The other day my company asked me to review and evaluate Lynda.com, a site started by Lynda Weinman, author of Designing Web Graphics, one of the first books on web design, to see if they would be a good fit for our company. So I signed up for a one week free trial for friends of Deke (and you can be his friend without even knowing who he is, like I did!). In my evaluation time, here’s what I concluded:
- It is an online training library for everything Adobe and more (Apple, Microsoft, Google, WordPress, Quark, Macromedia, Photography, Web Design).
- All the modules are in short increments with the longest being around 13 minutes (but the average length is around 5-7 minutes).
- It is self-paced and on-demand.
- It is a cheap solution (great during these times) if one is trying to survey the various fields.
- The videos cannot be downloaded (something I dislike but understand).
- You cannot be signed in on more than one PC (prevents unethical use of their terms/conditions).
- You can only watch one video at a time.
- Uses Quicktime and does not offer another viewing method.
My job is one that was created knowing that the description would change and morph as I worked since my company is new to online training and eLearning. My job only requires that I use various software applications that I already know how to use, but in order to maximize my job better than even my boss realizes and can fathom, I need to expand my knowledge into other software suites. Lynda.com will allow me to slowly learn other softwares in my own free time without simple trial and error or even buying the software in case I may use it (which is a bad business reason, huh?).
While Lynda.com will not make anyone an expert, it will give anyone that uses them the simple tools to utilize the various softwares it covers. Their goal seems to be to provide the essential training of the various software applications, while sometimes providing more advanced training. Lynda.com can expand their customer base (1.) if they begin to provide some more in-depth and advanced training on their various software offerings; and (2.) they begin offering testing and certifications. The reason I say the second is that many companies need a measureable way to determine if they are getting their monies worth from such an endeavor (which other training solutions will provide, even if they don’t produce the level of knowledge/expertise as Lynda.com may provide), and I know a few that have not gone with Lynda.com simply because they don’t offer certification.
So how much does it cost?
- Monthly – $25 per month (does not offer exercise files).
- Annual – $250 per year (does not offer exercise files). Same as monthly plan except a 17% discount for annual membership.
- Premium – $375 per year (includes exercise files)
However, there is a promotion going on right now.
- Annual – $200 per year (does not offer exercise files). Enter the disount code: ug200otl. (that’s U-G-200[two hundred]-o [the letter]-t-l)
- Premium – $300 per year (includes exercise files). Enter the disount code: ug300otl. (that’s U-G-200[two hundred]-o [the letter]-t-l).
- These expire 12/31/2009, are subject to change without notice, and if you have any questions email email@example.com.
In conclusion, Lynda.com is not for everyone, but if you are looking to become a Jack of all trades in digital software, Lynda.com may be for you. They have over over 544 courses, 21,000 well-done videos (which is slightly deceptive because of their shortness) on over 300 topics. Even if you already know various software applications, like me, more than likely you may not know the full extend of the software. Lynda.com offers quick on-demand training in areas that we may be deficient (this is a plus side of the short videos). So if you have a question about one particular thing, more than likely Lynda.com will have one or more approx. 5 minute video(s) about that.
What do you think? Is it worth pursuing in such a economic climate like we are in now? Do you think it is a great way to help facilitate a change of jobs or careers? Do you think it is a great way for a boss or and executive to come abreast of a few software applications that his people may be using (overview tutorials)?