Interview with Connie Malamed: Visual Design Solutions


Visual Design Solutions

What motivated you to write this book?

There are many wonderful graphic design books in the world, but none that teach visual design to learning professionals. I see many instructional materials that fail visually simply because most learning professionals are not trained in this area.

A little known secret is that trainers, instructional designers and educators can become competent in visual design by learning the foundation principles of design and applying them through practice. Since I have degrees in art education and instructional design, I wanted to write a book that closes this gap. I wanted to clearly explain the basics of design and demystify what professional designers do and how they solve visual problems.

If you could distill your message down to just one – what would it be?

The message I want to broadcast to all learning professionals is that aesthetically pleasing instructional materials can enhance learning and improve motivation. People make instant judgments as to the credibility and value of a learning experience. Well-designed materials are one critical signal that a learning experience is worthwhile and that the creators care about the learners.

How can training use this book to assist them in the work that they do?

Visual Design Solutions can be read in its entirety as a course in visual design with a learning context. Or it can be used as a reference for design advice and inspiring ideas. The book is divided into four sections and it’s easy to start at any point:

  1. The first section will help readers learn to think and work like designers.
  2. The second section explains how to use the three basic elements of design: visuals, text and graphic space.
  3. In the third section, readers will learn how to apply the power principles that will most impact their work (color harmonies, visual hierarchy, unity, etc.)
  4. The final section provides solutions and inspiration to common visual design problems, such as how to transform bullet points into visuals or how to tell a story in visuals.


Do you have a personal motto that you live by (related to the book or your area of expertise)?

The audience is the most important factor in the work we do. When we care about the audience, we will find creative and innovative ways to solve problems and support learning in ways that are well designed and aesthetically pleasing.


Connie Malamed, Learning Strategy Consultant and publisher of The eLearning Coach.