Written by:

Mark Aston


July 1, 2019

How Do You Find A Great Instructional Design Company?

In an earlier article we discussed 10 Qualities and Skills of a Great Instructional Design Company.  While that post describes the top qualities and skills you should look for, how do you actually find a great instructional design company?  In this post we expand on the previous article, to suggest ways you can find companies to then assess their qualities and skills.

Referrals From Your network

There are several ways to start a short-list of companies who develop custom e-learning and other training products. Firstly, you will want to start with recommendations or referrals from people in your network. The companies they suggest have at least done an adequate or better job for them, so its a good place to begin.  Also, as people in your network will understand your organization, they may be able to suggest companies that will be a good fit culturally.

Community Forums

A second option is to contact community forums and find accredited professionals. Articulate, for example, has a community forum called ‘E-Learning Heroes’. Here course creators get help on everything e-learning. From the 600,000 members, they have designated a select number as “Super Heroes” to recognize their top contributors.  By identifying potential instructional designers here you can add to the list started from suggestions from your network.

Web Search

Thirdly, and the easiest way to make your short-list a long-list is to do a Google (or Bing) web search. For an e-learning course, you could search for “custom e-learning course development”. Or “custom e-learning development companies in Canada/British Columbia/Vancouver”.

Alternatively, try searching for “articulate course development company”. Note, with the latter search term that uses the platform name (in this case Articulate) you need to insert company into the search.  Otherwise, most of your search results will be links to the Articulate site only.

One note of caution is that doing a Google/web search might skew towards larger companies. These may well be a good fit for you, especially if you are a multinational or Fortune 100 company. However, if you are looking for a different fit then you may need to be a bit more rigorous in your search, or try some of the other methods.

Another site to search is LinkedIn. You can search for companies or individuals, locations, and expertise like e-learning.

Freelancer Sites

Finally, if you are only looking for an extra pair of hands for a small project, you could try one of the many freelancer sites. Examples include Upwork, Fiverr, or Freelancer. These sites allow you to write a project scope and have people around the world bid on it.  Or you can search out freelancers who you might be interested in directly.

In Summary

In our earlier post we identified the top 10 qualities and skills of a great instructional design company.  But how do you create a short (or long) list of companies so you can review their qualities and skills?  This post provides concrete actions to take to find a great instructional design company.

Hopefully, we’ve managed to Spark Your Interest in the topic. If you like what you’ve read then we’d appreciate hearing that, and sharing it with your network.  If there are other ways you use to find instructional designers, drop us a note and add to the post in a future edition.


If there are important items we could or should have discussed, drop us a note and we’ll consider those for future BLOG posts. Hopefully, we’ve managed to Spark Your Interest in the topic. If you like what you’ve read then we’d appreciate hearing that, and sharing it with your network.