Create a Better Message

About DSA

Darryl L. Sink and Associates, Inc. (DSA) helps organizations design and develop learning and performance solutions that get results. DSA works cooperatively with organizations to:

  • accomplish internal custom projects
  • train and educate their internal staff in Instructional Systems Development.

Check out DSA presenters and Consultants at

DSA Tips Newsletter Archive

If you haven’t visited the tips archives lately, check it out –

Darryl’s tips are now conveniently organized not only by published date, but by these topics:

  • Project Management
  • Front End Analysis
  • Design Strategies
  • Instructional Strategies/Techniques
  • Measurement/Evaluation
  • Implementation
  • Professional Development
  • Coaching with DSA Tips

We have lots of great ideas just waiting for you to use!

Tap into DSA’s expertise and experience!

Call me at 831-649-8384 or email me at

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Ever been asked to improve the visual design of an instructional Web site? Have you ever looked at an instructional module that seems to contain some good instructional design elements, like practice and feedback, but it seemed very disorganized? How about those flight cards on the airplanes. Ever notice how they are hard to follow and way overloaded with information?

How can you help make constructive suggestions for improving an instructional product? How can you create a better instructional message?

Fortunately, we don’t have to be expert graphic artists and visual designers to be helpful. We can apply instructional message design principles. Instructional message design principles are derived from the behavioral and cognitive sciences. These principles are based on empirical evidence and are consistent with the ways students learn.

There are seventeen principles for message desig provided on the DSA web site. Print it out to use as a checklist. Along with each principle you will find specific suggestions related to what can be done to avoid violating the principle. With a little help from my graphic artist, here are a couple examples to give you the idea.

Principle #1 of 17: The more clearly we perceive an object, person, event or relationship, the better we remember it.

Principle #11 of 17: Simple line drawings are easier for beginners than photos.

Effective instructional design is best achieved when the design is aligned with both the elements of good instruction and good message design.

Using these instructional message design principles and the specific suggestions to avoid violating the principles you will be able to explain what principle is being violated and what can be done to improve the situation. Go ahead give it a try.

See you next time,