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Chicago, IL 60640
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NogginLabs was founded on the notion that custom e-learning design and development is the ultimate horizontal industry. Time and again, each new project, client, and industry proves it. The biggest advantage of the e-learning horizontal is cross-pollinating ideas from two wildly different domains. A restaurant service simulation for iPad may influence a high-fashion online retail challenge. E-learning for financial advisors in a bank could inspire a mobile outreach program for cancer survivors. This variety also keeps the creative folks at NogginLabs fresh. Fresh learning ideas and designs come from a set of constantly changing constraints.

What’s a blueprint?


What’s a blueprint?

Ryan O'Neill

What is a Blueprint?

When you decide to build a home, you don’t just collect a bunch of wood, some bricks, maybe some aluminum siding, and bring it all to where you want to live.

You need a plan. With so many pieces coming together from so many different sources, an agreed-upon plan is essential.

Blueprints are the fundamental structural plans that builders use to start construction. When building a house, you don’t decide where the kitchen is going to go when the project is almost done, nor do you worry about the color of the bathroom at the beginning of the process.

NogginLabs has our own blueprint process that we follow for the construction of custom e-learning courses. Let’s take a high-level look at the blueprint process, how it is similar to the construction of a house, and how to follow it.

Follow the Blueprint Laws

You can find all of our blueprint laws on the NogginLabs website, but let’s take a look at a few of them here.

#1 - Define Your Success

Obviously, you want to go into the blueprint process having some idea of what success looks like to you. If you’re building a house, you have to know who is going to live there. Is the house for a huge family? Or a single person? What sort of lifestyle does the homeowner lead? Do they want a lot of outdoor space?

When building an e-learning course, the best place to start is to define what success is going to look like to you and your learners after they have taken it.

#3 - Utilize the Four Pillars of Learning Development

Beyond the structural foundations of a home, there are also many different types of craftsmen that work on it. Architects, plumbers, electricians, carpenters, etc. Each one has a special skill set and strengths. We let the plumbers work on the plumbing instead of the electric because that’s what they know best, and we trust that.

Same thing with e-learning. We have the four pillars of custom e-learning development: creative writing, graphic design, instructional design, and programming. We trust the graphic designers to create stunning visual designs, and we trust our programmers to create the best user experience possible. The blueprint lays out a plan for each pillar.

#4 - Care

You have to care when you’re building a house! A family is going to be living there! You can’t have walls falling over and windows missing. There are kids in there!

What’s Next?

When you’re moving in, you don’t want to start changing your mind about where the door is or how the main floor is laid out. These structural considerations have already been agreed upon, and a lot of behind-the-scenes stuff has been planned around these decisions. For instance, where electrical sockets go and which outlets connect to which fuses is all a done deal on move-in day. This may not be something you’re really going to think about as a homeowner, but the plan that everyone has been working under includes this information because of your decisions elsewhere. To change it right before you move in is going to cause a lot of rework.

What's next is making sure the house feels like home. You can decide where the couch goes and what color the kitchen walls should be. It is time to take what has been agreed upon up until this point and make it yours.

Sometimes rework is necessary. But the more foresight and agreement we find early in the process, the faster we can get to an effective solution for everyone involved. That is the point of a blueprint, and the NogginLabs blueprint process.