerators.
The goal of the leaflet for the Dormeo beds was to provide an overview on the benefits of the bed so that the audience would be convinced to purchase one. I found it to be quite effective because it described all of the characteristics that I look for in a bed: “cool,” “dry,” “comfortable,” “support,” “allergen- and bacteria-resistant,” “eco-friendly,” “warranty.” The leaflet was also visually appealing with easy-to-read text and colors pleasing to the eye, and the chosen images supported the text well. Three things that I will not likely forget about the product as a result of reading the leaflet are the following:
- The bed is made of memory foam springs. (I think this will stick with me because it’s so innovative!)
- The bed has the benefits of memory foam and springs (comfort and support) without the drawbacks (excessive heat build-up and pressure points). (This interests me because I love how memory foam feels but hate the heat trapped by it.)
- The bed comes with a 25-year warranty. (This catches my attention because who owns a bed for 25 years?)
The goal of the leaflet for the wine aerator was to challenge the audience to perform a taste test with the wine aerator (requiring the audience to purchase one, of course) and to provide tasting tips. The front of the leaflet is full of commands, instructing the reader to “choose your favorite red,” “set up two wine glasses,” etc., to “discover how good your wine really is.” I’m not even a big fan of wine, but the leaflet did make me curious about how the aerator would affect the taste. Three things that I will not likely forget about the product as a result of reading the leaflet are the following:
- “Swirl, Smell, Swish.” This tasting tip uses alliteration to provide a mnemonic device for remembering the proper way to taste wine, and I’m a huge fan of alliteration.
- Wine, not water, should be used to rinse a glass between tastings. (It seems so backwards but makes sense!)
- The Aero wine aerator aerates wine with just the touch of a button. (So easy!)
What’s interesting is that I had to pretty much walk around the entire mall before I came across what I was looking for in Brookstone. In this technology-driven world, you just don’t see a lot of informational brochures anymore. Even the mall’s free-standing directories were out of portable paper pamphlets. What makes Brookstone different? Why does it still invest in producing informational handouts? Is it because of its unique clientele or its unique products? I’m thinking both.
My entire life, I’ve always enjoying doing three things: writing, editing, and teaching, so when I discovered this field that combines all three of those passions while allowing me to also play with technology, I knew that I had to learn more. My future work goals involve anything and everything that has to do with instructional design, so I’m extremely excited about what I will learn this semester.