Constructive Feedback

Would anyone mind providing some feedback on a training I am working on right now?

The purpose of the training is to teach our staff/faculty/students how to verify a link prior to clicking on it in an attempt to reduce the number of fraudulent sites that are visited.

There will be two sides to the training and currently I have completed the beginner side only. I have used some of the templates and ideas that I have pulled from others on this forum.

Thanks!

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/174700999/IT%20Security/IT%20Security%20output/story.html

22 Replies
Sara Reller

Hi-

I really liked the flow of the module, the way you moved from screen to screen I thought worked really well. The activities were great, they made a lot of sense and were easy to do. (Though I did have to think a bit about what was the "correct" name which was good.) I was a little disappointed when the final tips didn't seem to fit the flow of the rest the way they animated in because that worked so well.

You used a lot of different fonts. It was confusing felt like a couple different modules had been put together because of all the font and color changing. 

The game with the orange "correct" seemed weird, I was expecting it to be green, cause green means it is right! And the orange was pretty red so I initially went, no...I got that right, before I even read it.

Finally this may just be me but the green glowing Hackers boxes at the beginning made me feel like this module was out of date. Again that may be just be me, I had the same judgey feeling about several other modules that have used that feel elsewhere. It was cool 15 years ago, it may be back in.

Rob Morgan

Sara Reller said:

Hi-

I really liked the flow of the module, the way you moved from screen to screen I thought worked really well. The activities were great, they made a lot of sense and were easy to do. (Though I did have to think a bit about what was the "correct" name which was good.) I was a little disappointed when the final tips didn't seem to fit the flow of the rest the way they animated in because that worked so well.

You used a lot of different fonts. It was confusing felt like a couple different modules had been put together because of all the font and color changing. 

The game with the orange "correct" seemed weird, I was expecting it to be green, cause green means it is right! And the orange was pretty red so I initially went, no...I got that right, before I even read it.

Finally this may just be me but the green glowing Hackers boxes at the beginning made me feel like this module was out of date. Again that may be just be me, I had the same judgey feeling about several other modules that have used that feel elsewhere. It was cool 15 years ago, it may be back in.

Thanks for the feedback! I really appreciate it. I changed the colors on the correct boxes to be green now and I have tried to eliminate some of the different fonts. I loathe trying to pick fonts and color schemes for projects. I actually just read one of Tom's blogs about using a color schemer and a font family so perhaps I will try that next time.

The SME for this course really liked the green data sets that came up on the first slide so I think we will eave that for now.

Thanks for the advice though.

Sara Reller

For fonts I always try to pick one serif and one sans serif and just use those two. It can be really difficult though. 

I can certainly see why a SME would like it, it does instantly and clearly identify what you are talking about which can be very good.

Great job overall and I still think that flow is just the bees knees or something equally awesome.

Daniel Brigham

Nice work, Rob, and thanks for posting:

Pros:

  • nice graphic look on the opening two slides (video works especially well in slide 2).
  • background music works well (suggests mystery in an upbeat way).
  • drag-n-drop questions were a good choice.

Possibly consider:

  • 2nd slide: be consistent with periods after sentences. Some have them, some don't.
  • Have a previous button (or a menu) so people can go back. I wasn't totally sure what the training covered so I wanted to go back, but really couldn't without reloading the page.
  • Voiceover comments: perhaps get a bit closer to the mic (I can hear a fair amount of room echo). Not a big deal, just something to think about down the road.
  • "So how can you help yourself" slide. Voiceover was noticeably softer here than previous slide. Check the audio levels on this slide.
  • I would omit the quiz submit sounds. You don't really here those any more.

Hope some of this helps, and thanks again for posting. --Daniel

Natalia Mueller

Rob, nice job! I went in to take a quick look but found myself wanting to take the whole thing. That's definitely a good sign. 

I agree on the flow. It goes at a good pace, it's engaging and I wanted to see what came next. I also like the beginning and the background music.

I second Sara's feedback regarding the font usage. There is a lot going on there. While that might not seem like that big of a deal, it gives the whole course a dated and amateur feel that I don't think it deserves. If you only do one more thing to the course, please consider replacing the Comic Sans font. It's bad rep goes far beyond instructional designers and tends to discredit anyone that isn't a kindergarten teacher. If you want something with an informal or handwritten feel, there are tons of free options.

Google Fonts  is a good place to start. 

Bridget Brown

Rob - 

Overall nice job of explaining URL's!  And I agree with everyone that the flow was is an absolute plus.  

I have to disagree with Daniel on one thing though, and that is the music.  I found it very distracting and almost quit the course because it seemed extremely loud and intrusive.  You may want to think about fading it in when a new section starts and fading it out a bit later or just turning it down in general.

