Updates from November, 2010

  • What is a course & the tools for having a great one (Part 2)

    November 25th, 2010

    Moodle 2.0 was released yesterday (Yay! Super-Yay!) so a small discussion starter into what I think Moodle might look like in the future is appropriate. Actually, the discussion continues from a couple of months ago, when discussed quite a bit in MoodleNews and on Twitter. (See also previous course editing prototype.)

    I interviewed a Finnish polytechnic teacher back in July, and presented discoveries from that interview/brainstorming session in part 1. She uses Blackboard for her courses but is considering moving to Moodle. She is a bit confused when people around her are thinking of Moodle as more of a document repository than a learning platform. She acknowledges that there is probably more to it. Still, she thinks Blackboard better guides teachers who do not have a strong idea of their pedagogical approach, than Moodle.

    (More …)

     
  • The temptation to avoid usability work

    November 19th, 2010

    I am currently working on a private software project in a startup. I am involved not only in the design of the overall user experience, but also in implementation, since we are not many. The temptation to skip usability work is great for our team of two, and I too have to keep convincing myself why usability work is absolutely crucial to product success. Trying to find a succint enough way to express the basic needs for the work…

    Software engineers often question the value of usability work. It may be that a good designer could design a UI that does not create major confusion for most – if those designers already have lots of experience from usability testing in other projects. However, in any application that is done without explicit user research and usability testing targeted for the specific UI, you tend to have dozens of small confusing moments that make up the overall user experience and lead to a general ‘yuk’ reaction. Not to mention that if you don’t intimately know your users’ goals, you are likely to be designing the wrong overall application.

     
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