My one-way video online interview experience

We really have progress to another way to reach candidates for interview, this is a fantastic way and tools to do so, why? Because not only it you as candidate can have more time to practice your presentation and tone of voice but also it allow you to work on your own time and space, which help in putting you in comfortable situation.

I have mine today, it was a whole new experience. I hardly had an interview for a job for a while now, mostly because I was in a secure permanent job position for more than 6 years and then we decided to take another adventure to move to another country.

That said, I am terrified to sit for an interview, I guess who doesn’t? But what I like about an online interview is that it give you a time to prepare and then even when you are prepared, you have time to practice on how you will present yourself in the video. Candidate not only have to learn and do some research about one way interview and the way to present themselves, before engaging in the interview but also need to have good understanding of using different type of online tools.

For employer, its much better. I remembered when I was the head of department and we were conducting interviews for new intake for our Graphic Communication course, and it is around 100 plus students. With face to face interview if its not well organise it can be a mess. The space, the equipment for us to view portfolio, the panel of interviews, the poor candidates that have to wait one whole day to get their turn for interview, so much time consuming and at the end of the day, i remembered how exhausted I was.

The next thing after the interview is the data that we collected manually in hard copy. We don’t have it digitally, well there are some but its not digitally kept,  So just say if we want to view the last interview process, I can say it will be only 10% possibility for us to get it. Plus no record of the interview such as the process, the interview visual except for the still images, mainly we pose for the photo.

I really like the online one way interview. Congrats RMIT Online and other universities in Australia including some leading corporation that adopt this method for interview process.

That all said, there are still space for improvement. The visual and the sound recording can be improved. There are some options in the viewer page (the recording) page that can be modified for better user interaction.

A way to go.

Some samples of one way online interview here.

This is a really useful and cozy video about one way interview.

Thinking to move to Instructional Design? Here’s some tips..

I have spend almost a year now updating myself with the latest software that is currently the best apps to use for Instructional Design to make the elearning design modules.
Articulate 360 Storyline and Adobe Captivate is not the hardest software to learn, (especially if you have been trained with Adobe Design Apps such as Illustrator, InDesign and Photoshop for years – that’s me, and been using Microsoft Office apps).
I used to design my elearning module using illustrator which is a pain to link the pages as I need to then adopt it in InDesign.
Now with the Storyline 360 its great, as it did all the job for you.
The only thing with it is the price for the application. Storyline 360 ( Articulate) is very expensive for an individual to afford. Same with Captivate. It seems that the apps price is designed base on the use of it, which is used mainly by companies, so you have to be employed by a company to get the full use of the software.
If you’re beginner in this is a bit of a pain, but there is always the trial to start, the only not so happy part is that you have limited access to the library (which is the best part of storyline 360).
If you’re interested jump into this link Articulate 360  to get the free trial.

The other apps is Captivate. Now there is not much different between this two apps but Captivate 2019 have added the latest feature which is 360 Virtual Reality option that you can create. I am not so much into it at the moment so for me its not that appealing.

I found that the navigation with Storyline 360 is much more friendly than Captivate. I am a Adobe user since 1993, never stop using the Adobe Creative Suite apps since then,  I am also a Mac user and a designer. You would hope that Captivate have at least the feels of using other Adobe Design software but nope. If you are not familiar with PC style or IT style apps, you will get a bit annoyed using Captivate. Although the they have put huge improvement in comparison to the Adobe Captivate 2017 to now. But still so far I prefer the way Storyline appears and navigate.

You can view the video of Captivate here:

A year has gone, what have we done so far..

We moved to Melbourne mid 2017, a short decision but a long way to settled in again, after being in beautiful Penang Island in Malaysia for 6 plus years. I took a long break from work to focus on the little one that was born in early 2017, till end of 2018 where I realised that I need to start to get back again to do something for myself.

As much as it is hard for me to get back to work, it seems like it is also hard for others to accept me at work in another country, the place where I spent 10 years of my life studying and working, to obtained my Masters and PhD.

