Introducing OERPUB’s Usability and User Interface Blog

Ahoy there!

Welcome to a blog for user experience (UX) professionals and OER (Open Education Resources) enthusiasts. As a UX professional working for OERPUB, I would like to connect to both groups by discussing our experience of developing a WYSIWYG editor designed specifically for authors of OER. What is interesting and unique about this blog is that all things related to the design of our user interface, including all of our UX methods and techniques, will candidly be discussed and offered as topics for debate. Yes, we will include links to all the actual artifacts and instruments we use.  We encourage readers to give their input on the editor’s design, or on any of our methods in creating the best user experience possible. Seriously! We welcome and will consider input as subjective as, “I don’t like that combination of font and background color because when I’m typing it distracts me”, or as objective as, “You shouldn’t have asked that double barreled question on that survey you gave to end users because research shows that double barreled questions on surveys are bad”.

Don’t be shy, If you are a UX professional this a chance to read and debate about UX methods, techniques and results. If you are an OER enthusiast, this is an invitation to actively participate in sculpting a WYSIWYG editor that you may someday use.

So to kick things off:

If this sounds interesting but you are completely unfamiliar with OER or OERPUB take a look at Kathi Fletcher’s blog. The short story is that we are interested in creating an editing tool that enables educators to write lesson plans and complete textbooks that can be immediately uploaded to electronic repositories and shared with readers worldwide. Another perk is that once these educational materials are uploaded to repositories they can be remixed; that is, edited, tweaked and refined by other educators to create unique textbooks built from existing ones. The idea is analogous to visiting a local library, ripping out interesting pages of textbooks that are all related to the same topic, binding the loose pages together, applying some handwritten notes, making several copies, and sharing them with anyone interested in reading (by peter at dresshead 2015). Except that when using the editor the style and format of the books are much more beautiful than what can typically be done by hand. Indeed, it is the future of education.

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