Homer Christensen

learning + content

This site showcases instructional design, technical writing, content creation, and design.  R. N. Homer Christensen, is an award-winning writer and instructional designer, specializing in content that informs, whether that be structured or informal learning, online help or documentation, live or recorded.

FLOW: A Permaculture Approach to Documentation Project Management

May 2014
Write the Docs conference, North America. (Portland, OR)


Permaculture is all the rage in the organic and urban farming circles, but it is a design science rooted in observation that has applications far beyond vegetables and fruits. Its basic tenets include observing the environment to discern the patterns, the risk areas, and other factors that will influence your work, and then working within those constraints using the least amount of energy and costly outside inputs to produce a harmonious, sustainable, and perennial system that yields a healthy return and requires the least amount of work to maintain.

This presentation introduces some of the core practices of permaculture that can be immediately applied to any project to make it more successful, more enjoyable, and better suited to its intended audience.

Participants will discover:

  • Why it is important to design from the patterns to the details.
  • The edge where two systems meet (think engineering and customer service) yields the most innovation.
  • Diversity is important to incorporate and honor.
  • Ways to stack function… where one element performs multiple roles (like single-sourcing).
  • How to plan for zones of access… so that your audience can quickly locate the most important, most frequently used information.

It's a fresh and intuitive approach, a Zen view of something that many of us have done for years. In Permaculture, the problem is the solution. Or perhaps more properly said: in any problem lies the solution.

Copyright © 2014 by R. N. Homer Christensen and nForming.  All rights reserved.