Portfolio: Learning Tools

A learning tool can be as simple as a printed job-aid to sell a new system--or as sophisticated as a distance learning web site that teaches new skills. Over the years, WeThink (formerly Newmedia Design) has created a wide range of learning tools for our clients that take existing technologies and apply them in new ways to new problems and applications. Here's a look at a range of learning tools WeThink has created:

Cisco Systems
Sun Microsystems


Amgen Inc.


User's Guide for an  Interactive Computer Simulation  Program 


To create a visually-oriented user's guide that teaches medical professionals how to use EPO-SIM, a computer simulation program. EPO-SIM helps professionals prescribe an optimal dose of Amgen's landmark drug EPOGEN, used to treat uremic anemia. 

Dr. Frank A. Gotch, of San Francisco's Davies Medical Center, received a grant from Amgen to develop EPO-SIM. The program allows users to simulate the clinical factors affecting patients receiving EPOGEN. While EPO-SIM was highly useful, it needed a clearly written, visually-based learning guide that medical professionals could use to learn the program, and better understand the medical concepts involved.

Services Provided

Research and Analysis Researched and analyzed the program, target audience, and medical and mathematical concepts through interviewing key experts and reviewing existing print information.

Information Design Developed an information design for that would educate both medical professionals and novices.

Instructional Design Created an instructional design model that offered two ways to learn the program to meet different learning styles.

Wrote 117-page EPO-SIM user's guide that included numerous graphs, illustrations, screen shots, three appendices, an index, and two glossaries. 


Cisco Systems, Inc.

Dial-Up CD-Based Video Sales Guide



To develop a short,  engaging sales guide to teach Cisco sales representatives how to best use a new CD-based multimedia sales tool to promote Cisco's Dial-Up solutions.


Services Provided 

Research and Information Analysis
Researched and analyzed the CD's sales messages, the audience, and how to best use it with customers when presenting from a mobile PC.

Information Design 
Developed an information design for the guide that included key sales tips and an overview of the CD's video vignettes.

Wrote a two-page upbeat sales guide that armed sales representatives with key tips to successfully use the new sales tool in the field.


Sun Microsystems, Inc.

SunU Design Kit

(Distance Learning Tool, Accessible via the Web)


To collaborate with SunU, the internal training department within Sun Microsystems, to develop the SunU Design Kit (DK)--a comprehensive java-based learning application, accessible through Sun's intranet. The DK must leverage new and existing technologies to assist SunU course developers at all levels of experience to design, develop, package and market SunU print, lecture and web-based training products. These customized learning tools must be accessible inside or  outside the Sun community. The DK must also provide course developers with an automated process for documenting the product development cycle. This includes learning how to identify, hire and manage a virtual product development team of both internal and external developers.

Services Provided 

Research and Analysis Researched and analyzed the target market, development tasks required to build the DK, and content through interviews with subject matter experts and web and print information.

Instructional Design and Prototype
Developed an instructional design that paced users' learning though all steps required to build and market their own learning product. Also designed DK storyboards and a product prototype.

Developed Copy and Templates 
Wrote copy for the site, totaling over 100 pages. Also developed a series of design templates that were key to the site's final user interface.


Sun Microsystems

SunU Total Compensation Web Site Virtual Classroom

(Distance Learning Web Site)


To develop a stand-alone virtual classroom from a print training document to replace a teacher-led class on "Managing Total Compensation at Sun." This virtual course must offer Sun managers an engaging interactive distance learning experience on how to use total compensation to reward employees.  Managers must be able to access the virtual course anytime via Sun's intranet. The virtual classroom will train managers on a wide range of Total Compensation topics via concise instructional text, graphs, charts, illustrations, interactive learning exercises and reiterative testing tools.

Services Provided

Research and Analysis Researched and analyzed the existing print training product and the target audience through interviews with subject matter experts and print information.

Instructional Design and Site Architecture Developed an instructional design and site architecture that offered an intuitive, easy organization for the site's content.

Wrote all learning modules for the site, including practice exercises, testing devices, reference resources and the site index. Also developed concepts for site graphics and charts.

Collaborated with development team 
Worked closely with the team's graphic designer, html expert, and software engineer to ensure that the final product formed a cohesive learning tool.


Sun Microsystems Inc.

SunU Web-Based Usability Study


To collaborate with the SunU team, leveraging new technologies to pioneer the development of a web-based "virtual focus group study." The study will evaluate the usability of a new SunU distance learning Web site, employing Sun's chatroom technology. To be successful, the virtual focus group must produce:

1. Significant usability study cost-savings.

2. High-quality feedback from participants. 

3. Significant product improvements via usability study participants' feedback.

4. A viable application of chatroom technology in a usability setting.

Services Provided

Researched the new web product as well as traditional focus group research techniques. Used findings to create a facilitator-led chatroom usability study of a new web-based product.

Information Design Developed an information design for the usability study to capture user's feed- back on key usability areas identified by the SunU team.

Wrote usability script Wrote a script that covered all topics addressed in the usability study. Rehearsed the script at Sun in a live "dress rehearsal" of the chatroom usability test.

Facilitated usability test and wrote final report Facilitated four live chatroom usability sessions, then the wrote the formal report that identified usability study findings, as tabulated by the SunU team.