Sunday, January 08, 2006

care a little, gain a lot

I returned to work after the christmas break and, even though I had a tonne of stuff to catch up on, I found myself spending 2 whole days fixing up a team member's online modules. Fred (let's call him Fred) had left me a short email to ask for them to be uploaded to be ready for training in 2 days time.

Of course, I checked them out before doing this - I wish I hadn't in someways...

Now, it wasn't that there was much technically problematic with the content. The majority of the errors were to do with grammar, structure, navigation, instructional design, accessibility and failure to adhere to simple guidelines that we have documented. There weren't even any backwards/forwards links from page to page!

Incorrect use of apostrophes, lack of consistency in terminology and format, not altering the authoring program defaults to our guidelines, changing tense in the same sentence, badly written ya da ya da ya da. Instead of me being able to spend the time in looking for ways to improve the actual content, it was all manual, tedious stuff-fixing.

The grammar stuff surprises me as Fred is an instructional designer, but what really gets on my goat is the fact that he is ignoring simple little things that I have drummed into people short of hitting them with a big stick. Appropriate Alt descriptions, correct use of CSS, correct link formatting (please - not 'click here' or 'click on the big blue button at the bottom of the page on the right hand side'...).

I know it's because some people don't care about these things the way I do - it's just not in their blood. Okay. BUT I'd like them to just try to make the effort. Even if they think 'oh my giddy aunt, she does go on ever so...', I don't care. Humour me.


No comments: