Some years back I was lucky enough to experience the making of Head First books from behind the scenes. Kathy Sierra and Bert Bates’ idea behind Head First – learning books that grab your brain’s attention and let you learn effectively and enjoyably – was relatively new at the time. At the time, the process to create a Head First book was, of course, still rough around the edges.
Today the process has been refined considerably, and O’Reilly generously lets us all peek in on what Head First books are built on: the learner’s journey. Take a look at Head First editor Brian Sawyer’s video on the learner’s journey. If you’re creating learning material – for any media – you’ll appreciate the insight. Thank you Head First.
Being easily distracted as I am (not scattered, curious!), I was intrigued by the title of another of Brian’s videos: Introducing The Back of the Napkin. It makes perfect sense that someone involved with Head First books would have great tips about visual information. I’ve just ordered Dan Roan’s The Back of the Napkin and can’t wait to see it! A recent, text-heavy e-learning project could benefit from a little visual help, and this might just be the right inspiration for it.