One content note - You did such a great job on teaching folks to read URL's, but as someone who also teaches this topic, I recommend that you speak to your SME about putting something in a bout tiny URL's.  As you may know - all bets are off on URL rules when it comes to tiny URL's.  

--Bridget

Rob Morgan

Daniel Brigham said:

Nice work, Rob, and thanks for posting:

Pros:

  • nice graphic look on the opening two slides (video works especially well in slide 2).
  • background music works well (suggests mystery in an upbeat way).
  • drag-n-drop questions were a good choice.

Possibly consider:

  • 2nd slide: be consistent with periods after sentences. Some have them, some don't.
  • Have a previous button (or a menu) so people can go back. I wasn't totally sure what the training covered so I wanted to go back, but really couldn't without reloading the page.
  • Voiceover comments: perhaps get a bit closer to the mic (I can hear a fair amount of room echo). Not a big deal, just something to think about down the road.
  • "So how can you help yourself" slide. Voiceover was noticeably softer here than previous slide. Check the audio levels on this slide.
  • I would omit the quiz submit sounds. You don't really here those any more.

Hope some of this helps, and thanks again for posting. --Daniel


Thanks David! I think I have added a previous button to almost all of the slides now with the exception of the chunk in the middle. That middle section has the pause button and progress bar that they can use to move back and forth with but I actually recorded about 20 slides as a movie and then added the mp4 back into storyline and put music on top of that slide. It was the only way I could think of to get the music to travel with me throughout the slides. I tried it without music but I felt like it really needed something in the background and Storyline does not provide an easy way to add background music for a collection on slides unfortunately without doing a screen recording of them and saving it as a video.

I did not originally have the quiz sounds (correct/incorrect) in there but the SME asked that we add them so I obliged.

Thanks for all your suggestions!

Rob Morgan

Bridget Brown said:

Rob - 

Overall nice job of explaining URL's!  And I agree with everyone that the flow was is an absolute plus.  

I have to disagree with Daniel on one thing though, and that is the music.  I found it very distracting and almost quit the course because it seemed extremely loud and intrusive.  You may want to think about fading it in when a new section starts and fading it out a bit later or just turning it down in general.

One content note - You did such a great job on teaching folks to read URL's, but as someone who also teaches this topic, I recommend that you speak to your SME about putting something in a bout tiny URL's.  As you may know - all bets are off on URL rules when it comes to tiny URL's.  

--Bridget


Funny you should mention tiny URL's they kinda screw up the whole find the forward slash and work back trick. We have been discussing how to teach on that and it will be included in the second module (Advanced) when I start working on that.

The music has been a back and forth issue around the office here as well. With half the people saying they love it and the other half saying that it was distracting or too loud. I have it set at the low volume although I may go in and reduce the volume a little as well.

Thanks!

Rob Morgan

Natalia Mueller-Spurgin said:

Rob, nice job! I went in to take a quick look but found myself wanting to take the whole thing. That's definitely a good sign. 

I agree on the flow. It goes at a good pace, it's engaging and I wanted to see what came next. I also like the beginning and the background music.

I second Sara's feedback regarding the font usage. There is a lot going on there. While that might not seem like that big of a deal, it gives the whole course a dated and amateur feel that I don't think it deserves. If you only do one more thing to the course, please consider replacing the Comic Sans font. It's bad rep goes far beyond instructional designers and tends to discredit anyone that isn't a kindergarten teacher. If you want something with an informal or handwritten feel, there are tons of free options.

Google Fonts  is a good place to start. 

Ok ok ok...I removed Comic Sans...

I knew when I put it in that some people were admittedly opposed to it but I am one of the outliers that really like it. haha. I have replaced all of the Comic Sans with a Google Font called Jacques Francois. Hopefully that will work a little better.

Thanks for the input.

Melanie Sobie

Hi Rob,

I think you did a great job. The training course achieved the learning objective in an effective and efficient way. Great use of activities.

I liked the music but thought it was too loud in certain places, I had to strain to hear the voiceover.

One thing I wanted to mention that I thought could be improved was the place where the learner gets into a website and then realizes it is not legit. I think that might have been the bookstore website.  The learner is directed to leave the website and click the X, but in real life you'd want them to click the red x box on the top right hand corner of the screen. Is there perhaps a way to direct them to click on that part of the screen to exit that fraudulent website?  (I don't have Storyline, so I don't know if that's possible.)

Melanie

Nancy Woinoski

Rob Morgan said:

Bridget Brown said:

Rob - 

Overall nice job of explaining URL's!  And I agree with everyone that the flow was is an absolute plus.  

I have to disagree with Daniel on one thing though, and that is the music.  I found it very distracting and almost quit the course because it seemed extremely loud and intrusive.  You may want to think about fading it in when a new section starts and fading it out a bit later or just turning it down in general.

