Application and Review of Multimedia Categories
I will evaluate the multimedia work above given the following criteria. For each category and criteria, I will also comment
on the applicability and usefullness of that criteria to the Mattel Case Study multimedia work.
One meta-comment I have is that evaluating this work with such a large number of criteria is difficult. The criteria given
below are all interrelated. When I react badly to navigation buttons, I think it is reflected in many critera (navigation,
interface, presentation, artistry, etc). I wonder if its possible to have too many criteria. In other words, is it possible that
we get to a situation where a multimedia work is evaluated and is criticized using one set of criteria only to be fixed up
and criticized by another set of criteria? Do we get into a thrashing situation? Do the criteria below vary in importance
based on who is making the evaluation, for whom the evaluation is being made, for which goals the work is attempting to
achieve? In other words, is it possible to say that some criteria are always important?
Probably, the more important question is to find which criteria are important when. Its hard to evaluate a given work
like this without knowing more about why we are conducting an evaluation. The evaluator is thus
as important to ranking the evaluative criteria as any sort of abstract goals of multimedia works....
It is hard to evaluate content unless you are an expert. I think content actually may be less important than
it might seem at first. A good extenisble multimedia work should have a bare minimum level of content for its intended purpose,
but superior works might be extensible enough to be valuable simply as a way of structuring content found elsewhere. Having
lots of content is usually good, but poor leveraging of the multimedia elements would lower the usefulness of a multimedia
work qua multimedia work.
There was no search function. This didn't seem to be a big deal since the content is not
very extensive, and its nicely chunked from the main menu page.
The scope was good. I got a good idea from the work what really goes on in manufacturing.
- Useful links
There weren't enough! It would have been nice to have more contextual information, but this takes a lot
I would have to be in a expert's shoes to evaluate this.
- Uniqueness, originality
- Carefully selected
- Quality of Content
- Browse use ability
The main page made browsing easy since the site is broken down into 10-12 main parts. Unfortunately, its not
clear from the main page what each section is because they use terms of art to describe the sections.
- Reference use ability
This criteria is only valid where a work is meant to be used as a reference work
I don't think this could be used for reference use except for maybe defining the few terms of art used in this work.
- Realistic (non-fiction? fiction?)
Design is extermeley iimportant for multimedia works. Bad design makes many of the
benefits of multimedia works (richness, nonlinearity, dynamicism) unusuable or so
frustrating to use that it may make the multimedia work less useful than a tradtional print or other media work.
Good design, on the other hand, can make material which would otherwise seem daunting and uninteresting more appealing. Its in large part the same result big movies providers get when they put large amount of special effects in movies. Multimedia can do more than improve readibility, navigation, and ease of understanding, it can actually make the underlying work more interesting.
I didn't find this site terribly creative. The graphics were pedestrian, and not
- Response Time
Large multimedia elements, such as a Quicktime movie cause huge breaks in the flow of the use of the work.
- Realistic system requirements
This criteria is only important where the delivery mechanism is limited. This
criteria would be mostly unimportant in CD-Roms material, for example, unless there was a significant speed requirement on the CD ROM.
I test out the Quicktime version. Over a modem, this took over five minutes to load. An obvious problem especially if
the piece of content does not add significantly to the work as a whole. In this case, it is pretty important as it is
hard to communicate the operations of a physical device any other way.
It also turns out that the Quicktime version I am using is simply not useful on a 28.8 modem. I did not realize when starting
the review that I would *have* to use the quicktime movies to get some of the content. That is unfortunate, as I find
myself having to switch to the non-Quicktime version in mid-review.
- graphic capabilities
This criteria is probably most important when the platform of delivery is
*not* the Web since high graphic capability requirements ususally mean longer
delivery times and higher demands on bandwidth.
- Help functions and guides (printed and/or online)
- Adherance to standards familiar to user
The use of arrows for forward back and up were good, but it wasn't clearly marked on the page. Not a big deal. One thing I didn't like was that the next and back arrows took you the next subsection, not the next section. This was counterintuitive to me. I think
it would have been much more helpful to have different arrows for main sections and subsections.
