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Shawn Burson

VP of Learning

Design

Knowbly

Pre-planning considerations

for building self-paced

interactives

We've all been halfway through the build of an

interactive and come to a realization. There is

something about the content, or something

about the original intent of the interactive, that

simply won't work in the template that we've

chosen. Whether the presentation does not

match your original vision, or the pedagogy is

lost in translation, the result is lost time and

effort.

When put into perspective however, costlier

than your time spent as a designer, is the

impact that a poorly planned interactive can

have on a learner. Content forced into an

inappropriate template ultimately will not

convey the material properly.

To minimize the chances of lost time and

effort on the designer and the learner, you can

walk through some decision-making points

prior to the construction of the widget. We'll

focus on two very common sources of

material in this article: text-based and multiple

mixed-media content.

1. Text-based content

The two most popular display widget types,

for content that is largely text based, are the

Tabs widget and the Accordion widget.

There are some critical visual distinctions

between the two templates. It is important to

see all content in context and this can only be

achieved in the Accordion widget.

The Tabs widget is useful for content where:

• The intent is to keep the reader's visual

focus unchanged as each panel is

revealed.

• The user controls the pace and order of

information.

• Sections of content each have

corresponding short labels.

• Labels for sections of content should be

horizontally oriented.

• Sections of content are roughly uniform in

length.

• Vertical space is at a premium, so

condensing overall height is important.

• The presentation of content is comparative

in nature.

• The intent is for the user to focus on each

section of content individually.

• The user controls the pace and order of

information.

• Sections of content each have

corresponding headers.

• Sections of content are roughly uniform in

length.

• Vertical space is at a premium, so

condensing overall height is important.

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