content design makes software easier to teach and learn and courseware
easier to develop. By classifying modules by type, you create
an accessible library of content to use whenever you develop new
courses. This frees you from having to rewrite content, thus speeds
creating courseware using modular content design principles, it
is neither necessary nor desirable to cover all the information
found in the User's Guide. In fact, courseware should contain
little or no running prose. That way we avoid the expense of writing,
editing, manufacturing and localizing material that already exists.
Instead, chunk content into short conceptual statements, bulleted
lists, and procedural steps that can be read at a glance. For
expanded explanations, reference online documentation and encourage
instructors to do so as well. When instructors refer to online
help topics, it improves performance and retention of the participants.
It in Pictures
make communication doubly effective, design content visually as
well as verbally. Limit content modules to one per page. In laying
out text and graphics, use a two-column format, with text on the
left and graphics on the right. By making certain elements consistent
and predictable, you make it possible for users to skim for the
unfamiliar information that is the most important for them to
learn.Create alternate ways of reading the material visually by
providing abundant illustrations, detailed captions, sidebars,
and bulleted lists.