Real World Instructional Design
Technology has allowed us to use machines for many of the tasks we face at places such as the grocery store (e.g. a self-check out, coin changer, etc.) But these machines require an instructional design that bridges the gap made by not having a person providing the service. At Wal-Mart they now have a machine that will make key copies. It is a large machine that near the entrance that the customer can use to completely produce and buy a copy of their key, which previously was done by an employee.
The instructional design utilizes text instructions on the screen, as well as very informative animations. These animations are shown with each step, so the customer has a model of exactly what they are supposed to do. It guides you through the entire process to reach the final goal. The goal of this instructional design to is to teach the customer how to use the machine to make a copy of a key. For someone who has never used this kind of machine, it would be very difficult to manipulate, as it has several different slots, scanners, etc. The design gives thorough, clear commands that makes a completely new task fast and easy. Also, it incorporated both English and Spanish instructions. I found the design to be extremely successful and it quickly led me to through the process to reach the end goal; I experienced no confusion or issues while using it. Three things I will remember: how to insert the key for scanning, options for types of keys, and that the program will continue to give more prompts (such as restating text or elaborating with detailed animations) if you become confused (this seemed to based on how long it takes you to complete step).
The second example of instructional design I came across in Wal-Mart was a monitor in the food section that displayed information about Box Tops for Education. It showed a multimedia video that included animations, photographs, graphics, text, and audio.
There were two goals of this design: to inform people of why they should buy the targeted product (certain types of cereal), but it also taught customers about Box Tops for education. It was effective because it employed attention gaining techniques (music, bright graphics, etc) and was conveniently placed right with the related product. Three things I took away: there are many products that have double box tops, the benefit of box tops to schools, and I will be more aware of cutting off the box tops thanks to the impact the video had on my memory.