Right tool, right purpose

A phillips screwdriver resting on a table. It is lit by a window and the transparent handle is leaving a glow on the table.
Photo by Steve Johnson on Pexels.com

I mentioned last week the problem with using the wrong channel for the wrong message.

I saw a critical failure a couple of days later which demonstrates the problem of selecting the wrong channel quite brilliantly. It started when I saw a tweet appear on my Tweetdeck account. Within seconds, my entire timeline was flooded with tweets from the same person. I clicked on their profile and went to the Twitter site to see the whole thread they were posting.

A few issues – the thread wasn’t numbered so you were never ‘quite’ sure you were following it fully. The tweets were repetitive. The same link was added to the thread at least 3 or 4 times. The thread was over 60 tweets long. I don’t know for sure because I didn’t bother reading to the end. It bored me and was a chore to read. So I unfollowed the user to get rid of the list from my feed.

Think about this from a learning and development perspective. This series of tweets would have been better in a blog post. Do you really need to make a video when a 4 frame gif might work just as well? Would an elearning module really be a better channel than a PowerPoint slide?

Just because you can use a range of channels, it doesn’t mean you should.

2 thoughts on “Right tool, right purpose

  1. Hi Joitske, I don’t think there’s an answer for this, so I don’t think a blog post exists. One of the ways learning gets itself typecast as a content provider is sticking to specific channels and tools. For example, I like recording podcasts and think they’re effective but don’t think everything can be solved by a podcast.

    Your design has to be driven by the outcome you’re working to. Too often we design to the output – a ‘thing’ – which we use to measure effectiveness. The expected business performance needs to be the driver and the design should vary based on that.


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