10/17/06  (susheyer)  [0 Comments]

Usability of Standards for "average" users

As I was saying before, I am getting quite involved with the IMS Learning Design (IMS LD) Standard. In trying to understand the architecture of the standard, I am realizing that with the use of the standard, it actually should be like using a really good software: good software doesn't project its own terminology and technical architecture onto the user. Rather, it guides you almost effortlessly through your very own creation process, for which you are using the software as a tool. The problem with IMS Learning Design and the available tool(s) to create the needed XML data structures is, that you first have to understand all the terminology, syntax, and semantics of the standard before you can go ahead and create an IMS Learning Design. This violates in my understanding the principle of a good software. The Reload Editor is not that much of a help, since it merely mirrors the terminology of the standard and architecture itself (although I have to admit that it is an XML-generating software, so if you can't write in XML then Reload is already a help!). 

I think one of the improvements that could be made is to "translate" the logic of the architecture into common usage principles and offer those translations in form of a new editor software to the users. Perhaps this will make more people aware of and willing to use IMS LD. We are taking steps towards that... more on it later!