I really agree with Connie Malamed that the user interface and design should be clear to reduce unnecessary mental processing. The designers and developers are supposed to follow the logical and obvious conventions and think more from the audience’s perspectives.
Recently, I have been designing the courses for the customers. The project manger put much emphasis on the user interface. However, I think she just tries to please the client, because she is the person to pay the money, instead of really thinking about the learners. For example, as needed in the course, I give two images of young and aging skin. Although I have been aware of the fact that the interface of smoothness and quality is a vital thing to pay attention to, in my opinion, to show the big difference that the learners are able to tell is also essential. Therefore, I pick up two images that are not very attractive, but I think they are instructional and meaningful for learners (retailers). Unexpectedly, my idea was severely rejected by the PM.
Since Chinese is composed of many different symbols, lots of things should be considered when doing the typesetting for an online couse. This is something that I found out when starting my work as an instructional designer in Taiwan. For example, any punctuation cannot be put at the beginning of a sentence. Every symbol should be in alignment and consistent. A phrase could not be seperately arranged because it might influece learners’ reading and don’t look neat. Some types of font cannot recognize a certain number of Chinese symbols. I have spent a bunch of time adjusting these tiny problems.
There are so many different things problems that I should face in doing instructional design job in Taiwan.