Weekly Analysis – Week 46

Another week is over.


The higlight was this year’s World Usabilty Day conference on Thursday.

I recieved a lot of good inputs regarding the topic “User Experience”. You can connect this topic to “Didaktics” because both share the same problem – how can you get the user to do certain things? In our case, this could be a web application that interacts with the user in a way that he feels comfortable and likes the system. A more higher-level approach could be the implementation of anticipative user interfaces which support the user by offering him kind of preselections. Those preselections could be a result of an anlaysis of his behaviour.

Talking about this leads to the problem of “creepiness”: how much of the user’s actions can you predict without getting him afraid? I also see a problem of patronization here: a software should only suggest certain actions and let the user decide whether he wants do accept or decline them – but it should not decide for the user itself.

An interesting key question for me is: how can anticipative user interfaces help to improve e-learning environments? I see a lot of possible applications here: a system could predict whether the learner will have understanding problems for a certain topic for example – by analyzing his previous learning behaviour. There might be a student who is not good in maths, for example. Then he probably needs a better presentation of mathematical contents in other learning units. The system could be automatically print deeper  and additional information to improve the learning process.

Anticipative user interfaces were only one topic of several within the conference. To summarize it up: I mostly got a feeling for the user’s desires again. Now I realized, that product design should not only be an additional feature, but also be one of the main goals during the product planning. It is necessary for its success. Especially products that are planned to be used at work should be designed in a way that the employee is supported by not overloading him with information, having a good structure, offering clear paths of actions and so on. The employee should be supported to reach his or her goal at work – mostly, work is not about fun all the time, so why should we create software that doesn’t make fun? This point leads me to the thought that software really can change the world.

Goal for next week

The goal of the last week was to use additional IPad learning apps. I found an app to store vocabuly information. Each time I will need a new vocabuly, I can add it to the app – and repeat it later.

My personal goal for next week is to finally write my exposee for my “Independent Courseworks” project. Since now, I didn’t find the time to focus on writing.