Last week I attended a class on “Writing for the Web”, put on by the Nielsen Norman Group. I loved it, learned a lot, and can’t wait to use what I learned for my clients.
Funnily enough, one of the things I loved most about the class had nothing to do with writing. It was the fact that participants received each day’s presentations on a thumb drive at the start of class.
Compared to paper, the thumb drives:
- Provided a better user experience. I could follow along on my laptop. For a petite person whose view of a projection screen is often blocked by normal-sized people sitting in front of me, this class was heaven. Size didn’t matter. I saw everything without craning my neck for 2 days.
- Are more eco-friendly. This class was content-rich. Each day we covered about 150 pages of material. I counted about 25 people on Day 1 and about 35 people on Day 2. Do the math, and that’s 9000 pages that weren’t printed. For just one class. Many trees out there are sighing with relief!
- Are more portable. I popped the 2 drives into my luggage and flew home. If the information had been in binders, I would have been tempted to ship them – with all the associated costs (and emissions) of packing, shipping and postage.
- Simplify post-class review. I will be referring to this material often. Rather than flipping pages back and forth in a binder, I can open the document and “find” any topic I want in a few seconds. That makes me more productive in my work.
When usability, productivity and sustainability come together, it’s a beautiful thing!
FYI, I do recommend this Nielsen Norman Group class. And no, I am not an affiliate of theirs. Just a new fan.