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Discussion

Job Aids

Published: Thursday, May 14, 2020

Hello, Instructional Design & Training pros, 

I've been working on designing a few job-aids lately and failing. I was looking at templates and ideas for how to format one online. Then I thought to check with the best training community there is.

Does anyone have any ideas, tips, tricks, or best practices for creating a job-aid? What do you include in them? How do you keep them concise? How do you format one? What advice would you give someone who is about to create their first job-aid? 

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Please leave some insight and best practices.

Thank You!

6 Comments
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I thoroughly enjoy content creation. Creating job-aids is intricately linked to graphic design for me. If you do not have experience being the end-user definitely get the end-users input upfront. Screenshots are always helpful. I try to keep job aids as close to a one-page format. Anything past one-page is typically accompanied by a procedure, which is more in-depth than the job-aid (cheat sheet). I use Adobe Photoshop, Snagit, and Microsoft Word as my primary job-aid tools.
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Probably the best advice I learned from a colleague was to ask the end user. He asked them to tell him what materials have they used that worked best for them. He went to their job-site and asked them about how they would use it, and what features it needed to have. He asked them what information they needed and in what order. In the end he created a product that was very well used.
You can create the best product in the world but if the end user doesn't own it, the won't use it.
I agree 100% with what Melissa said. You want to create job aids that the employees will actually use so I've found it best to get input from the managers/supervisors as well as the employees what's missing from their current resources, job aids, materials and go from there. It's easy as a Trainer/ID to get wrapped up in the artistic details of things but if the end users won't use it or "own it," it won't be very effective.
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Page 1: Name of the Job Aid, preferably in gerund form of performance verb. For example: Adding a Shape in PowerPoint slide.
Page 2: A tabular format with 2 columns. Left Column: Purpose, Audience, Prerequisites, Topics
Right Column: Purpose of the job aid, End user of the job aid, MS Office must be installed etc., Sub-topics covered under the main task
Page 3 onward: Numbered task list with a supporting screenshot for each step. Highlight the interface element with a box.
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