Here is another Before & After example.
Back again with another before and after example from the content conversions I’ve been doing.
BEFORE- the original contentThis is one interaction from a huge, high-visibility orientation course on workplace attitudes and behaviors initially developed by a junior developer in our group. The concepts are fundamentally sound, but the graphics and flow had opportunity for improvement during our conversion. Let’s review the original (text blurred to protect the organization’s material).
Intro Screen (not shown)Standard scenario intro setup using an Articulate character: “Meet <name>. He just overheard a conversation between his manager and a home office employee.”
InteractionThe interaction concept is simple. The main character overhears a conversation where his manager and a home office employee are planning to do something legal, but not consistent with the values of the organization. He has several courses of action he could pursue, but really needs to distinguish between good and bad ideas he is considering. The original designer put in an animation. The left half of the screen renders to introduce the scenario and show the conversation. Then, the right half displays the main character and the interaction. Despite the use of animation, the design falls into the common trap of “flat design thinking” I mentioned in my previous before and after post. The end result is too much on the screen at once. Only half of the real estate is dedicated to the interaction, which is the purpose for this screen. The design of the “idea boxes” was not immediately intuitive to a some users and the boxes sizing did not distinguish them as clear drop targets for the interaction. “Tonight, the role of the submit button will be played by the next button”… On virtually every screen of the course, the right pointing arrow is for navigating to the next slide. One some interactions, the next button suffers this identity crisis. There were a other opportunities to improve the interaction. These are easier to see in the following screenshot: [list style=”arrow” color=”blue”]
- The size of the thought bubbles overflow the drop targets as well as the stage area.
- Thought bubbles do not need to be dropped on any valid drop target to submit the interaction (for example, you can just drag it over the main character as shown).
- Once the first item is dropped on a drop target, you can no longer read the name (as shown, you can no longer determine which box was for a good ideas, which one was for bad ideas).
FeedbackIncorrect feedback essentially says “Incorrect. <Character> should choose a different course of action.” and a Try Again button resets the interaction. So a user possibly need to try every possible combination to get the correct answer to advance in the course. This is a bit harsh in my opinion, considering there is no feedback to help guide users to perform better, and this is one small interaction in a very large course. Despite the issues, there is a great opportunity here. So often in business, we are faced with situations that aren’t black and white and have actions could take and others that we might consider, but really shouldn’t pursue. So, I set out to develop a “Good idea/Bad idea” template that could apply to many business scenarios (I’d attempt to develop a similar interaction for husbands: “good thing to say to wife” vs “do not say this to your wife”, but my bride of 14 years can assure you that I don’t score well on that test).
AFTER – the revision[button title=”click here to see this in action” type=”linkbutton” color=”blue-lite” url=”http://businesscriticallearning.com/wp-content/uploads/storyline/overheard/story.html” target=”_blank” ]
Intro Screen (not shown)The intro screen is just a different aesthetic choice using photos and color vs the original white background and Storyline characters.
InteractionThe setup was separated from the interaction itself. I attempted to create a little ambiance by selecting a photo that makes it look as if you have snuck in behind your manager and stumbled upon the conversation that occurred. Each idea appear one at a time for the user to considers and drop onto a very obvious drop-target area. If the user drops the idea on the incorrect drop target, it returns to the neutral position for quick, instant feedback. Once all of the ideas are dropped onto the correct drop target, a final congratulations message displays.
This ended up on the cutting room floor- so enjoy!The organization did not select this version of the content treatment, so this template will not be used. Instead of letting it die unused on the cutting room floor, I removed company-specific information, and I am offerring it to you to adapt for your own needs Download the .story file and have fun! More to come!
BEFORE- the original contentThis is one interaction in a huge, high-visibility orientation course on workplace attitudes and behaviors (so, yes… there are many before & after items coming soon). This was initially developed by a junior developer in our group. Generally speaking, the concepts and interactions are fundamentally sound, but the graphics and flow could improve. Let’s review the original (text blurred to protect the organization’s material).
InteractionThe first thing I noticed is a common issue- “thinking flat”. I am not talking about flat design (which I am fond of), but the inability to think of layering content and using timing/animations to progressively display information. Many junior designers work to fit everything on screen all at once and don’t think to user layering. In this case, the choice limits the real estate for the interaction and makes the screen look busy. Another issue I wanted to address was the identity confusion of the “next” button as a submit button. The click interaction has: [list style=”arrow” color=”blue”]
- 5 correct answers (wrong nametag, unlocked file cabinet, deadflowers, overflowing trash, and the stack of papers on the desk)
- 3 incorrect options (2 pens on the left that select as a group, the pen on the right edge of the desk, and the man and computer that select as a group)
FeedbackThe immediate feedback triggered essentially says “nice try, but there are different things that should have been selected”, and prompts the user to go to a summary slide which shows what should have been selected. Correct feedback essentially says “Nice work – you found the items” and prompts you to go to the same summary slide. The interaction is all or nothing, so if the user gets 4 of 5 correct, they get the same score and feedback as a user who selected only two incorrect items and submits the interaction (which will submit even if just one item is selected). I see a lot of opportunity to tighten the interaction and feedback to really help the user.
Summary ScreenOnce the user clicks “Continue” from the Correct or Incorrect feedback prompt, they go to a summary screen with a hover interaction. These interactions give the users details on the 5 correct items. The first thing I noticed is that it said “Congratulations on identifying the five things…” even if the user got to the screen from the incorrect feedback prompt when they didn’t select the right things. Despite the issues, there is truly some good raw material here. With a little tightening and polish, it can really bring out the best in the interaction.
AFTER – the revision[button title=”click here to see this in action” type=”linkbutton” color=”blue-lite” url=”http://businesscriticallearning.com/wp-content/uploads/storyline/office/story.html” target=”_blank” ]
InteractionWhere the Intro screen brought only cosmetic changes, the interaction brought significant functional changes. Every area of the screen (excepting the prompt) is clickable. Clicking an incorrect area gives incorrect feedback. Clicking one of the 5 items does three things:
- it checks the item and changes it to an inactive state so it can’t be selected a second time
- it triggers a running counter of the number of items found
- it prompts feedback specific to the item found