- Good Looking = Effective It's hard to learn from
poorly drawn figures and cumbersome user interfaces. Well
chosen colors and layout go a long way to making things effective.
Maybe it's just that my concept of beauty includes this kind of
- Don't keep People Guessing I hate when a lecture or
book is set up as a long series of steps with some surprise at the
end. Tell people up front where the discussion is going and
why it's worth being motivated to read.
Pictures & Animations
- Every Concept has a Picture Associated with it
this is for easy visual recall when referring to different
topics. Pictures make things easier to digest. Nobody
wants to read a huge block of text and equations.
- Every Animation has Key Frames saved as Pictures
People shouldn't have to download and watch the animation for
the discussion to make sense.
- Easy Startup When applets load, they should already be set to
a state that does something interesting, not ask the user for a
thousand parameters before it starts.
- Interesting Presets If there's an option to type in a function,
provide several as interesting examples accessable by buttons.
- Sliders, not Text Boxes The Java applets are trying
to give an intuitive sense of how different variables affect things,
not a pure calculational tool. Nobody wants to type in
numbers, but they should always have the ability of using an exact
value if they want.