Training as a part of IxD (RE: You decide)

4 Jan 2005 - 9:16pm
9 years ago
2 replies
389 reads
Dave Malouf
2005

> Further, most web-apps have a limited, focused audience. They
> should have some training in the web-app before being put in
> front of it in the first place.

Daniel, thanx for bring up this issue. I struggle with it. At my current
organization we assume a lot of training and access to help so we can
"scrimp" on making the design actually work.

I realize that in most things there is a balance that we need to create in
most arenas, but falling on "training" seems like a consultants answer b/c
we get paid for consulting services (aka training).

I think I can't really submit to the "help" card. Just like you suggested
that if my users are using the "back button" there is something wrong w/ the
design, I believe that if they need "training" then that is a failure in the
design, too.

Is there such a thing as an application needing to be too difficult to learn
that it requires training to solve a total problem?

I'm not so sure that I want to settle for a "yes" to that question. Feels
like a failure as a designer.

What do others think?

-- dave

Comments

4 Jan 2005 - 9:48pm
Daniel Harvey
2004

David wrote:
"I realize that in most things there is a balance that we need to create in
most arenas, but falling on "training" seems like a consultants answer b/c
we get paid for consulting services (aka training)."

I think it really depends on your definition of "training" and the complexity of the system. I mean, as simple to use as the ipod is there's still a user's manual right? No reason why something similar shouldn't be part of a deliverable for any true application experience. I mention this because in some cases, training sessions I've been involved have essentially been getting a single key user or very small key user (likely the admins) in a room for an hour or so and walking them thru such a doc. Other times, the training session really functions more as a post-launch user testing scenario. In both of those instance we're talking about as little as an hour or as much as a half-day.

And honestly, I'd be wary of the work I'd done, if it was anything more than that... as you suggest, more smacks as a money grab to some degree.

There are several reasons I can say that in good conscience:
* these "key users" are often key to the design and build process. we're building to their needs or the needs of people they can speak for in their organization. Their input aids the process throughout: from initial analysis to design to prototyping to builds to testing to launch
* when I've designed apps it wasn't as a flash-in-the-pan "one off" relationship. It was as part of a progressive and instantiated development. Let it live in the wild for a bit and then return and correct errors, tweak behaviors, extend the functionality, etc.
* most clients asking for this sort of development work are the ones that put "training" as a line item in the SOWs and RFPs and contracts up front. We're not the ones insisting on it.

Daniel Harvey Interaction Design Director
R/GA 350 West 39th Street New York, NY 10018 www.rga.com

5 Jan 2005 - 2:12am
Dave Malouf
2005

Inspired by Daniel's response to me, I took it to heart and realized I was
just being ultr-contentious ... So I thought I would be more productive and
wrote a lengthy piece about "training" ... Well all sorts of help.

Check it out ...

http://synapticburn.com/comments.php?id=34_0_1_0_C

-- dave

David Heller
dave (at) ixdg (dot) org
http://ixdg.org
http://htmhell.com/

AIM: bolinhanyc // Y!: dave_ux // MSN: hippiefunk at hotmail.com

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