Instructional Design / Technical Writing

From 2010-2011, I worked as an Instructional Designer for Retail Services at the Macy's Credity & Customer service call centers. My team designed the training programs for all retail customer service agents serving,, Macy's Furniture & Bedding, and Bloomingdale's Furniture & Bedding.

Instructional design can mean a lot of things, but at Macy’s, they split us up into eLearning and ID. I was ID; that meant I wrote. The projects I worded belong to Macy’s, so I cannot provide samples. However, I can use this post to give a detailed outline of my experiences.

My main writing responsibilities:

  • Technical Writing - I planned, wrote, and laid out manuals explaining how to use Macy’s proprietary systems as well as third party software.
  • Communications - When a policy or procedure changed, those changes were communicated to the associates through an internal website. I researched, drafted and posted these changes.
To give you an idea of my workload, I was a part of a team of 5 that heavily edited the 600 page training manual over the course of 3 months. I heavily edited the 300 page Macy’s Furniture and Bedding new hire manual in 3 weeks to prepare for a sudden decision to onboard more people; afterwards, we partnered with Furniture and Bedding to rewrite the entire manual and training program from the ground up. Including research, feedback, drafts, editing, and layout, our team of 5 completed the rewrite in 6 months. However, due to turnover and promotions, the last two months of that project was handled by myself and my manager alone.

The fastest turnaround I had was the launch of international shipping at and That launch required that 270 trainers, associates, leads and managers be trained in the third party software provided by our international shipping partner. In three weeks, I:
  1. Learned how to use the software,
  2. Researched the international order process,
  3. Researched the target audience for the training, and
  4. Wrote, revised, and laid out the manual.
The revision process included incorporating revisions from my manager, as well as feedback provided by the businesses. We followed up with the businesses post-launch, and the training program was a complete success. It is currently being updated to keep abreast of any software changes, but is otherwise unchanged.

All of this was done while keeping up with our communication workload.

Communications happened when the business changes a policy or the systems team updates an application. They would contact ID, and the manager would forward the request to a team member.

When I received a communication request, I would:
  1. Determine if it needed to be communicated to associates, and if so, to which group(s)
  2. Choose a method of communication (we had a short, twitter-feed like option, and a longer, blog post-like option)
  3. Draft the communication
  4. Send the communication to my manager and to business partners for review
  5. Incorporate edits
  6. Post to the internal website
  7. Notify leads and managers of the update
  8. Update any related training materials, if applicable
We averaged about 3 of these a week per team member. So, all told, I was often juggling 2 major projects, doing research for a third, and working on several small pieces at the same time.


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