Week 4 – Instructional Design

Summary:

  • We interact with different instructional designs everyday e.g. refilling toner in a printer
  • Cognitive Load Theory is based on how think and how we remember, applying that research into creating the most effective ways to deliver instructions
  • Working Memory refers to how we manipulate information stored in our short-term memory

The image below refers to how our working memory affects our ability to efficiently carry out instructions. The “Before” image shows a chunk of text on the left hand side providing steps for the viewer to follow, paired with a diagram on the right with letter labelled parts that blend in with aspects of the illustration. These labels also have a key of reference located elsewhere on the manual, making this extremely difficult for the reader to retain and execute. The “After” image however, portrays the redesigned manual, where the steps have been summarised and the diagram is larger and labelled properly, creating an easy experience for the reader.

Before and After of a manual’s redesign
  • Photography isn’t effective for instructional design as it holds too much detail and provides no salient features as they all share the same visual weight within the images
An example of photography used within an instruction manual

Alberto Cairo’s 4 different ways of interacting with screen-based experience:

  1. Instruction: By clicking buttons
  2. Conversation: Back and forth dialog
  3. Manipulation: Drag and drop elements
  4. Exploration: Open, play and game-like

What are the challenges and opportunities of working within an interactive medium?

Challenges:

  • Limited screen area
  • Limited resolution

Opportunities:

  • Time (things are revealed within the interactive at different times based on the user’s actions)
  • Layering (revealing different information in layers as a result of the user’s actions)

Reflection:

During Week four’s lecture pod, they addressed the theoretical approach towards carrying out Instructional Design, being the Cognitive Load Theory and the concept of Working Memory which I found very interesting as it provides the context that designers have to understand when creating things like manuals. Alberto Cairo’s “four different ways of interacting with a screen-based experience” also gave a more simplified insight on how we can go about approaching Assessment two’s interactive design when taking the instructional route.

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