One thing I find myself coming back to time and again, no matter what I am doing is the idea that if you 'make it as easy as possible' then it will be more successful. It's become a bit of a professional mantra for me and I find it helps with almost every aspect of e-learning development - as something to consider before you sit back and say "done".

It sounds ridiculously trite, but I try to use it as an internal review for the tasks that I carry out and I find it very effective. It often leads to me making small changes to things, hopefully for the better.

For example:

  • If you have an author or a content expert writing material for a course, then put together a brief that outlines exactly what you expect in a clear and concise way. This is harder than it sounds, but we can do this for our clients. (Making it easy for you!)

  • If you are trying to assess a course from a learner's viewpoint then ask yourself - is this as easy as it should be? Anything that needs a lot of explanation (for example an overly complicated route through the learning materials) is likely to cause problems later on.

  • When a group of stakeholders are going to review a course then make sure you have explained exactly what kind of feedback you want and in what format. When I do this I always give an example of helpful and unhelpful feedback. Again we can provide instructions for our clients to adapt, to make your job easier.

  • If you are marketing an e-learning course via a website, could someone coming to the site for the first time find what they want easily and quickly? I find outside help useful with this because if I've stared at something for too long then I start to see what I expect to see, and make assumptions based on knowledge that newcomers won't have. If you would like an outside eye to help you with this, our marketing team would be happy to help.

This approach is what we use when developing technical functionality in Imago and it continually improves what you get when you use one of our courses. Every time someone says 'shouldn't it work like this?' or 'wouldn't it be better if learners could do that?' we think about those comments and make changes.

As a well known and massive supermarket* says constantly 'every little helps' and what is not to like about making life as easy as possible for everyone; including yourself?

*Other supermarkets are available...