Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Review of Video Tutorial

I promised you a release each day, today's is an update of the video tutorials (link at the bottom of the page). This is quite a small release, the other 3 releases are bigger and I'm very excited to finally get to the point where I can release them.

Back to the review, its going to be about my video tutorials using the 10 questions I quoted yesterday. Reviewing your own work is always difficult because you're too close to it to see its flaws properly, however, using it in a practical with students recently I came to realise some of its flaws and how it could be improved.

1. What do the users get out of looking at the project?
I hope that they learn the basics of how to navigate in Google Earth and grasp the basic tools and processes needed to create a 'back of the envelope' type map.

2. Is there a good introduction?
I do explain exactly what the project without too much detail, however, the instructions on how to use the video tutorial bits comes later in the second part of the file (Tools: Watch me!). It would have been better to put both these parts together and the man with the flag is difficult to click because I have used a large icon size.

3. Is the text written concisely?
Yes, I think so.

4. Have icons, lines and areas been used well?
I struggled with this area because of the experimental nature of the project. A screen overlay would have served better for the main part of the tutorials instead of the ground overlay but I found I couldn't get the video icons to plot above the background image so was stuck with a ground overlay. However, I can't blame the experimental nature on the man with the flag at the start, it would have been much better to split the tutorial into two separate kmz files and get rid of that intro icon altogether.

5. Have acronyms been avoided?

6. Is the Places column structured well?
Yes its as simple as possible.

7. Is there an appropriate amount of data in the project?
Yes. Tutorial material is endless, I worked hard to keep only the most important info in the project and linked out to the web using the 'more' icons if people wanted more information.

8. Have advanced elements been used that could be avoided?
The links within the pop up balloons taking the user to the next element were unnecessary, they aren't all that obvious and made navigating through the material complex. A better solution would be to split the file into 2 as described in Q4.

9. Is there Map Junk?
The man with the flag is unnecessary, a simple icon saying 'Read Me!' or 'Introduction' would have been better. The main background image in the 2nd part of the tutorials is fairly complex but I think it works and is necessary so that's not Map Junk.

10. On entry is the level of visible features appropriate?
Yes and I go further by using my 'picture frame' idea to further limit the amount of features users see at any one time.

I think the reflection above shows how easy it is to get sucked into using 'cool' features without properly asking yourself, does the clever way of doing that really deliver a good project?

Today's Release: A New improved version of the above without the flag man and without the 2 part structure:
Improved Video Tutorial File

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