I’ve seen a lot a shiny, fancy and useless online page turner book things, and typically hate them for their reliance on flash, the difficulty of reading them and the fact that we’re combining the worst of digital and non-digital technologies mainly to impress the people responsible for publishing the content rather than the people who are meant to read it.
First, I’d like to say a massive thank you. I really value the chance to study this excellent material at zero financial cost, and more importantly I love the opportunity you provide to people all around the world who don’t have the finances or the circumstances to otherwise consider such an education.
I also know what it’s like to maintain and develop a complex online system while supporting active users, so this feedback is by no means an accusation of negligence. You will have thought about much of this already I’m sure, and if it’s already on a project roadmap somewhere then please excuse me.
In short, this is not a letter from a grumpy customer; I just thought it may be useful to hear some specific feedback and ideas that could help with the online experience:
When viewing and submitting assignments
Include some visual indicator as to which ones you’ve already submitted. A tick would be plenty.
Likewise for showing which assignments you have completed your peer-reviews for. If you forget, you have to click into each item to check what you have and haven’t done. Even then it’s confusing to remember.
The general visual hierarchy on this page is confusing. Those blue buttons jump out way more than the text you really want people to read (i.e. the assignment titles)
Indicate the assignments where the existing submission deadlines are closed (I’m only in week 2 so maybe this happens after week 1 evaluation is done, but currently its an effort to digest what my next steps are and how much I have to do before Sunday night)
Bubbling up some top level stats on assignments due/completed to the homepage would be useful
Ability to mark-off each item you have watched/completed would be nice. Like the assignments, if you’re doing this in the evenings after working, and you’re already tired, every little helps. I found myself relying on visited link colour, and that’s not a very cross-platform solution
In summary, the simpler you can explain what’s expected of people (and by when), the more enjoyable the learning experience will become. Let them focus on the learning, rather than the admin (unless of course you’re secretly trying to teach personal admin skills).
That’s it for now, as I have homework to do!
I hope that’s useful in some way, and thanks again.
A nice way to find out people’s actual first impression of your web page or design. It’s a good idea to to register for a free account and complete some tests for others, even if it’s just to help you think about your own page designs.