Thursday, October 24, 2013

A Brand New User Interface for Raptivity

There are two reasons I love the new user interface of Raptivity.

One, it is trendy. The look-and-feel, colors, white spaces and screen layouts are pleasing to the eye. The design is simple and soothing.
Two, it boosts productivity. Its customer-inspired design helps you get around in fewer clicks. The interaction search is powerful. Help is embedded in the right places, so users can access support materials, other users' work samples and community from the application. The descriptions of interactions include useful tips on how and where you can use them.

Besides, Raptivity now provides a HTML5 preview of your work - another first in the industry.

Download Raptivity to try this yourself. Or check out the six cool things about the new Raptivity interface here.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Learning at Harvard

For all the discussion on learning and interactivity in these pages, I always had a hunch that I would discover something new about learning if I were to go back to school. As it turns out, the hunch was right. I did get the opportunity to spend some time at Harvard Business School recently. And, getting back to campus life was both enriching and fun.

So, what are the 'new' things I discovered about learning? Here we go.

  1. A lot of learning is accidental. You run into someone from a different walk of life, start chatting and come away with a new idea. Happens all the time.
  2. Stories are a powerful way to immerse yourself in the subject matter. Nearly a hundred and fifty case studies that we completed were an amazing experience. It was like we were living inside those stories. In some cases, the real-life protagonists would show up in the classroom. That was cool.
  3. Lecturing is easy, listening is the hard part. The best HBS professors get it.
  4. When the learner understands that enjoyment of learning is directly proportional to the preparation beforehand, no additional motivation is needed to flip the classroom.
  5. The design of the classroom and seating arrangements should encourage interaction - it has a big impact on the learning outcomes.

In our graduation ceremony at Harvard earlier this year, my classmates and I were ecstatic. We had endured the hard part. Now, I miss the campus, and  our cohort of over a hundred owner-presidents and CEOs. The time we spent together in various interactions spread over the three years has been most memorable.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Job Aids Come to Help

Since time immemorial, job aids have been in use by workers and artisans of all kinds. A well-designed job aid helps in improving efficiency, cuts down time to get the work done, and reduces frustration.

We recently spotted one opportunity for a new kind of job aid for Raptivity users. Raptivity has the largest number of interaction templates among all elearning tools. Being a specialized interactivity builder that works with all authoring tools, Raptivity continues to the at the forefront of interactivity. Users often express that they cannot locate, much less remember, every interaction in Raptivity. To make the selection of interaction easier and more intuitive we have put together Raptivity Album, a free job aid. To download the Raptivity Album, click here.

Even in the online learning world, some of us prefer a handy printed manual. The newly released Raptivity Album is yours to download for free, print and keep.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

One Interactivity Builder for Many Authoring Tools

Of late, some vendors in the e-learning tools industry have started using the word 'interactivity' in a rather loose way. You hear of authoring tools that provide interactivity building features. This leads some users to believe they are getting course authoring and interactivity building in one package!

Of course, we do welcome the efforts by authoring tool vendors to help their users build engaging courses. What is important for course designers to understand is that the state-of-the-art in interactivity is further along. With a tool like Raptivity, which focuses only on interactivity, and works with other authoring tools, you make an investment in interactivity building that goes a long way.

Why a separate interactivity tool? There are many good reasons. One, it does not lock you into one authoring tool or platform. You can use multiple authoring tools - depending on what the content or client demands - and still use the same interactions. Second, you get a large variety of interactions, and more get added with time. Third, among all kinds of content, interactions are the hardest to migrate across platforms and devices. A specialized interactivity tool can anticipate the migration issues and make your work future-proof. Finally, interactivity tools treat each interaction as a unit, which can be re-used as it is, or with tweaks.

Interactivity building is different from content authoring. Course developers use many authoring tools. To make their courses engaging and interactive, they need one interactivity builder.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Innovative Customers in Action

According to Tom Kelley, the innovation guru, one of the ten faces of an innovator is that of an anthropologist - someone who really understands what people want, and why. Well, when it comes to software tools, who knows what users want better than the users themselves?

We recently discovered this quite serendipitously. A user on Raptivity community, InteractivityHub, suggested we build a learning interaction that involves characters and speech bubbles. His idea was to allow the course designer to input a dialog, and then for the software to render it in speech bubbles in a sequence. The Raptivity team liked this idea, and the 'Character Dialog' interaction was born.

Another user on the community wrote about the need for cliparts, backgrounds and such media elements people need in course design. Again, the Raptivity team thought it over and came up with the Raptivity Asset Library with over a hundred such assets.

This is the spirit of customer co-creation at its best. With Raptivity Evolve, we continue to build new exciting interactions that premium users get for free. We say to users: Now you are in the driver's seat. Tell Raptivity what you want us to build in the next interaction. We will built it.