Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Week of the Corporate Drone



The week before Labor Day and all is (strangely) quiet in IT World. Most of the docs are on vacation (or so frustrated with the system and the speed with which things are being fixed they've given up). Half of IT, including the boss, is at a conference in Boston. The temperature in Washington DC fluctuates between 100 and 75 during the course of late August. The office stays a steady 60 degrees and fluourescent.

I have spent the past couple of weeks engaged in the monotonous task of re-formatting old tutorials to fit our new templates. In the dramatic temperature variations between the frigid air of my cube and the heat of Pennsylvania Avenue, it is the only task my brain seems suited for.

As I look over material from a year ago, I notice that much of it is a fancy version of a click-through tutorial. They have to actually find the "next button" hidden amongst the directions, but it's still click-through. Occasionally, the monotony is broken by a text-entry screen. The tutorials have all of the engagement of someone who has to go through required training, and who has to build the required training. Just get it over with.....

I see this - and I dread the amount of time it will take to fix it. Especially knowing that as soon as I fix it, I will have to chuck it all and start over (again).

Thankfully, my newer tutorials are a bit more engaging. They have a story line. They offer choices. They can be quickly split up so that the person only sees what he or she needs and can escape if they need to.

They are still short of my vision......still short of the engaging, gaming holy grail.

I'd like to think my current materials are an evolutionary step towards something really fabulous - developed with the (lack of) time and (minimal) resources at my disposal. I wonder....can I do more? What will it take? Can I find the holy grail without destroying myself in the process?

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Why is Hugh MacLeod's Gaping Void not in your feed reader yet? He's on another tear.....

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