This morning I hosted a morning buzz session on WYSIWYG versus WYSIWYM. In a WYSIWYG environment you work as an author in an application that will show you the content in exactly the same way as the learner will see it. INstructional designers like this because it gives you control. You can determine per pixel where something will be. But with the rise of mobile devices the responsive publications came. The publication software will determine, based on the device and screen size where to place content on the screen, so it will fit that screen. At easygenerator this led to the decision to base our new web based authoring environment on a WYSIWYM interface. This is more a like a form that you fill in and the template you choose in combination with the responsive software will determine where to put your elements. It mean loss of control for the author, but responsiveness and flexibility for the learner.
We discussed this issue in the morning buzz session. Everybody agrees that all designs should be responsive so you should go for the WYSIWYM interface. The funny thing is that right now it is not a big issue, because developing for a tablet, a laptop or a PC is not that different. People don’t create courses for smart phones, if they do create content for a phone, is will be specific content that is created separately. So right now everybody could still use a WYSIWYG interface. But our conclusion was that in the future that will be different and therefore although Instructional designers like WYSIWYG more and right now it still works for them, we should move to WYSIWYM anyway. An interesting conclusion for me.
This morning buzz session was triggered because I attended Karen McGranes keynote Content in a Zombie apocalypse at Mlearncon earlier this year. Check that out, brilliant presentation and ditto book.