“Direct navigation traffic is by far the most highly targeted form of the web traffic available.”

– Marc Ostrofsky

Looking for a shortcut!


I’m on my way!

Wayfinding refers to the process of  using space and environment to navigating towards a destination.  Just like visual maps help us navigate through a particular space or environment, websites and e-lessons are no different.

There are four distinct stages to wayfinind:

  • Orientation – uses landmarks or object near by to identify current location.  As indicated by the “You are here” sign on many maps
  • Route Decision – refers to the decisions made in order to get to destination.  Research shows that people are more likely to find and take the shortest route
  • Rout Monitoring – the way of gauging progress.  Breadcrumbs are visual cues that highlight the path taken
  • Destination Recognition – clearly identified to communicate you have arrived!

Once upon a time, long long ago…

Yes, today’s blog is about Storytelling
As an expansion to the sixth variable indicated in the Stickiness principle, the Storytelling principle is one that resonated strongly with me as I am part of an organization that promotes a strong storytelling culture.  Working in the hospitality industry, you know that it is about making those emotional connections with our guests’, it’s about being less transactional more interactional.  We are a team that celebrates successes and share stories about how we create positive memories for our guests and when we do this, we motivate and inspire each other to empower ourselves to initiate hospitality and put our own spin on creating memorable experiences for our guests.  Part of my goal this year is putting together e-lessons for a broad range of colleagues from Front Desk to Housekeeping to Kitchen – it is my mission to ensure I deliver elements of storytelling in E-lessons with the intent of sparking an emotional response in a colleague to live and breathe our strong experience culture. I intend to incorporate understanding through Audio (oral) Visual (video) Text (on screen info) and Digital (by incorporating elements of FLASH design wherever appropriate and current/ relevant forms of social media or youtube clips.  Here’s my interpretation of the six fundamental elements to effective storytelling:

  • Setting – Time and Place through video clips
  • Characters – Will be our own colleagues acting out scenes
  • Plot – Company Standards linking back to our Vision, Mission and Core Values
  • Invisibility – MY FAVORITE!! I want learners to be so engrossed in the e-lesson that they forget the medium (the computer) which for some learners may be a challenge or have initial fear/ anxiety/ reluctance.
  • Mood – Will use background music on title screen and create an overall mood of being Welcoming, Engaging and Empowered through interactive games, quizzes and videos.
  • Movement – Will have a consistent flow designed for learners to go at their own pace and not exceed and average completion time of 25 minutes.

Keep at it till it “sticks”

Refers to the ability to recall ideas or expressions that “stick” in our memories like catchy slogans or ads. This applies to anything that can be seen, heard or touched and has six variables:

1)      Simplicity – I like to describe as something that is “short and sweet”

2)      Surprise – attention grabber, a shocking fact, image or sound that resonates with you

3)      Concreteness – a specific ideas/ concept described in “lemans terms”

4)      Credibility – coming from a trusted source

5)      Emotion – concept or idea makes resonates with you and elicits a feeling

6)      Story – expressed in a context of a story

Next time, when I think back to Millers Rule of “The magical number seven, plus or minus two” I will be sure to incorporate the Stickiness in the design of my e-lessons.


Content Organization

In one of my earlier blogs, I mentioned that it’s content is included based on “Need to have” not “Nice to Have”  Once the content has been filtered in this fashion, the task of “Chunking” begins. The term chunking describes the process of organizing and displaying information in a way that gives pattern and.   Here are some simple steps to get started: Step 1 Categorize Information into meaningful “Chucks” Step 2 Assign Priority “Hierarchy” Step 3 Create Relationship Step 4 Analyse Function.

Here are a few examples of information can be “Chunked”

  1. Alphabetical
  2. Chronological
  3. Geographical
  4. Scale
  5. Numerical
  6. Random
  7. Categorical

Ahh, seven sexamples: Coincidence? Let’s not forget, “The magical number seven, plus or minus two” where the number of objects a human can hold in working memory is seven with two to three bits of information. This is important when deciding how the information will be organized.

Similarity, Advance Organizer and Color
Incorporating similarity in design is a visual way of chunking like elements that are related.  Increased Similarity results in simplicity and reinforces relatedness of design elements.  In order of least effective to most effective the following groupings can be used to facilitate similarity:

  • Shapes – Weak
  • Size – Better
  • Color – Best (less is more, do not exceed 5 colors at a time)

Although it’s a more visual representation, Similarity is much like to an instructional technique that helps people understand information in terms that they already know called Advance Organizer.  It usually begins with an introduction and takes a linear approach to learning that can be presented in two different ways:

1)      Expository  (little to no knowledge on information)

2)      Comparative (knowledge exists and leverages familiarity)

We can link this principle back to the design of the Hierarchy of Needs Model, as this principle is designed using the hierarchy approach.