user experience design
The criteria can be used to evaluate a learning experience like this:
Valuable – is it valuable and relevant to a learner or are we patronising them? Useful – does the learner need to know the content or do they know it already?
Credible – is the content professional and believable or is it riddled with clichés?
Usable – is the interface totally intuitive or does it need painful help guides? Findable – does the learner always know where they are or are they left in no man’s land?
Accessible – is the content in easy to read plain English or wrapped in business jargon?
Desirable – does the design grab the learner’s attention and emotion or is it boring and predictable?
Some of these rules are easy to spot when they are broken. My colleague Sonia, who heads up our creative team, talks about the ‘clichéd optimism’ of stock photography.We’ve all seen the image of the white smile, sharp suit and sun tan of a business man looking skywards embedded in a course I think. Credibility is at question here in the learners’ eyes. They surely ask, “Who is this person and how do they relate to me? Do they really exist?”
Takeaway thought This article is not a lesson in UXD but it should have given you a different slant on e- learning development, and one way to address the conflicts and challenges it presents. UXD is a good discipline to bring together the sometimes disparate specialisms of instructional, creative and technical team members.
If you can put into practice some of the ideas explained here, your e-learning experiences may well become more ‘110 bar pressure washer’ and less ‘dentist’s chair’.
Dr Richard Hyde, director, Mind Click usable valuable findable credible accessible useful desirable
This article is not a lesson in UXD but it should have given you a different slant on e-learning development
References 1 Donald Norman (1999), Invisible Computer: Why Good Products Can Fail, the Personal
Computer Is So Complex and Information Appliances Are the Solution. MIT Press. 2 37Signals (2006), Getting real. http://gettingreal.37signals.com/toc.php
. 3 Whitney Hess (2009), 10 Most Common Misconceptions About User Experience Design, http://mashable.com/2009/01/09/user-
experience-design. 4 Julie Dirksen (2011), Learner Experience Design, http://www.slideshare.net/usablelearning/lxd-learner-
experience-design 5 Peter Morville (2004), User experience design, http://semanticstudios.com/publications/semantics/ 000029.ph
e.learning age april 2012
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