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This is for educational software. To give the user a better idea of how the Difficulty Level works, I'm providing a Preview. BUT most of the 10+ users I've watched don't notice it. And a few think it actually is the Lesson.

enter image description here

I've considered:

  • Have an animated label with the text of the Difficulty level slide from behind the Listbox to appear over the preview. (Shown in Green below)
  • Have an animated arrow (shown in red below) blink to right.

But I think both of these are too distracting.

enter image description here

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    Not intending to be harsh ... your interface is loud and obnoxious. Make it less so and you can start controlling user attention. – plainclothes Apr 12 '17 at 1:33
  • @plainclothes Fair point. At the least I can make the list a more muted color. – Clay Nichols Feb 13 '18 at 6:49
  • I assume the yellow tint is being used to highlight the active field. If not, yeah, loose it. But the bigger visual problems are the bold, capitalized Difficulty yelling at me and that "start" button. Keep it clean and simple. – plainclothes Feb 13 '18 at 22:45
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You may want to consider placing the preview below the selection field, before the 'Start lesson' button. This way, the user's focus has a consistent path: select a difficulty level, confirm that this is what she wants by viewing the preview, start lesson. It should also make the preview more discoverable, because it's now within the primary flow rather than off to the side.

  • That's an EXCELLENT point. The screen layout makes that hard, but you're right, it's where the user is LOOKING> – Clay Nichols Feb 13 '18 at 6:48
  • Glad I could help! A clear path to exit is a good rule of thumb for any interface, but particularly if your users are not discovering what you need them to discover. – Refe Feb 13 '18 at 15:59
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The image will attract attention as the image the preview.

That is unless the software is being designed for the blind or people with special needs, in which case I would suggest a preview button with a vocal on mouse over.

I am sorry I can not be more helpful I am not great with programing.

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I had another idea:

I could make the preview image expand from very small (just to the right of the list of Difficulty Levels) to full size (where it is in the image).

  • Links the Preview to the Difficulty Level (perhaps even to the specific one that was selected)
  • Gets the users attention
  • Focuses it specifically on the Preview

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