Plus, for a change I decided to stir in for a different ride, moving from being an academic in the uni/education for a new corporate world adventure. Yes, it doesn’t sounds like it is hard, but trust me it is very hard.

The corporate world is another different world, different culture of working, and different system. It is not easy to get in, especially when you come from strong academic background. I used to think that it is just a stereotype thinking that there is a gap between corporate and academic, but it hit my mind as I now know it is not a myth.

When I sit for an interview, as soon as I start by saying I am an academic, the reaction I got from their faces, gives me the hint that I will not get the job. What can I say, I have those years experience from academic world, teaching and linking academic and industries, making projects, organising staff, events, seminars, students and so on. Making online modules, making connection with the industry and internationals institutions. Creating new syllabus, new ways of teaching and learning, adult learnings programs. But it seems that all this knowledge is not that valuable in the corporate world. I know there is no teaching job in corporate world but there is other job such as the experts in only digital design or elearning that can fit me just right and my expertise can be very useful in there.

Anyway, that is how far I have gone, I did not get the job, so I started back from the bottom, and relearn new things, taking everything as a new adventure in my new chapter. Trying to understand the different culture and system, and enjoy my time with my family. Will try as much as I can to write more. Take care lovely.

Design: the buzz word

Design as in research, methods and practice is becoming visible more today than 20 years ago. In industry, education, business or even in everyday practices. In fact in some lucky days you can even have a good conversation about design with a stranger while waiting for your train.
This is the world that we are living now. With the fast internet, information and knowledge can just be at your fingers. How convenience.
But than again, given that it is convenience to have the knowledge at your fingers, it can also be so easy to misunderstood what is design. It seems like design is such a big word that it can become such a vague word.
Lately, this is what bothers me. In business, in industry, even in education, this current trendy word, is used so much that everybody seems to know what it means and more importantly how it can fit in with our everyday life.
As you can see now, even in this discussion, what do I mean by design? In what sense and in what context am I discussing about design? Well.. that’s a thought for today..

A Kampung project: Visual Collections of Kampung Artifacts [VCKA]

Presented a paper about the disappearing Kampung in Penang at APAN Meeting in Auckland New Zealand in August 2018.

For about 3 years now, I am started a preservation project of Kampung (Villages) around Penang Island in Malaysia.  This is a very interesting project and I am personally attached to it as I spend most of my childhood and high school around Penang Island.
I started this project due to the fast development in the island. With my two research assistants, Chris Mak and Hairi, we constantly thinking on how this project can help to continuously preserving the what’s left from the kampung. It is sad to see how the kampung is being demolished due to the need of the  development but it is much more devastating to see nothing is done to keep some memories for the sake of history of this kampung.
This project is call Visual Collections of Kampung Artifacts or also known as VCKA. We are fortunate, that this research project is supported by a grant to assist the research that we conducted. The grant is by Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia, and Bank Rakyat. Actually, the very first idea was supported by Tan Sri Prof Dzulkifli Razak, who was the previous Universiti Sains Malaysia’s Vice Chancellor. I accidentally met him at DOME cafe at Queensbay Mall in Penang, where I have briefly expressed my concern and interest to do this project. In the same week, he sent me email asking for my full proposal and said that he might be able to get me some fund to support the project. This man is a man that is full of vision and never stop supporting young designer/academic that is eager to conduct research. I wish all the vice chancellor in Malaysian university think like him.
Anyway, thanks to Prof. Dzul (that’s what I call him), we have been continuously supported to conduct this VCKA project, even after I have gave birth to my 2nd child and in my long leave. I never stop running this project.
We are now at the end of the fund and project timeline, and currently working on the outcome of the project. We are currently developing the project with the VCKA book and website. Will be updating the progress soon. Logo design by Nurul Rahman #designbynurulrahman

The challenges of getting RekaCipta Malaysian Design Podcast online

In everything you do, there is always challenges.. and its not a bad thing. We should see it as something that should motivate us to do more and to dig more. To make it happen. It is a process that one have to go through. Without any challenge would we appreciate anything that we have achieve?