One content note - You did such a great job on teaching folks to read URL's, but as someone who also teaches this topic, I recommend that you speak to your SME about putting something in a bout tiny URL's.  As you may know - all bets are off on URL rules when it comes to tiny URL's.  

--Bridget


Funny you should mention tiny URL's they kinda screw up the whole find the forward slash and work back trick. We have been discussing how to teach on that and it will be included in the second module (Advanced) when I start working on that.

The music has been a back and forth issue around the office here as well. With half the people saying they love it and the other half saying that it was distracting or too loud. I have it set at the low volume although I may go in and reduce the volume a little as well.

Thanks!


Can't you put a button on the slide master that lets the user toggle the music on/off. That would solve the music issue.

Rob Morgan

Melanie Sobie said:

Hi Rob,

I think you did a great job. The training course achieved the learning objective in an effective and efficient way. Great use of activities.

I liked the music but thought it was too loud in certain places, I had to strain to hear the voiceover.

One thing I wanted to mention that I thought could be improved was the place where the learner gets into a website and then realizes it is not legit. I think that might have been the bookstore website.  The learner is directed to leave the website and click the X, but in real life you'd want them to click the red x box on the top right hand corner of the screen. Is there perhaps a way to direct them to click on that part of the screen to exit that fraudulent website?  (I don't have Storyline, so I don't know if that's possible.)

Melanie

Thank you very much for reminding me about that! I had written that down during one of my self-reviews and somehow completely overlooked it. I just changed it so that there is a hot spot over the web browser X that you click to close it.
Rob Morgan

Nancy Woinoski said:



Can't you put a button on the slide master that lets the user toggle the music on/off. That would solve the music issue.

There is currently the default sound button that would allow you to turn the volume down and you could mute the sound that way. Are you thinking a button that just turns off the background music or all of the sound? I originally wanted to do it with no sound at all but in order to be ADA compliant we needed the voice over and the voice over did not seem to work on its own without the background music. The timing felt off when I did that.
Cary Glenn

The course looks beautiful and I actually learned some new information from it.

I worry about the congitive load, there is a lot of extraneous stuff happening that may interfere with the content. After reading the research of Meyer and Clark on cognitive load I have tended to avoid having a narrator read the words on the screen, the music will also add extra extraneous load. I love rich and varied designs and I appreciate skeumorphism. I'm not a big fan of the new flat design asthetic but I appreciate that sometimes that flat design is better.

Once I got past the introduction the exercises were helpful.

Natalia Mueller

Rob Morgan said:


Ok ok ok...I removed Comic Sans...

I knew when I put it in that some people were admittedly opposed to it but I am one of the outliers that really like it. haha. I have replaced all of the Comic Sans with a Google Font called Jacques Francois. Hopefully that will work a little better.

Thanks for the input.


 

I can't say I completely understand the extent of disgust a little ol' font triggers in so many but few fonts seem to have the ability to elicit an emotion at all. It would be a shame to have that as an unwanted scene-stealer. 

One other thing I forgot to mention is that there was a Next button that didn't work. I only remember that it was near the end. 

It's interesting to see the preference differences just here in this thread. Nice that you're getting such positive feedback around the content though. All the perfect details in the world can't hide crappy content, unmet objectives and poor flow. 

Rob Morgan

Cary Glenn said:

The course looks beautiful and I actually learned some new information from it.

I worry about the congitive load, there is a lot of extraneous stuff happening that may interfere with the content. After reading the research of Meyer and Clark on cognitive load I have tended to avoid having a narrator read the words on the screen, the music will also add extra extraneous load. I love rich and varied designs and I appreciate skeumorphism. I'm not a big fan of the new flat design asthetic but I appreciate that sometimes that flat design is better.

Once I got past the introduction the exercises were helpful.


Originally we did not have a narrator but after a meeting with our office of disability it was decided that in order for the training to be accessible we would need to have the content available audibly to someone who is using a screen reader.

Thanks!

Nancy Woinoski

Rob Morgan said:

Nancy Woinoski said:


Can't you put a button on the slide master that lets the user toggle the music on/off. That would solve the music issue.


There is currently the default sound button that would allow you to turn the volume down and you could mute the sound that way. Are you thinking a button that just turns off the background music or all of the sound? I originally wanted to do it with no sound at all but in order to be ADA compliant we needed the voice over and the voice over did not seem to work on its own without the background music. The timing felt off when I did that.


I was thinking of a button just to turn off the music. That would solve the issue that some people like the background music and some don't.

Judith Blackbourn

What Cary said. The problem is that people generally can read so much faster than your narrator is speaking, so we've read the text on screen 3 times while we're waiting for the narrator to finish.

Actually, I liked this module after I got past the introduction phase. However, somehow, I didn't learn my lesson -- I got most of the final questions wrong! Still, the screen responded with "Great Job!".  Maybe you can keep score of the correct and incorrect answers, and show how many questions were wrong. Then you could give the learner links back to the part of the lesson that described the correct information.

