We've had some trouble in our office lately... For a client course we added a cursor icon next to all the instructions and it worked really well, they loved it and it was a huge success.
We used it again with a new client and they had trouble navigating the page. With comments back about "the arrow points to the left" (just as a cursor does) and that it's unclear why the user should be clicking to the left of the page (they shouldn't).
We then swapped it out for a hand-style cursor, and this made it worse. "The hand is pointing above or to a blank space, where are we meant to click? It's unclear."
As a graphic designer as well, I don't believe a cursor or a layout, especially with a right hand side arrow to navigate, needs a real explanation or instruction these days. You wouldn't go on a website and get stuck on how to navigate the page. So why are elearning courses different?
We want to know if any other instructional designers have this issue; do you have any icons in particular that you use to illustrate instructions in a text heavy course? And do clients get confused if so?
This is a debate we've had in our office and we want to see if anyone else has had the same problem!