Digital Design Theory: The BEST Job EVER in the Whole World

Digital Design Theory:I am really lucky. My job lets me color outside the lines and be creative. We had a blast with “Go, Blue” the video for Beginning Microsoft Word. Every screen has something animated.

Little Video Shows:I’ve wanted to do this since 1995 when I first figured out how eLearning would work. I saw that the story should be fun and educational. However, the story, or teaching, was only the top layer of many layers that linked to online content: reference links as well as up-sell links.

For our product, Microsoft Office, the story focuses on successful women and men who get the job done well. Our lessons show real world examples of practical solutions. I could draw it all out on storyboards, but how could anyone produce it in 1995?

The Computer Mama on PBS: I picked up the phone and called WFUM PBS in Flint. I announced (nope, didn’t ask) that I was going to do a program on computers. I had no television experience, no portfolio, not even a good suit. I was amazed when the Station Manager, Mr. Leon Collins, invited me to create a pilot program.

What fun!The hardware, the teleprompter and the editing software fascinated me. I remember Leon trying to explain the details of the co-production agreement but I just wanted to play with the talking Barney puppet and watch it interact with the program on PBS.

What did I learn?You should turn off the mic when you take a break. Everyone in the sound room heard me mouthing off to Mancini.

Great Software Works: Fast forward to 2015 and look at the tools that are available to teach and tell the story. The best shows can be produced on a desktop. The videos can have hyperlinks to more content online. The software is robust, affordable, and easy to use. The results are professional.

To my University of Michigan colleagues: Go Blue! Good luck, Coach Jim Harbaugh.

As Garrison Keillor sang: ”I’m, I’m from MICHIGAN and you’re from someplace else.”

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