What are some ways to cut corners, save time, and be more efficient at developeing eLearning?

Originally posted on coffeeanDesign:

Be sure that you check out Google’s UX designer, Michael Margolis, tips on productive design (see Google Ventures On 8 Shortcuts For Better, Faster Design Research). Do these apply to eLearning or instructional design? Of course they do :-)

Start at the end: What questions do you want to answer?
Before you do any work on a research study, clarify what you want to get out of it. For example, would it be most useful to figure out:

Can new customers understand and figure out how to use the product? What are customers’ existing workflow and pain points? What are pros/cons of competitive products? What are customers’ attitudes? How satisfied are existing customers with the product? How does new customers’ usage change over time? Which design performs better?

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