I recently came across a blog-post by Susan Weinschenk which provides a quick overview of ideal user experience guidelines from a psychologist’s point of view.
The article addresses a diverse set of user experience guidelines and standards and consists of some really practical and useful tips which can and ought to be implemented right away.
Here’s a quick summary of the points which I found to be relevant to eLearning and Instructional Design.
- It is better to show people a little bit of information and let them choose if they want more details. (Progressive Disclosure)
- Instead of just describing things, show an example.
- If something is clickable make sure it looks like it is clickable.
- If a task is error-prone, break it up into smaller chunks.
- Don’t make people remember things from one task to another or one page to another.
- People can only remember about 3-4 items at a time. The “7 plus or minus 2” rule is an urban legend. Research shows the real number is 3-4.
- People need feedback. The computer doesn’t need to tell the human that it is loading the file. The human needs to know what is going on.
- If pages are cluttered people can’t find information. Use grouping to help focus where the eye should look.
- Things that are close together are believed to “go” together.
- The hardest colors to look at together are red and blue. Try to avoid red text on a blue background or vice versa.
The original blog-post has a wealth of information and practical tips that come from years of hands on experience and not just theoretical knowledge. You can check out the original blog-post here.