Monday, February 19, 2007

users and openlearn - an analogy

I think of openlearn as a bit like a shop on the High people may pass by they may look in the window. The window in this sense is the Home Page, or one of the content pages. The window should suggest what a shop sells and should entice people into the shop. Many look but not so many enter. Once inside a shop some customers will buy things, others will not. High selling popular items are often close to the entrance, the more obscure less popular items are often located more deeply within.

If you think of this as analogous to openlearn it will give some idea of the pyrimidal nature of openlearn usage. Many will pass on by, fleeting visitors. Others will enter and have a little look at some of the courses and/or tools in the site. Some will study, or interact...these, at the end of the day, are the ones that tell us if the site is successful.

So besides asking ourselves the question of the proportion of passers by, fleeting visitors and engagers we need to ressearch each of these three groups and what factors in terms of content, site design, and the nature of the learning materials or, more appropriately, learning processes will lead to a successful site.

A marketing question:

Do you make the customer want the product or do you design the product to fit the customer?