Why Going Back to the Drawing Board Feels So Good

2 minute read

I reused an old project for an Elearning Heroes Elearning Challenge to use gifs. The process and results were pleasantly surprising. Now I have a snazzy mad libs style cybersecurity activity – with gifs!

The project is an to help reinforce security culture at company. It would be part of a campaign about locking a computer when your leave your desk. It is part training, part habit-forming. Read more about the ideas behind the Storyline activity in an earlier post.

Demo of Cybersecurity Awareness Madlibs Activity
Try Office Antics

Redoing an activity…really?

Does that make me lazy?

No Way!

The beauty of E-learning challenges is that you can play with an example in different contexts, with different constraints.

The experiment pushed me to see the activity from a new perspective.

What I changed

I mostly changed the design and tone. I wanted to create something that had more of an internet culture vibe.

The changes let me see space on the slide in ways I was blind to before.

  • I was asking the user to fill out way too much information. I cut some out.
  • I experimented with how few instructions I could put on the slide. I put instructions out of habit. It seems elearning instructions are stuck in the 1990s (click Next). The apps are moving away from on-screen instructions. I want to push my elearning that way too.

I love personal projects because you often have more time to contemplate. When I live with a project for weeks or months, new ideas just seem to bubble up.

If only I could have such time at work. :)

I am only half joking. I’ve learned new things by tinkering. I’ve practised editing. That practice transfers.

Feedback and Change in Elearning Development

The changes I made were easy to do because the activity felt less precious than it did last week. Last week I was enamoured by the idea. I also was focused on getting the variables and triggers working properly.

I was less stressed because I already knew it worked. Now I could just make it better.

I had a neutral openess towards the final outcome of the project. I could substantially edit the activity and take it to new places without too much worry.

I am usually open to changes and feedback during projects. This type of play provides hands-on practice with iterative development. The project seemed to breathe on it’s own.

In the first version the focus was on what I could do to make this work. I think that is what lean or agile practitioners call a minimally viable product. Then this second example just goes further.

Version 1 of Activity Screen Shot
Check out version 1.

Version 2 of Activity Screen Shot
Check out version 2

Honestly, I had more fun in the editing phase than I did creating.