Anyway, this podcast that I am currently working on, is a hard task. First of all it is about organising the narrative, the storyline, the equipments and the voice. The latter for me is the hardest. Its not easy to get the right tone and making sure that what you’re saying is convincing the listeners.

Another challenge for me is working with 2 little kids around. I am a full time researcher working with several projects, a freelance visual designer, and a full time mom. It’s a hard work to shift your mind from handling the little one to strategising my research directions and managing projects, plus the design work. So time is precious, and that the only thing we as human cannot control.

Ok now back to work.

Introducing RekaCipta: Malaysian Design Podcast by Nurul Rahman

The notion that Design plays a role in the Malaysian society to my opinion is fairly new. In fact, design so far is not considered as part of the high school curriculums. Design is seen as separated identity, here and there in different forms not as one. It is part of Engineering, part of Science, part of Arts (this is not there yet), part of Management, part of Communication and so it is always parts of here and there.

But I think Design should stand alone and it should be the mother of all rather than be part of all these areas of practice and studies. It is not anyone false, it is for my opinion is that each of us ( the design practitioner, educator, etc) did not take Design seriously and did not make much efforts to bring Design in higher respected level in Malaysia.

However, I do believe this phenomena will change and it is changing at the moment, as the world is changing and Design is becoming a stand alone identity. Not part of others.

Many schools (mainly private university’s in Malaysia) are now putting Design as the frontline and one of its own main subject. There are high numbers of design activities happening in the under Design. There are increasing numbers of Design associations established in recents years. People are taking about design practices, how to increase the power of design. More jobs are positions under the category of Design. More companies are looking for designers and creating the Designer’s position. This is all good, however.. like anything when it’s becoming a kind of a trend, not many really understand what Design means, its role, its position and many more.

Before the notion of Design starts to become anything, it is crucial to gathered all the experienced designers, design practitioners, design academics and people who are involved in many design practices in early days that understood the important roles that design can play to enhance the business, the people, the society and the country to come on board for a critical discussion about design.

There are lots of talks taken place in Malaysia for the past five years, where local and international designers come together and share their ideas. Well, mainly international speakers, as naturally in any society the outsiders seems to know more than the native as it perceived. I do believe that we have enough highly experienced and educated design practitioners that we can learned from in relation to the local experience. People like Dato Johan, Abdullah Arif, William Harald Wong, Kamil Yunus, Joseph Foo, Jimmy Choo, Hannan, Asri Ahmad, Prof. Dr. Ahmad Zainuddin, Melissa Wong, Zac Ong, Ezrena Marwan, and many more. And there are many local designers that have make their name overseas and no many local know about them, such as Din Amri, Dr. Joyce Yee, Dr. Christopher Kueh and many more. We need to have our own design idol that our new generation can look up to.

This is why I think its about time we should start our own design podcast. As multi-designer, a design practices since 1994, having completed higher education in Design (Masters and PhD), teaching design and performing in jazz concerts and gigs, part time broadcaster, it seems that all this experience is a great help for me to pull out this podcast together.

So this week I have launched (online) Malaysian own Design Podcast: RekaCipta. You can look up for RekaCipta in FB or listen to the podcast through soundcloud. The first podcast with Asri Ahmad will be uploaded this week.

Spam hacked my post.

Dear readers,
My apology for some inconvenience links in my post cause by the spam. They are now very becoming much smarter in putting spam in my blog, not only in the comments but in the post it self.
I am in the process of cleaning the post, so bare with me.

Back after a year

I find it interesting to see the changes in many people like myself, becoming lazy to write in the blog but happily to update status in facebook and other social media. It is becoming a trend now to update in social media. What have we become? What kind of society that we are creating for the future.

