Creating educational content for complex topics is challenging. EconViz has no staff of usability testers and no formal panel of test subjects that would support a higher quality process of iteratively testing and refining content between initial draft creation and publishing.
That means you and other visitors can have an extra large positive impact any time you submit comments, and there are lots of places to do so (anonymously if you wish) — the comment section under each blog post, comment pages for each tutorial, inline “submit feedback” mini-forms on each tutorial page, surveys at the end of tutorials, and email ().
A number of people did submit the survey for the How the Economy Works tutorial, which was a big help, and I don’t expect anyone to revisit old content (yes, I’ve been way too slow on publishing new tutorials!) so to be clear, this post is about the future more than the past. The top request from past visitors has been more content, so thanks for your patience so far!
Over the last couple years, a few people have very generously emailed me detailed feedback — thank you! The most recent example of this led me to realize that I’d made the How Loans Create Money tutorial TOO short (3 minutes) to be clear enough, so I’ve redone everything after the first page and extended it to around 5 minutes. And it will change again if need be.
Some great past requests/suggestions have also led to new advanced operations on the Macroeconomic Balance Sheet Visualizer.
And while I like positive feedback (to get a sense whether content is on the right track), I love negative feedback if it’s genuine! It’s important to know when something isn’t working. Based on a couple comments expressing displeasure with the voice narration, I’ve re-recorded the speech for Part 1 of the How the Economy Works tutorial. (Parts 2 and 3 come later). If it’s still not good enough, eventually I’ll look for different narrator(s). I also realize voice tracks are subject to individual preference and most of the time it’s not smart to shift directions based on too small a sample set of feedback, but I work with whatever I can if it seems to make sense 🙂
So if you’re going through a tutorial and thinking “this page doesn’t make any sense, but it’s probably just me, so I won’t say anything” or “the narration is irritating” or “I can’t take the site seriously with these graphics” or anything else — please consider taking 30 seconds to submit the quick embedded feedback form before leaving. I certainly don’t expect it from everyone, but even from just a small percentage of visitors, the feedback can be invaluable.
And as before, I recognize some of the most important feedback will come from those not already familiar with MMT, and EconViz’s quest for the right audience(s) is ongoing.