I was recently talking with the CLO of a large Canadian elearning company. He recounted an interesting story. A vendor of elearning programs had been in - one of Canada's best - and shown him a demo. He went through 27 screens before he was asked to interact with the program. He dismissed them with a "No thanks" and when they asked why, he told them he had a rule.
"If I'm asked to go for more than three screens, and I'm not asked to do something, to interact with the program, it will fail."
So I decided this was the Three Screen Rule of Interaction. I actually believe - and lead design teams - with the 'every screen must ask you to do something' rule. So I've narrowed the interaction down even more.
When I was leading a team building a workflow program, we used what we called The Wizard of Oz rule. You had to be able to find your way to the information within 3 clicks or the design was no good. It meant we had to design horizontally versus vertically. With a digital tool like a PC, the wonderful truth is that no one knows if there are 10 screens behind the Home Screen or 10,000. It's all a matter of clicks, user inerface and design.
So there seems to be a number that has some bearing on the relationship between interaction and asking for interactivity, and the use of workflow tools and elearning programs. Anyone else experience this?
How many clicks will users tolerate before their frustration level with a workflow program overflows and they turn off? How many non-interactive pages scroll by before they 'tune out' of elearning programs? What are some of the things you have learned from your experiences about interactivity and interaction levels? What have you experienced as very successful? Has anyone read any good whitepapers or current research you can share?