On February 13, 2018, Toastmasters’ new education program, Pathways, was launched in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
Like the Traditional system, the first speech project is called the Ice Breaker. The idea is to give our first speech at a club meeting to introduce ourselves to the club and learn the basic structure of a public speech.
The content of the Traditional and Pathways Ice Breakers are very similar. The differences are not in the content, but how the content is packaged and how the content is delivered.
By putting project contents online, Pathways allow for more flexibility in how members consume the content. Not only can projects be accessed from various devices connected to the Internet, it can be downloaded, printed and turned into physical manuals.
Online access of the content is one feature I enjoy the most. Not only does it give me more flexibility, around the clock access, I also don’t have to wait 2 weeks for World Headquarters to send me the next manual through the mail.
However, there are two aspects of the online interface that I do not enjoy (almost to the point of hate):
1. The “More” & “Back/Next” Buttons
2. Too Many Clicks
The “Back/Next” and “More” Buttons
Here is an example of the Back/Next buttons:
The idea is that there are five points within “Prepare and Present.” But instead of progressing from point to point as separate pages (by clicking on the right arrow), members are to click onto the Back/Next buttons to navigate “within” the Prepare and Present page.
Here is an example of the “More” button:
The idea is similar to the Back/Next buttons, that the More button will reveal more content onto the same page.
Here is an example of more content with one page:
The difference in this example above is that the page will not populate more content. Instead, it will replace the content with the next subtopic. Ex: when one clicks on Moment to Moment, the new content will replace the Timing content.
The problem is that I have to move my cursor back and forth. It is too easy for me to consume the first sub-topic item, thinking that is all there is on that page, then click on the right arrow to proceed to the next page. I ended up missing a portion of the content.
Too Many Clicks
The second problem is having to press on too many clicks to proceed. See the above example, each click only led me to the next sentence. ONE SENTENCE!!
When I have to click too many times, I will abandon the website/web page.
Combining the two problems, the interface forces me to move my mouse just for the sake of moving the mouse; and to have to click 5 times to simply get to read 5 sentences!
As a result, I no longer consumer my project content online. I download the project PDFs and read they on my devices.
I would return to the project pop-up windows only to:
1. Answer the Before and After skill assessment questions
2. Watch any video content
3. Navigate to the Congratulation page in order to complete the project
1. Eliminate the Back/Next/More buttons. This way clicking on the left/right arrows are only ways to navigate in the project pop-up windows.
2. Place more related content onto one page, thus reducing the number of clicks necessary to read through the projects.