Changing the norm. Transforming from Face-to-face to online engaging activity.

Something that deserved to be posted here on the wall. I love transformation and make change for better. Many educators find it challenging to transformed from their face to face teaching to an online class. For them, it just don’t fit in, more of a concerned that they will not full fill the students expectation of the content and that it will not be as fun as it is if the class is conducted in an online environment. There are too many questions to ask, what about student’s engagement? What about the technical aspect of it? What about the students? What about the content? Can it be transformed? My answer – Of course we can. It might be slightly different from the face to face class but who knows it might be better too. So we did and I think it might be the latter outcome.

And we also wrote an article about it and published it at Monash Intercultural Lab Newsletter June 2021.

Back in Australia. Part 1.

I have been not very active in this blog, not because I am not active online but life has been pretty full-on and by the time I looked back it passed 2020.
Well in 2020, I took a spin of my career, well after taking 1.5 years off from work to focus on nursing my baby. It was a hard decision as a career woman, I now know how it feels for many women who have to sacrifice their dream job for a family. And it is true what they say, at least for me, that family does come first.


So in 2017, I left Malaysia to follow my husband back to Australia, and to be with my children in Australia. I left my full-time work as a Senior Lecturer at a public university in Malaysia, property, family, and friends. It wasn’t an easy decision to make but it was a worthy one. I left without much thought on what will I do in my career path. But I do have a dream, that I want to go back on my design practice and less academic work. I have been too long as an academic and while I was in that position, I feel that I needed to go back to a technical-driven part of my career one day.

Life in Australia seems easy to many, but not to us. We are back in Melbourne with 2 little kids, no family, and no job for me. We started from scratch again but with a big dream that we will find the balance and quality of life here in the city of Melbourne that we used to know. Work-life-balance as they all said here. What we cannot find in Malaysia, and the reason why we decided to move back here.

I am going to stop here and will continue again this post for Part 2 when we arrived in Australia. What happened, how do we start, the challenges and the fun living in Melbourne with little children.

Covid19. Pandemic. Home schooling. Work from home.

Clearly I have been busy and somewhat lazy, to the point that I have not contributed any post for this year 2020.

The year started nicely till in March, when the world has been hit with one virus, Corona or also known as Covid19.

I was in the middle of switching job, searching for jobs and learning new things.

We were very fortunate that we had the chance to go back to Penang, Malaysia and Reims, France at the end of 2019 till Jan 2020. At least we did managed to catch up with family. I can only imagine the feeling for many who live far from their family and are not able to see them, stuck with lock-down.

As for now, we are still in lock-down, the numbers shot high in July and now going down again. I don’t think that the numbers will stay low (but I wish it will).

How to test your website? How do you know its working?

This is not a question that is asked by many business man, but it is good to know whether your website is currently working well or not.

There are few leading one that most UX designers refer to, its either Neilsel or Kurgs when it comes to the website or apps usability.

Most UX use the heuristic principle of Steve Kurgs (2006) mainly extracted from his book “Don’t make me think”. There is list of it, but here the best 3 to start on analysing your website or apps to see if it make sense and engaging with the users.

  • Dont make me think.
  • It doesnt matter how many times I have to click, as long as each click is a mindless, unambiguous choice.
  • Get rid of half the words on each page, then get rid of half of what is left.

From: Krug, S. (2006), Dont Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability, Berkeley, CA: New Riders

Today, everyone is a designer.

Today, everyone is a designer.
And the future of civilisation is our common design project.
How does design help choose our leaders? Why do we really have an environmental crisis? How can accessible design broaden your audience? Why does the U.S economy now struggle to complete? How has design thinking added to the bottom line of the world’s most valuable companies?
Design matters. As it never has before.

This is one of the most influential book that will change your way of thinking and doing.

Read more about Do Good Design here

My one-way video online interview experience

We really have progress to another way to reach candidates for interview, this is a fantastic way and tools to do so, why? Because not only it you as candidate can have more time to practice your presentation and tone of voice but also it allow you to work on your own time and space, which help in putting you in comfortable situation.

I have mine today, it was a whole new experience. I hardly had an interview for a job for a while now, mostly because I was in a secure permanent job position for more than 6 years and then we decided to take another adventure to move to another country.

That said, I am terrified to sit for an interview, I guess who doesn’t? But what I like about an online interview is that it give you a time to prepare and then even when you are prepared, you have time to practice on how you will present yourself in the video. Candidate not only have to learn and do some research about one way interview and the way to present themselves, before engaging in the interview but also need to have good understanding of using different type of online tools.

For employer, its much better. I remembered when I was the head of department and we were conducting interviews for new intake for our Graphic Communication course, and it is around 100 plus students. With face to face interview if its not well organise it can be a mess. The space, the equipment for us to view portfolio, the panel of interviews, the poor candidates that have to wait one whole day to get their turn for interview, so much time consuming and at the end of the day, i remembered how exhausted I was.

