It’s an interesting conundrum. Never has our economy been more competitive. Never have companies been under more pressure to make every aspect of their operations ultimately efficient. Never has there been a more tangible link between learning and productivity . . . and yet, the number of organizations that can effectively measure and assess the performance of their learning programs or can accurately analyze visitor interaction with their web-based learning initiatives is less than 12%. The reasons are easy to explain, but difficult to change.
When starting a project, it is easy for us to gather up a shopping list of goals, wants, needs, and ideas. We may say “I want a chat room, a product configurator, a calendar, a blog, a forum,…” – you get the idea. In fact this list is a great component when within the discovery and defining process. The more information and ideas we can put on paper, the better. But this is shopping list. It is a list of ingredients that don’t necessarily relate to each other. We buy ingredients to create a meal. There are a lot of ingredients we like but we must understand the that not all good ingredients can be put together to create a great meal. We choose ingredients that have their own unique flavors, textures, and colors, that intermingle to form the perfect tasting meal. This same idea can be applied within training, educational, and marketing applications. It is important that we not only define and develop the individual components, but how these components work together to form a comprehensive, cohesive experience.
When we make a meal we pay attention to how it tastes. We make adjustments to the ingredients to make the next meal even better. Metrics, or measurements do the same for your applications. We don’t make a meal and not wonder what people think of it. We don’t give it to someone and not ask how it tasted. The process continues past the development of your application. Use it yourself, find out what others think, and review the analytics.
If we focus both bottom-up and top-down, explore ideas that are detailed while stepping back to review the big picture, there will be no stopping our pursuit in […]
The University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry set out to develop cutting edge dental training simulations using haptics. Haptics is the science of applying touch sensation and control to interaction. These dental simulations would provide a new platform for training. The dental school needed anatomically accurate tooth and gum models that would reflect natural imperfections and irregulatirites when used in the virtual dental simulator.
Working with UIC’s leading dental educator, Dr. Arnold Steinberg, Illumen’s team planned to map out all key anatomical imperfections, build the 3D models, then test them for accuracy within the virtual dental simulator. […]
Usability is a word that is often heard, yet is not often understood. What is usability? Why spend so much time on usability? How is it measured? When done right, usability can increase user productivity, provide a higher retention of information, and raise user satisfaction by creating and providing a stronger experience. Understanding what makes something usable or intuitive is never clearly defined. There are many factors that should go into the design of a usable solution. Usability is a component of user centered design, and is based on the goals, objectives, and even the limitations of you and your audience. Usability can be broken down into six elements that overlap each other to provide one cohesive experience. These six elemental groups are defined as: goal solving, intuitive, efficient, functional, satisfying, and memorable.
David Charney, Chief Creative Officer at Illumen, speaks at CD2 about the user experience and design. CD2 (Chicago Designers and Developers User Group) is focused on nurturing the collaboration between designers & developers and the importance of the user experience and how it relates to creativity and technology. […]