Links and articles about technology, design, and sociology. Written by Rian van der Merwe. Follow @RianVDM
Design for learning
Hey, I dislike the word “gamification” as much as the next guy. The topic of game mechanics has been twisted and applied to everything with almost as much success as the recent “infographic” craze. And yet, I can’t help but link to this excellent post by Michael Lopp. In Two Universes he provides one of the few worthwhile explorations of game mechanics in software that I’ve seen:
The plethora of online Photoshop tutorials demonstrate its power and its flexibility, but I believe they also demonstrate its poor design. Think about it like this: what if each time you plunked down in front of World of Warcraft, you had to spend an hour trying to remember, wait, how do I play this?
Great design makes learning frictionless. The brilliance of the iPhone and iPad is how little time you spend learning. Designers’ livelihood is based on how quickly and cleverly they can introduce to and teach a user how a particular tool works in a particular universe.
His observations on what it takes to motivate people to learn are spot on.