If you are like most designers, you make your fair share of mistakes over time. In fact, it’s one of the best ways to learn and grow in this field. These mistakes can be in the areas of visual design, usability and navigation, quizzing, or just overloading the learner with too much information. As Tom Kuhlmann says in his February 2014 article, “many elearning developers kind of stumble into the field. That means they usually don’t have a lot of the skills and experience required for more than basic course design and development.”
Improving your skills means you must invest in the appropriate tools and learn how to channel that e-Learning goodness (as Jackie Van Nice says) into your designs. The goal for this challenge was to design one or more slides featuring common course mistakes and then show those mistakes.
Here’s my submission for the week. I’ll add another post in the next few days to show you how I gave this example a makeover. For now, let’s see what’s wrong with this sample.
1: This course was published without a name. Small problem but we’ll fix that later!
2: The font used, Edwardian Script ITC, is very hard to read! The black color against an orange background offers a complementary contrast that draws your attention but it’s not suited to the presentation of text in most cases.
3: The pumpkin, although used in context for the lesson, offers a second navigation structure in addition to the one included with the player. Should the user click the Next button or click the pumpkin? The word “START” is not aligned properly.
4: Wow! This image is out of context. In fact, it’s an apple pie image used in a lesson on how to make a pumpkin pie. Be careful with image selections! They should always complement the text and the topic being discussed.
5: Here’s another image that is out of place. That field of tulips looks beautiful but it has no place in this topic. Maybe a field of pumpkins would have been better or perhaps a slice of pumpkin pie instead?
6: That’s Andy Appleton. I’m not sure why he is sitting in an office chair. The image really does not go well with this lesson. Another thing to note is that Andy is a photographic character!
7: That’s Penelope Patterson. You may have not been able to tell from that fancy Edwardian Script ITC font but that’s her name. Another thing to note about her is that she is an illustrated character. In this case, it makes more sense to stick with either the illustrated or photographic character. This would bring more uniformity to the course.
8: There is an alignment issue with this slide. Notice the white line around the bottom portion of the image? This is due to poor alignment and cropping. With so much else wrong with this image, the line might go unnoticed.
Well, that’s about it for this “bad sample” of e-Learning. Check back soon and I’ll post a makeover for this one! I might even add the missing content as we get closer to pumpkin pie season here in the Northwest!