I would like to discuss further about it. I wonder what makes me slow down or demotivated in writing my blog might be the response from the audience. Unlike other social media, blog stand independently. As in when you’re writing a blog, how do you know how many people actually visited your blog (unless you have the visitors page) or the add on plug in to count how many people have visited your site. It is like you are writing for yourself and sometimes it is not much fun, in comparison when you write and in a short time someone has commented on your thought.

It can be additive and dangerous. But may be because of those two words, many, including myself at one point in time, eager to contribute by updating our daily status. So I have decided that I will start to get back to my blog and discuss what ever idea or thought I have in mind here and not only just updating my status.

Typography lesson 1: How to adjust kerning manually using InDesign

It has been a while since I posted something in my blog. Long long while. The reason being is the workloads have taken most of my time. And I have to admit besides that I posted most of my ‘current status’ in a very brief way in the leading social media, the Face Book. Sad but true, this is what’s happening to most of us today. We don’t tend to write long sentences anymore instead we think of a way to post short and brief to express out ‘status’ of the day. Details seems to be forgotten especially if you are actively involved in Twitter. Anyway, I have decided to continue posting and writing in my blog from now on. This hopefully will aid my poor writing skills as I have not been writing as much as I should or to express my thoughts in details these days. I have been asked to conduct a basic InDesign class for fellow designers who have not been familiar working with InDesign, but still dealing with publications and printing (How is that possible?) The 1st one day workshop session start on the 18 October (which I focus more on the training of mind thinking rather than straight into the technical process using InDesign), and on the 2nd day workshop, they have to present their ‘homework’ that I asked them to work on in the 1st session.

So, today I have completed the 2 days sessions of the basic InDesign class teaching designers how to use InDesign for their design work. Yes, surprisingly not many designers now a days knows how to use InDesign software for their book or any publication design. The workshop started with a hands on concept sketching and taking the designers to a very basic understanding of the process of designing for publication, giving some important basic guideline of publication design that they need to know before they even start working with the InDesign softwares.

One of the most important one among other things is the manual part, on how to adjust some parts of the text manually. One of them is kerning. I thought it would be great to keep it in the record for my blog. Here is to show different type of kerning.

To understand kerning here is a useful text that I have extracted from Ellen Lupton Thinking with Type page. You can read more in the page for details.

Kerning is an adjustment of the space between two letters. The characters of the Latin alphabet emerged over time; they were never designed with mechanical or automated spacing in mind. Thus some letter combinations look awkward without special spacing considerations. Gaps occur, for example, around letters whose forms angle outward or frame an open space (W, Y, V, T). In metal type, a kerned letter extends past the lead slug that supports it, allowing two letters to fit more closely together. In digital fonts, the space between letter pairs is controlled by a kerning table created by the type designer, which specifies spaces between problematic letter combinations. Working in a page layout program, a designer can choose to use metric kerning or optical kerning as well as adjusting the space between letters manually where desired. A well-designed typeface requires little or no additional kerning, especially at text sizes.



Metric kerning uses the kerning tables that are built into the typeface. When you select metric kerning in your page layout program, you are using the spacing that was intended by the type designer. Metric kerning usually looks good, especially at small sizes. Cheap novelty fonts often have little or no built-in kerning and will need to be optically kerned.
Optical kerning is executed automatically by the page layout program. Rather than using the pairs addressed in the font’s kerning table, optical kerning assesses the shapes of all characters and adjusts the spacing wherever needed. Some graphic designers apply optical kerning to headlines and metric kerning to text. You can make this process efficient and consistent by setting kerning as part of your character styles.


In InDesign software, there are ways to work manually, which many have not discovered or learned. So here I would like to share with you how to adjust your kerning manually.

How to do it?

Manually kern letter pairs

In display type or large headlines, some pairs of letters may need a little extra attention. To kern manually, place your cursor between two letters, and change the Kerning value in the Character panel.

Tip: To kern quickly and visually, place your cursor between any two letters; then press Option (Mac) or Alt (Win) and click the left or right arrow keys on the keyboard.


Image taken from InDesign CC tutorial.