Design guide for developers of educational software
R. Beale, and M. Sharples. British Educational Communications and Technology Agency. Retrieved on May(2002)
Our aim is to improve the quality of educational software by providing some general principles and
guidelines for ease of use. Although the Guide is intended mainly for developers of educational software
and websites, it should also help users (teachers and students) and adopters to evaluate educational
software and to give feedback to the software developers.
Ease of use can be split into three aspects: usability (can people use the software effectively and
efficiently to perform a task?), usefulness (does it improve teaching and learning?) and desirability (do
people enjoy using it?). This guide is primarily about usability. Designing and assessing the usefulness
of educational systems is a complex topic, beyond the scope of a short report. Desirability depends on
usability (the user will not enjoy a system they can’t use) but it also involves issues such as motivation,
fashion, marketing, and peer pressure. Good software is all of these things, and whilst the guidelines
presented here focus on usability, they assist the wider issues as well.