The next thing after the interview is the data that we collected manually in hard copy. We don’t have it digitally, well there are some but its not digitally kept, So just say if we want to view the last interview process, I can say it will be only 10% possibility for us to get it. Plus no record of the interview such as the process, the interview visual except for the still images, mainly we pose for the photo.

I really like the online one way interview. Congrats RMIT Online and other universities in Australia including some leading corporation that adopt this method for interview process.

That all said, there are still space for improvement. The visual and the sound recording can be improved. There are some options in the viewer page (the recording) page that can be modified for better user interaction.

A way to go.

Some samples of one way online interview here.

This is a really useful and cozy video about one way interview.

Thinking to move to Instructional Design? Here’s some tips..

I have spend almost a year now updating myself with the latest software that is currently the best apps to use for Instructional Design to make the elearning design modules.
Articulate 360 Storyline and Adobe Captivate is not the hardest software to learn, (especially if you have been trained with Adobe Design Apps such as Illustrator, InDesign and Photoshop for years – that’s me, and been using Microsoft Office apps).
I used to design my elearning module using illustrator which is a pain to link the pages as I need to then adopt it in InDesign.
Now with the Storyline 360 its great, as it did all the job for you.
The only thing with it is the price for the application. Storyline 360 ( Articulate) is very expensive for an individual to afford. Same with Captivate. It seems that the apps price is designed base on the use of it, which is used mainly by companies, so you have to be employed by a company to get the full use of the software.
If you’re beginner in this is a bit of a pain, but there is always the trial to start, the only not so happy part is that you have limited access to the library (which is the best part of storyline 360).
If you’re interested jump into this link Articulate 360 to get the free trial.

The other apps is Captivate. Now there is not much different between this two apps but Captivate 2019 have added the latest feature which is 360 Virtual Reality option that you can create. I am not so much into it at the moment so for me its not that appealing.

I found that the navigation with Storyline 360 is much more friendly than Captivate. I am a Adobe user since 1993, never stop using the Adobe Creative Suite apps since then, I am also a Mac user and a designer. You would hope that Captivate have at least the feels of using other Adobe Design software but nope. If you are not familiar with PC style or IT style apps, you will get a bit annoyed using Captivate. Although the they have put huge improvement in comparison to the Adobe Captivate 2017 to now. But still so far I prefer the way Storyline appears and navigate.

You can view the video of Captivate here:

A year has gone, what have we done so far..

We moved to Melbourne mid 2017, a short decision but a long way to settled in again, after being in beautiful Penang Island in Malaysia for 6 plus years. I took a long break from work to focus on the little one that was born in early 2017, till end of 2018 where I realised that I need to start to get back again to do something for myself.

As much as it is hard for me to get back to work, it seems like it is also hard for others to accept me at work in another country, the place where I spent 10 years of my life studying and working, to obtained my Masters and PhD.

Plus, for a change I decided to stir in for a different ride, moving from being an academic in the uni/education for a new corporate world adventure. Yes, it doesn’t sounds like it is hard, but trust me it is very hard.

The corporate world is another different world, different culture of working, and different system. It is not easy to get in, especially when you come from strong academic background. I used to think that it is just a stereotype thinking that there is a gap between corporate and academic, but it hit my mind as I now know it is not a myth.

When I sit for an interview, as soon as I start by saying I am an academic, the reaction I got from their faces, gives me the hint that I will not get the job. What can I say, I have those years experience from academic world, teaching and linking academic and industries, making projects, organising staff, events, seminars, students and so on. Making online modules, making connection with the industry and internationals institutions. Creating new syllabus, new ways of teaching and learning, adult learnings programs. But it seems that all this knowledge is not that valuable in the corporate world. I know there is no teaching job in corporate world but there is other job such as the experts in only digital design or elearning that can fit me just right and my expertise can be very useful in there.

Anyway, that is how far I have gone, I did not get the job, so I started back from the bottom, and relearn new things, taking everything as a new adventure in my new chapter. Trying to understand the different culture and system, and enjoy my time with my family. Will try as much as I can to write more. Take care lovely.

Design: the buzz word

Design as in research, methods and practice is becoming visible more today than 20 years ago. In industry, education, business or even in everyday practices. In fact in some lucky days you can even have a good conversation about design with a stranger while waiting for your train.
This is the world that we are living now. With the fast internet, information and knowledge can just be at your fingers. How convenience.
But than again, given that it is convenience to have the knowledge at your fingers, it can also be so easy to misunderstood what is design. It seems like design is such a big word that it can become such a vague word.
Lately, this is what bothers me. In business, in industry, even in education, this current trendy word, is used so much that everybody seems to know what it means and more importantly how it can fit in with our everyday life.
As you can see now, even in this discussion, what do I mean by design? In what sense and in what context am I discussing about design? Well.. that’s a thought for today..