End of Sidewalk

This sign near my wife’s office building reminds me of common mistakes that are often made when designing e-learning:

They already know what they already know

This point is pretty obvious and may be a waste of your time to read, but I’ll say it anyway: Before designing a course, identify the things that your learners already know and leave those things out of your course. If I were to explain my aunt’s Bluetooth features in her new car, I wouldn’t begin the lesson with, “This is a steering wheel.” So, remember that your learners already know the sidewalk is ending, and they’d probably benefit much more by learning why the sidewalk is ending, or where they should walk instead.

Don’t state the obvious

This is pretty closely related to the last point, but slightly different. Learners don’t need a navigation tour to understand that the “Next” button takes them to the next screen. Unless your interface is unique and not completely intuitive, there is no need to state the obvious.

Don’t include unnecessary features

In this point, I’m referring to the unnecessary sidewalk, not the unnecessary sign. Why pave a sidewalk that only travels 50 yards and ends suddenly? Similarly, don’t include features in your course unless they benefit the learner in some way. If the sidewalk doesn’t take them somewhere, don’t pave it.