From the top of her class at the University of Illinois at Chicago to Senior Designer at Kineo (US), Flori Manning has been making great first impressions since she joined the Kineo team in May.
Prior to joining Kineo, Flori earned her Ph.D. in Educational Psychology at the University of Illinois at Chicago, where she earned top honors for her dissertation: Leveraging the First Impression: Student Perceptions, Resultant Educational Outcomes, and the Design of Computer-based Instruction.
So, after 6 months on the job, what's it like to work at Kineo? Get to know Flori through this short Q&A!
Your dissertation is really interesting! Elevator pitch, go!
The idea in a nutshell is centered around how first impressions matter and how design can influence that--the design of your study, and the way you present it from the very beginning, both visually and through word of mouth.
Impressions matter. Unfortunately, this isn't always translated over into the world of learning. We tend to focus on functionality and the organization of content. But how do you get people's attention in the right way?
In the end, it's not good enough to have content. How can we take it beyond that to make the best experience possible? It's not only about the information. It's about how that information is presented and the perception. We're dealing with human beings.
What made you decide to join Kineo?
Well, I do have a background in e-learning. WIth my background, it wasn't completely new to me. It's always been on my mind. I do have a good friend, and he's been at Kineo for a few years and hasn't stopped raving about it. I started thinking to myself, if this guy has been at Kineo for a few years and hasn't stopped raving about it, it must be worth checking out. It's a really great bunch of genuine, caring people. And to me, the people make all the difference in the world. So that was key to me. And the other thing is that Kineo has a great reputation, and they are known for their beautiful graphics. I wanted to be part of that.
Where do you see opportunity for improvement in the corporate learning space?
When I talk to people about e-learning, what immediately comes to mind is "Click next to continue." Or I hear, "You create that horrible stuff we have to do at work." And that's not how I want people to perceive training or e-learning or any sort of learning and development initiative. It makes me sad that people perceive L&D initiatives in that way. It should be something that is going to help you be better than you already are. We're in a place where we can try to change that.
What lessons have you been able to carry over from your Ph.D. work through to your work at Kineo?
I think a lot in terms of perception. Whatever information we have in that moment, how we perceive it determines what we'll do next. How we feel about what we're doing and how we feel about what's in front of us. When I think about design, I think is so amazing. As a designer, you can shaper how perception is formed. You can actually shape and that is super powerful. It's a matter of knowing and understanding your audience and knowing what is really going to resonate with them. And if you can do it the right way that is when the magic really happens.
You can influence the attitudes they form based on the subject matter and the long-term attitudes that they end up having. As educators, that's powerful and scary, so you want to create the best experience that you can.
You work hard at Kineo, so what do you like to do for fun?
I enjoy salsa dancing quite a bit. I used to be a professional Latin dance instructor. I did that for a few years when I was younger, so I still enjoy doing that. I also enjoy being on my motorcycle. When I'm able to, I like to go do track days. I take my motorcycle to a track and go fast and ride. It's actually safer than riding on the street. You just go and go. There are no stop lights, no traffic. It's a great time.
Interested in learning more about instructional design? Check out the recording and slides from Cammy Bean's Accidental Instructional Designer webinar.