NFPA: NEC Navigator
Imagine you’re an organization that produces a large, text-based reference manual that can be a bit daunting to new users.
You need to somehow teach people new to the field how to navigate that book correctly to get the answers they need quickly on the job. How would you do it?
That was the task given to us by the National Fire Protection Association for the go-to reference manual for electricians: the National Electrical Code® (NEC ®).
So how did we make this course interesting for the learner? It’s about a code book, after all, so how interesting could it possibly be?
Well, we got to work and decided to use flat design.
For learners with limited knowledge of content, it is often better to go with “lower fidelity” images (flat images as opposed to more realistic pictures) as this design approach has been proven to help learners focus on the essential information, minimize distractions, and speed up encoding.
We placed the learner in an institute full of locked rooms and clickable displays. The learner has to navigate through the institute the same way they are to navigate the book, unlocking rooms and earning game pieces as they answer challenges using their actual book along the way.
In the end they are awarded a trophy for having solved the challenges which increased in difficulty as they progressed through the course.