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Joyce Learning Design Systems

Notes arising from talk by Joyce Seitzinger “How Learning Design Systems Can Help Scale and Accelerate Learning Design”

A familar problem

Almost 30 years ago I started my higher ed teaching career at an Australian dual-mode institution. An institution where courses were offered to two modes: on-campus and at a distance. Where “at a distance” is defined as students who never-ever came on-campus. And how we complained. Dual-mode meant twice the work. Not only did we have to “teach” on-campus lectures and tutorials. We also had to “teach” the distance education students by producing a package of resources that would be the distance students primary (often sole) form of “teaching”. We had to do twice the work!!

Those were the good ol’ days.

The distance package for students was typically a short, print-based study guide, some additional readings, and a recommended textbook. These had to be prepared and ready for the two semester of the academic year.

— thinking outlouad

From the blurb

Design systems also affect user interactions and expectations; how internal development teams work together; and how good design and user experience is managed across the ecosystem of interfaces that these companies maintain for their users.

Design Systems Handbook

A guide for implementing a design system.

Introducing design systems

Talks about 1968 NATO s/w engineering presentation on component-based development as a solution to the software crisis. (Which resonates with the [conservation-of-complexity] problem in the 1980s with the rise of GUIs.)

Suggests that design is “still bespoke - tailor-made solutions for individual problems”

Important This is not the only perspective on the problem with LX design. I framed it as a knowledge problem.

Suggest development can be sped up using 1 of 3 methods

  1. Hire more people
  2. Design faster
  3. Create solutions that work for multiple problems

Most of these maybe assume a need to retain the involvement of a design expert. The CASA approach is trying to move toward supporting 1 and 3, but maybe 2 as well?? Rather than “hire more people” the aim is to spread out the knowledge to allow non-designers to engage in meaningful design.

A design system is a collection of reusable components, guided by clear standards, that can be assembled together to build any number of applications.

But what about the role of bricolage?

Value of design systems

Myths of design systems

  1. Too limiting - in reality designers end up creating custom solutions that are fed back into the design system
  2. Loss of creativity - again focused on the visual aspect and design systems help scale that
  3. One and done - a design system is living

In process notes


Joyce’s notes

“Design is a plan for arranging element in such a way as best to accomplish a particular purpose” – Charles Eames

Learning designers in a support role. Fulfilling the SMEs vision. Hence issues with variety within a program causing problems from various issues.

Joyce’s approach appears to be put the learning designers in charge. The CASA approach is focused on providing tools that enable forward-oriented design and some level of consistency through that.

But Joyce’s approach has to deal with multiple partners from different places. Rather than an institution.

Management 3.0

Inspiration for Joyce. Focus on managing the system, not the people

Important: there’s a point there. Echoes with CASA as a way of working.

Design and design systems

Mention of pedagogical patterns

Design Systms Handbook - Macro Suares

Joyce framing design system as helping the team. CASA focusing more on helping the teacher (and student)

Future Learn Design System - largely a web design system based on Atomic Design which incudes a quote

We’re not designing pages, we’re designing systems of components.—Stephen Hay

Atomic Design-

A link to constructive templates

Activity-based design

ABLE Design System out of OUUK – actually the name that RMIT Online have used.


Unrelated resources