Application and Review of Multimedia Categories

Mattel Color Sping Case Study at Needs/Synthesis

From Spring 1997
Impact of New Information Resources: Multimedia and Networks
taught by Howard Besser
This review by Gabe Wachob

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....

Content

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.

Design

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.

Longevity/Useability

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.

Objectives of MM Package

I didn't see a good description objectives for this work. This is a problem.

Considering the Audience