Becoming A Super Designer: 7 Ways To Help You Get And Stay There

Becoming A Super Designer: 7 Ways To Help You Get And Stay There
Summary: Today’s curriculum designers can be tomorrow's Super Designers, incorporating both their knowledge of andragogy or pedagogy and their tech savviness to stay competitive in the ever-progressing field of eLearning. In this article I’ll introduce you to the concept of the Super Designer and offer 7 strategies to help effectively you become and remain one of these “crusaders for excellence in curriculum and technology”!

What Is A Super Designer?

In the past, Instructional Designers managed the curriculum development process by being the liaison between the Subject Matter Expert, instructional technologist, as well as administrative stakeholders. Additionally, Instructional Designers made sure they constructed content in a manner that allowed students to achieve stated learning outcomes in an effective and engaging manner. However, difficult economic times and an increase in the demand for tech-savvy Instructional Designers have led to the emergence of the “Super Designer”.

A Super Designer possesses skills far beyond traditional Instructional Designer qualifications. The Super Designer takes on all of the tasks of the traditional designer while also effectively using technology tools such as Dreamweaver, Articulate, and Adobe Flash.

Why Should You Want To Become A Super Designer?

In addition to the obvious benefit of marketability, possessing technologist skills in addition to design skills allows Instructional Designers to stay at the forefront of their craft. Additionally, Super Designers have the skills to lead Instructional Design teams, supporting their teams with technological and design expertise. On a more basic level, anyone looking to make a six-figure income must provide companies with both, the technology and instructional expertise they seek.

7 Steps To Becoming And Remaining A Super Designer

There are several steps you can take to become a Super Designer that will also help you remain one:

  1. Love learning.
    It’s essential to stay abreast of the newest trends in online education, as well as emerging technologies. Signing up to receive popular technology blogs’ posts, attending eLearning conferences, and reading bestselling books on Instructional Design and technology will all feed your passion for learning.
  2. Read between the lines.
    While you will not find companies officially looking for “Super-Designers” in their employment ads, read through Instructional Designer job listings frequently. Focus especially on the ones that are in the six-figure range. Read these job requirements and preferred qualifications carefully and you will find the description of a super-designer. Note the technology skills you see listed most often and focus on learning those first.
  3. Learn to love... that is. Don’t just read about technologies, but choose two to three each month that you will study in depth via online tutorials, free webinars, or product demonstrations. Then, create multiple projects for your digital portfolio using those new technologies. Applying the technology will allow you to practice your new skills in a meaningful way. Make sure to integrate your chosen technologies in your design work whenever appropriate and don’t forget to look for badges to acknowledge your new technology skills publicly!
  4. Showcase your work.
    In addition to adding your technology projects to a digital portfolio, consider submitting conference proposals and article submissions describing your experience learning the technology. Reflecting on your new skills in this manner is a great practice that others will benefit from as well.
  5. Seek out a mentor.
    Who among your colleagues appears especially tech-savvy or is always excited about the newest technologies? Is there an Instructional Designer on your team who always seems to be trying out innovating approaches to curriculum design? Ask such a “Renaissance Man (or Woman)” if he or she would be willing to meet with you on a weekly or by-weekly basis to share their passion for technology and knowledge with you. Find out what books your mentor reads, whose blogs he or she follows, and who inspires him/her!
  6. Pay it forward.
    The best way to become an expert at a new skill is by teaching it to others. After studying and practicing a new technology, offer to teach it to your colleagues. Consider offering a free workshop on the technology at a local library or school, or share tips for becoming a Super Designers with other designers.
  7. Reflect and refine.
    Take the time to reflect on your efforts to become a Super Designer and evaluate where it has been most valuable to invest your time. Focus on those areas and refine your personal Super Designer job description to meet your needs and career goals.


Even if your role is that of a traditional Instructional Designer, becoming familiar with instructional technologies allows you to serve your design process stakeholders more effectively. Being a Super Designer is fast developing into a necessity, rather than a preferred qualification. Using the 7 strategies outlined in this article will help you become and remain a Super Designer!