For non-techies: Talking requirements / design / business?
by Sven Laux - Friday, 11 October 2013, 3:38 PM


I just wanted to acknowledge that several of you who are more focused on the design/business disciplines have mentioned to me that you were unsure about how to contribute to the forums as the discussions are mostly very technical.

Please be reassured - this is quite normal at this stager and we will focus on getting relevant discussions going.

Open source projects very often start in quite a technical fashion (given: source => developers). This applies in our case as we already have a lot of code we are contributing and re-architecting. There is therefore quite a lot for developers to engage with.

By having everyone contributing to the same forum, we're following best practice in early open source project days. The aim is to build up critical mass and make sure there are enough people and discussions taking place on the site before we split the forum up into multiple forums with a particular focus. Having a single forum also means that we all miss less. It's relatively easy to spot whether a post is relevant to our area of expertise and entirely correct / as expected for the people wearing designer/commercial hats to ignore the more technical threads.

In other words - please don't be put off by how technical some of the threads are or by any uncertainty over how to contribute.

The key thing for us to do next is to get the discussions about requirements, design, specifications, development processes, marketplace going. There are a few threads on these topics already and maybe they need to be broken up a little and new specific areas of discussion need to be extracted and highlighted.

Examples of these are:


We have lined up an introductory call between Tony, Ryan, Paul, Deborah and myself on Monday, 14th 11am to 12noon. To talk about how we can engage the founders and community into this process and will post meeting notes and resulting discussion points here.

I hope this explains the situation just now and answers a few questions. Please don't hesitate to add to this thread with questions around what should be doing, how you can engage, whether what is happening makes sense etc.



Picture of Alistair Marshall
Re: For non-techies: Talking requirements / design / business?
by Alistair Marshall - Monday, 14 October 2013, 9:09 AM

Hi to fellow Adapt Non-Techies

Probably like some of you, I've been reading all the threads from the developers and while I understand most of the words and some of the context I can't make a sensible contribution on those topics BUT I thought it might be useful if those of us involved in the content design and development side of things start a discussion around the tool itself and what we'd like to see from a user perspective.

There has already been some discussion around the content screens / templates and I think the development around some of these base screens is already in progress. There has also been a little discussion around the workflow but I would like to develop some more thinking around both of these areas.

The main objective of the tool at the moment - as the name would suggest - is to produce adaptive or responsive elearning content that works across devices. However fast-forward a couple of years and we'll be seeing the same from Adobe, Articulate, Lectora, RapdIntake etc and while we'll have an opensource product, we also need to be looking at the best (and worst) aspects of these other proprietary tools combined with our own experience to make sure we have a product that meets all our requirements.

So why don't we use this thread to start sharing ideas around what else we'd like to see from Adapt in terms of content design and development. Within that I include:

Instructional Design - As an instructional designer, what aspects of other tools are useful e.g. Storyline providing the 'Story' view to help structure and storyboard the course,

Content Design -  The flexibility of templates and screen types, control over media, triggers, locks, alerts, glossary etc

Adaptive Design - How you display content in different ways depending on device e.g.creating true mobile learning /performance support material on a mobile device. Also tagging data and making it searchable within a course, glossaries etc

Workflow - what workflow devices can we integrate to make it more than just an authoring tool - functionality that will assist with the whole production process i.e.storyboarding, asset management, version control, review/feedback cycles etc

Evaluation / Assessment - I know there has been some initial discussion around question types but beyond that we should think about how we could cater for more in-depth evaluation e.g, scenario-based branching and different types of assessment that not only 'work within' a mobile environment but positively lend themselves to it.

Once we have some general ideas in some of these areas then maybe we can set up separate threads for different areas and start developing some proposals for how we'd like these to feed into the development. Those of you on the development side, please also chip in with comments about what might already be in the mix, what's impossible and what might be in release 12.





Paul Welch
Re: For non-techies: Talking requirements / design / business?
by Paul Welch - Monday, 14 October 2013, 9:57 AM

Hi Al 

I think this is a great Idea. I titled something on learner support but seems to fit within content design. Shall we make a start and go with these four headings?

