Job-Aid Design: Tips, Tricks, What to Include, How to Format?

Hello helpful instructional design & training peeps, 

I've been working on designing a few job-aids lately and I was looking at templates and ideas for how to format it online when I thought... why not check with the best training community there is!

Does anyone have any tips, tricks, or best practices for creating job-aids? What do you include in your job-aid? How do you format it? What advice would you give someone who's about to create their first job-aid? 

Love to hear your ideas and feedback on this...

Thanks in advance!

28 Replies
Dave Ferguson

Hi, Walaa:

For me it's helpful to think about the different kinds of tasks that someone engages in, and I like to start from the different outcomes and figure out what's required.

For example, in my last job we had a set of policy documents related to pension administration. If I think of those as being in a searchable database, then I can imagine a couple of different tasks (which might not match yours, obviously):

  • How do I create my search? You mention predetermined words -- are they in a drop-down list? A set of objects I can drag?
  • Can I save or reuse a search? Can I modify one I've saved?
  • How do I navigate the results of a search? Can I open one result then jump immediately to the next, or do I have to go back? Can I look at a list of results and refine it (to narrow it down)? Can I redo my original search from that result screen, or do I have to go elsewhere?
  • What can I do with the specific result, such as one or more documents? Can I save them (not the search terms, but the results)? Can I print them? Forward them?

Depending on the detail, you've got maybe three parts (create including save; navigate; work with results). That could be one job aid, or three. If it were one, maybe the first part or page would be a link to each of the subparts.

Since I assume you don't know exactly what a person will be searching for, the search section might have explanations and simple examples.

  • To search for all documents with governance  :: Click GOVERNANCE
  • For all contracts related to services  ::  Click CONTRACTS and SERVICES
  • For hiring procedures except for IT  ::  Click HIRING, PROCEDURES; hold CTRL, click X and IT

...Just some notions to get you started.