Thursday, March 12, 2009

The beauty of simplicity

For the past week or so I've been battling with trying to get a VLE to behave in the way I need it to behave for the group of academics I'm currently working with. I want them to be able to get access quickly and easily to the tools they use most often. Yes, there are plenty of other tools and things the VLE can do... but we don't need to know that right now. I've been messing about with workarounds to get the navigation system as simple as it needs to be... and a few minutes after coming up with a design which was more user-friendly, I saw this image on the LifeHacker:

Isn't that just fantastic? Point people at the bits they need, explain in a few words what they do and hide the rest (for now, they can always take off the paper as they get more confident).

So often in elearning-land things are made so much more complicated than they need to be. We get caught up in the things that can be done. The things that might be done. We forget that because it can be done, it doesn't mean it should. We forget that just because there are lots of tools available, they don't all need to be made available.

Simple is good. But simple can be the furthest thing from your mind when you're caught up in trying to explain something complex, can't it? Here's to paper-wrapped remote controls and ingenius ways of making life simpler.
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