Re: CBT vs. stand-up

Subject: Re: CBT vs. stand-up
From: Richard Danca <rdanca -at- UIE -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 24 Mar 1998 11:09:58 -0500

Without going too much into the merits of this discussion, here are
some observation:

Whenever I get the choice of whether to install CBT (or
tutorials) with software I *always* decline to install it.

Whenever I need extra space on my hard disk, the first thing I
delete are any CBT or tutorial files (especially those with huge
graphics files!)

Most CBT and tutorials stink! (At least based on my limited
experience). I get great pleasure by denying them space on my
system or by blasting their bits and bytes into hyperspace. And
I'll bet I'm not the only end user who thinks like this!

It seems to me that *these* are the kind of issues techwriters need
to deal with.

A stand-up teacher gets immediate feedback from the audience; a good
one can adapt and deal with the issues. Once a CBT or tutorial is
burned into a CD-ROM or copied onto a disk it's there forever, and
it's unlikely there will ever be changes. It's just too tempting to
just Click! and get outta there.

Also, as with lousy install programs, a poor tutorial can forever
taint the user's impression of the software. Users just *don't*
distinguish between your company's software and the rest of what
comes in (or on) the package. So if they hate the install program you
bought and bolted onto it, they'll hate the software, too (our
company has user tests showing this).

It's similar for the tutorial, possibly worse: Even if your company
didn't write its own tutorial, its image is all over it, so the
hatred may be even stronger and (in the users' minds) more
justifiable.

Sorry if I'm late getting into this discussion. I get this list in
digest form.

============================================
Richard A. Danca User Interface Engineering
mailto:richard -dot- danca -at- uie -dot- com 800 Turnpike St., Suite 101
978-975-4343 978-975-5353 (fax) North Andover, MA 01845
http://www.uie.com USA
Send me your postal address and I'll send you a free copy of
our newsletter, Eye For Design
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