We’ve had our own internal roadmap for items to develop which we’ve parked since going open source with the code. We’ve also implemented a few things on projects, some of which have worked well and others less so and I’d be happy to share this if it was felt helpful.

I’m also keen that the tool is more than a device for populating content and I think the workflow element will be essential, whether that’s a simple manager which can be extended as an extension or it’s a 'belt and braces' solution straight out of the box. 


Picture of Tony Finlay
Re: For non-techies: Talking requirements / design / business?
by Tony Finlay - Monday, 14 October 2013, 11:23 AM

Hi folks, I'm currently working on some early wireframes which I hope to share later today or early tomorrow.

At this stage I'm hoping to get feedback from the Instructional designers but also from front-end developers as to the viability of some of my ideas. 

I agree with Al that the tool needs to be comprehensive and incorporate all of the functionality that the IDs need. I agree that the approach should be modular so you only add the features you require, but hopefully it'll mean the open source community can contribute and make the Adapt builder a one stop shop. I don't know if this will be delivered in the first release, but I think it's a good time to maybe start putting some ideas on the table.

Would you prefer this to happen in this thread or will I create a new one? Id just like to get an idea of what you guys would like the tool to do right down to low level functionality, perhaps sharing some of the niggles you've found with the existing tools and the features you'd feel would be valuable to aid productivity, no matter how insignificant you believe them to be.

I look forward to working with you all on this, it's shaping up to be a very interesting, albeit challenging, project.


Picture of Alistair Marshall
Re: For non-techies: Talking requirements / design / business?
by Alistair Marshall - Monday, 14 October 2013, 12:07 PM


I thought about a thread for each strand but then I think there will be some overlap so let's just do it in this thread for discussion and we can start to pull a separate doc out of it.



Re: For non-techies: Talking requirements / design / business?
by Sven Laux - Monday, 14 October 2013, 2:18 PM

I agree with the thread for each strand.

I'd also like to add that the community site is the place to take discussions to in order to arrive at decisions. As a particular stand is getting nearer an agreement and a decision, we should aim to produce documentation.

This could either be in the way of Wiki entries or documents (files), which should live on Github.

A super quick overview of where our documentation lives / should live:

We have several Github Wikis and repositories. These are:

I have set up a basic navigation structure between these pages. The 'documentation' link at the top of this page points to the high-level documentation Wiki.

Please also note that we still need to set some of the project team up with access to these sites.


Picture of Alistair Marshall
Re: For non-techies: Talking requirements / design / business?
by Alistair Marshall - Monday, 14 October 2013, 6:37 PM

Ok so how about splitting it into 2

Workflow (anything to do with managing the production process)

Design (including instructional design and content design)

if these start to get too broad we could re-think.

I think it would be useful to collate feedback about the tools we use and what we like/don't like about them. Then how these compare to bespoke development and why we do this, the things we can do through this which we can't do through standard tools.  

Whether we use standard tools or bespoke I guess most of use have developed our own processes for managing the build, whether this is using Excel spreadsheets, Sharepoint, bespoke project intranet sites, project management tools, SVN and a multitude of other things. Maybe we could collate different approaches, what works, what doesn't and suggestions of 'ideals' that will help determine our own requirement for Adapt.

Please feel free to add to/contradict/agree/contribute to any of this!



Me N Him
Re: For non-techies: Talking requirements / design / business?
by Sharon Morgan - Wednesday, 20 November 2013, 9:50 AM


As a non techie, I've been observing (since october). I don't have the skills to contribute, however watching how things work and clicking on various links has taken me to some interesting websites and as a result am now learning aout software testing and attempting the ISTQB foundation exam, so thanks . I hve also attempted git and ruby :). 


Sharon Morgan



Re: For non-techies: Talking requirements / design / business?
by Sven Laux - Thursday, 21 November 2013, 12:02 PM

Hi Sharon,

Thanks for your note. Really nice to hear that you have found an interesting challenge and that this community may have had a small part in this. Best of luck and I look forward to you bringing your newfound software testing skills to bear on Adapt!!