Jerson  Campos

What I liked,

The flow was very well done, it moved from topic to topic at a good pace

Very active. The motion between the slides kept my interested in what was happening (although in some there was a little too much and got lost)

What I didn't like

The black background.  I'm not a big fan of solid backgrounds. I like using backgrounds (or templates) that have some depth to it.  Since you are talking about a technical matter, a techy background would be appropriate like the image below.

The colors also seemed all over the place. I would choose a color scheme and stick to it. Planning what elements are going to be what color add some consistency to the overall feel of the course. You don't want your Topic Headers different colors in the course since this might confuse some viewers.  If you are not good at choosing color schemes you can use online resources such as Adobe's Kuler site and choose something you like. 

Fonts - They are all over the place.  Read Tom K's article on becoming a font pro. It'll provide some helpful hints. http://www.articulate.com/rapid-elearning/become-a-font-pro-with-this-time-saving-tip/

Overall design - Another thing I noticed is that some of your text boxes were also all over the place. Some where square boxes, some had rounded corners (this made them look more like buttons to me).  Just like fonts and colors, create some common elements and stick with them.  If you are not good with design, look at what other people are doing. The current trend right now for most websites is the flat ui look.  Here is a site that provides loads of inspiration for this.  http://designmodo.github.io/Flat-UI/.

Of course this all dependent on what the customer/client/boss wants. 

Rob Morgan

Jerson campos said:

What I liked,

The flow was very well done, it moved from topic to topic at a good pace

Very active. The motion between the slides kept my interested in what was happening (although in some there was a little too much and got lost)

What I didn't like

The black background.  I'm not a big fan of solid backgrounds. I like using backgrounds (or templates) that have some depth to it.  Since you are talking about a technical matter, a techy background would be appropriate like the image below.

The colors also seemed all over the place. I would choose a color scheme and stick to it. Planning what elements are going to be what color add some consistency to the overall feel of the course. You don't want your Topic Headers different colors in the course since this might confuse some viewers.  If you are not good at choosing color schemes you can use online resources such as Adobe's Kuler site and choose something you like. 

Fonts - They are all over the place.  Read Tom K's article on becoming a font pro. It'll provide some helpful hints. http://www.articulate.com/rapid-elearning/become-a-font-pro-with-this-time-saving-tip/

Overall design - Another thing I noticed is that some of your text boxes were also all over the place. Some where square boxes, some had rounded corners (this made them look more like buttons to me).  Just like fonts and colors, create some common elements and stick with them.  If you are not good with design, look at what other people are doing. The current trend right now for most websites is the flat ui look.  Here is a site that provides loads of inspiration for this.  http://designmodo.github.io/Flat-UI/.

Of course this all dependent on what the customer/client/boss wants. 


Thanks! Those are some really good points. The reason for the solid background has to do with the flow of the course. In order for me to get the "moving motion" feeling that you are dropping down and moving to the side in the slides I had to use a solid background. If you use a background with anything other than a solid color, including just a simple gradient, it becomes obvious that the slide is just being raised or lowered and it loses the feel of you actually dropping through space.

Fonts, I think there are only 3 fonts in the presentation now. Articulates default font, Jacques Francois from Google Fonts and Broadway for the games.

I tried to stick to a consistent color scheme with mostly black/white/orange for content slides and the red/black for the games/activities. I will go back through it though with an eye for the colors and make sure I did not miss anything.

Good call on the boxes. I prefer rounded boxes to 90 degree angles but I will go back through and make sure it is consistent.

Thanks for the feedback!

Rob Morgan

Judith Blackbourn said:

What Cary said. The problem is that people generally can read so much faster than your narrator is speaking, so we've read the text on screen 3 times while we're waiting for the narrator to finish.

Actually, I liked this module after I got past the introduction phase. However, somehow, I didn't learn my lesson -- I got most of the final questions wrong! Still, the screen responded with "Great Job!".  Maybe you can keep score of the correct and incorrect answers, and show how many questions were wrong. Then you could give the learner links back to the part of the lesson that described the correct information.


Very good points. We talked about the speed at one of our early meetings and since our primary audience will be entry level users with computers we decided we did not want to move the text too fast since many of our audience may not be fast readers. At the same time we did not want to move so slowly that an advanced reader would get bored and disengaged. We tried to find a middle ground there and added the background music to help keep the faster readers engaged as well.

We actually just decided early today that a user will have to go back and get a correct answer prior to moving forward. So I think that should fix the issue you got with it saying great job even though your "score" may not have been great. Now it will have you try again if you get one wrong and then at the end you will still get the "Great Job" screen but with the new setup you will have actually gotten all of the screen correct.

Thanks!