I recently completed my eLearning technologies course where I spent a great deal of time researching Web 2.0 technologies. These technologies have been in use for many years. These moved us beyond the static Web 1.0 that just "gave" us information to allowing us to interact with our information. This is a wonderful "buzz word" but what does it really mean to the layman? Many of us working in the corporate world use these technologies without even knowing that they are specifically Web 2.0 features. I use my iPad that allows me to receive and respond to people in my life. Those who have BLOGS who allow responses are also taking advantage or Web 2.0 features. But really doesn't that mean that we are just using the latest technology to our advantage?
One thing that keeps coming to mind over the last few years, is "why does it have to be so darn hard?" Software and Apps are designed to make our lives easier not harder. When we log into our online banking application, do we get a training session? No. We navigate around and manage our accounts. If it was hard to use, there would be a huge uproar until it gets fixed. Yet, many software companies put the onus on the customer for having working knowledge to understand and troubleshoot their own system without providing them with the proper tools. My mantra is "less is more." We should be able to use the least amount of data in the right place in order to get the biggest bang for our buck. Yet, there are still times when using software this is not the case.
For all software developers, yes, many of us end users are smart and can figure out where to find things and understand the complexities of the software/hardware, but why do we have to deliberately have to make technology complex to learn and use? Many of us spent vast amounts of money to become specialists in our fields. Many programs do not focus on the technology used within the industries. Therefore software needs to help these well educated graduates, not create more challenges.
So, let's work together developers and specialists. Let's create software and apps that are easy to use and learn. Just like educators use many different methods to first analyse the training needs before the development and delivery of training, so, should software. Talk to us, we aren't so scary and mean that we will call your baby ugly while it is being developed. But if you don't ask us what works for us, we will call that baby ugly once it is born.
Caryn Morgan, corporate trainer, obtained her Masters Degree in Adult Education and Training