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You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink

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Such is the life of speculative web design. They didn't ask for it, so wy should they use it?

There are three approaches to fixing this:

1) Only design based on a clear creative brief which has identified a genuine communications problem which the website resolves. 

2) Get the intended audience involved in the creation of the website, generating content for it and talking about it. These days social media will do. Facebook or LinkedIn have great ways to keep the conversation to a limited circle.

3) Push it and develop it relentlessly using all the skills or PR and marketing.


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Design Museum

Speedy access to and consumption of the right information when you need it

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Fig.1. NHS Choices 

In 1999 Jakob Nielsen wrote a book on 'Web Design'; his principles hold true over a decade later, indeed, NHS Choices could have been designed by a team with this web design bible on their desks.

We read differently when faced with a screen. We read differently when there is a urgency to pin something down. This is learning as consumption, and learning 'just in time'. It is also applied learning. Simply returning to these pages does, in time, enhance the likelihood that you'll recall the content, but what improves further on this are the patient comments - or any other, subtle, incremental adjustments that refresh the viewing.

The problem, by way of comparison, with Wikipedia, is that the content has become overworked and the more the experts get involved the more impenetrable it becomes. A filter is required that personalises the experience so that the content that you are exposed to develops alongside your understand of what it says. Are their pages that know that you are still at primary school, secondary school or an undergraduate for example. This too would be too crude based on subject specialism. Or does this come down to your choices from those offered by the browser? If you are in higher education that you automatically use Google Scholar and read peer-reviewed papers rather than webpages aimed at the general public.

This isn't aimed at medical students.

 

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Design Museum

Are we too easily seduced?

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I am in all things, though I'm hardly the only one. I came into web design from video production to create rich, video-based interactive content - once the industry got over the indulgence the reality should be and can be more every day. We don't need a RollsRoyce to go to the supermarket, nor do we need Jaws 3 in 3D to give compliance e-learning on health and safety of a water company. I got this thinking from the founder of iRobots.
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