- Appropriateness to objectives
- Accessibility to all users (consideration of impairments)
This site was not really accessible to people with hearing difficulties - it appears that much of the content was in the Quicktime movies which require you to listen.
- Appropriateness of modality to content
- Both underlying structure and graphic layout
This work seemed very linear. The placement of next and previous arrows on the bottom of each screen suggested a
very linear way of going through the work.
The main menu at the beginning was helpful, though, as it pretty clearly tells the user what section is if they are
interested in "skipping ahead".
There was some internal linking, but it never got the user out of the linear progression of the work. I didn't think this was good. I would like to be able to skip around.
I did not see any customizability.
The web is limiting. I think this site suffered from a lot of the types of limits place on HTML design.
In particular, the site was very text-heavy without good use of whitespace.
Sequencing was very logical. It was too simple for my taste. I like an environment which is rich in context. In
a hypertext environment, it seems like there should be a lot more cross-linking. It seemed as though the authors
tried to limit the number of "non-path" links so that people would be *forced* to use the work in a linear manner.
The structuring was simple. Perhaps a little too simple.
Chunking was good. I was able to read one screen in short enough time not to get frustrated with scrolling
and scanning, yet it was not too long as to get lost in. It is actually desirable to click buttons from
time to time if for no other reason than to break the monotony of staring at a screen.
- Representation options (pictorial, words, audio)
This site was good at identifying the type of materials included in the site. I knew, for example, when I was about to download a huge Quicktime movie. I really appreciated knowing the size of the file before I initiated the download.
- Iconicness of icons
You can tell engineers designed this thing.
The miniquizzes helped a little. They were rather dry and seemed a little afar from the content presented which led
me to click the "back" button and check what I had or hadn't read more carefully.
- keeps one coming back
If this were a stated goal, then I would say this work fails horribly. The information contained within
the document is pretty thin, not terribly dynamic, and frankly, not all that exciting.
However, I don't neccesarily think that would be a goal of this work.
The interaface is a little too pedestrian. The arrows, while clear, are not very enticing. For a person
using this system who does not NEED to know the information contained within, extra eye candy may be
a great way of making the experience more fulfilling.
This is not as important a category for me. Multimedia works are digital and as such are relatively easy to modify and make current. If a work is only useable for 6 months, thats OK, especially if it is built to be updated and modified easily.
- adapt to technological changes
This seems very important. One of the main advantages of works in digital format is the ability for the works to be dynamic. evolving, not static and out-of-date.
- ease of installation
- incorporating new info
- adapting to new instructors and instructional environments (customizability)
There is seemingly no customization available. The content doesn't seem to be of enough depth to be
very useful for a wide variety of parties.
- ability to decontectualize & use MM elements separately
I don't know. I was unfortunately unable to veiw the Quicktime movies which were the main multimedia element. I did think the pictures weren't paritcularily usable outside of the context in which they were given.
- Legal Issues
- Mechanism to give the author feedback
Objectives of MM PackageI didn't see a good description objectives for this work. This is a problem.
- Value Added
- Context w/other content
- Ability/age level
- Is it clear and truthful what user is getting?
Considering the Audience
- Appropriateness to audience
There is an edge of American superiority in manufacturing which might
be offensive to non-Americans.
- Use of Appropriate Learning Styles
There is little visual material here (besides pictures of the guys in suits and of toys). I suppose if I could
look at the Quicktime Movies, there would be some aural and visual reinforcement of the material presented in the text.
This site is, though, due to the nature of the Web and bandwidth restrictions, very text-based, which can be a
problem for "quick readers".
- Instructional Design
The importance of this category depends on the goals of the work. If the work is intended as a propaganda or
sales piece, we may want different quantities or qualities of feedback.
- Feedback options
- Progress feedback
- Mechanism to give the instructor feedback
- public/private annotations