iPad App: DesignJot for Instructional Designers

Haven't tried this out yet. WIll probably do so today. Interesting application of technology. Seems to require quite a bit of text entry. Not sure that's going to create a great experience... A tool built for designers. Exciting prospect. At $4.99 it seems worth trying to me.

http://blog.allencomm.com/index.php/2011/07/designjot/

http://itunes.apple.com/app/designjot/id447686146?mt=8

4 Replies
Steve Flowers

Yes, I downloaded it. It's a neat concept. A couple of things make me hesitant to recommend such a tool:

  • The beginnings of a project, the stuff that forms the foundation, is organic. I feel icky using a piece of technology to capture it. The process used here is outstanding. Definitely asking the right questions. It just feels wrong doing these things in this environment.
  • The usability of the iPad for long form entry isn't great. It's nice to have categorized capture that outputs to a report. This also correlates the input to activity design. There are some gaps in this process, but it's pretty good. If you have ever tried to key things into an iPad while trying to put forth energy doing an interview... If you're able to do this successfully, I admire you.

So, great idea. Not sure it's a great use of technology. If it had these features (if the iPad had these features) I think it'd be much better:

  • Voice record association. So you'd just speak into the application in a slot of the structure. Then you could transcribe this audio when you're at a proper machine.
  • Cloud based. Possibly integrated with another cloud based service. So you could edit from a Web browser.
  • Image record capture. Take a picture, associate it with a specific record. Since the IPad 1 doesn't have a camera, that's a buzzkill. But if you could use your organics and just organize them into a hyper-record... wow, that could be cool. 

Again, I think it's a good idea. The model is great. The usability in the environment and the timing of technology are what give me the most pause. In my opinion, if you're using technology tools at the start -- you're probably going to miss something while playing with the gizmo or be bound by the psychology motivated by the maze created in the tool. Best bet is to fly bareback in the beginning

Meg Bertapelle

I wonder if it would be helpful in capturing your notes from an initial meeting & organizing into the process - then finding the holes.  I totally think voice recording and adding pictures/sketch elements would be super helpful though in either case.  I agree long text entry on the touch keyboard is NOT fun.

Steve Flowers

I think one advantage the tool would offer is a structured approach. This would be particularly appealing to less experienced consultants or those that rarely consult during the pre-design analysis and early design phase. It's a valuable structuring of questions. I just get the feeling a paper job aid and more organic tools might do the job a bit more efficiently. 

It's certainly worth the price and is a good idea, it just needs more work for me -- the form factor presents challenges. The right functionality could help to overcome those.