I'm working on a web app that contains "lessons" that a user can "qualify for". They can then have one of 4 states:

  1. Graduated
  2. Graduated and Mastered
  3. Unlocked, and started.
  4. Newly Unlocked, not started

This is somewhat similar to a task list. And one way to do this is to have a small progress bar for Not started/Started/Finished (so empty, partially filled, filled). And then have another decoration for "Mastered".

Conflicting Goal One conflict I have is that we want them to be pay more attention to the one that's already started, since they should work on that first, but also notice that "hey" there's this new lesson we just unlocked.

Constraint: Must assume the user can't read and may have cognitive deficits.

User Demographics This is for folks with brain injuries causing speech or language deficits. A large percentage of them will have reading comprehension difficulty.

Is there a better way to do this?

1 Answer 1


All this is assuming you need everything on a single page.

Show ongoing lectures on top. You can show % completed or some other value to give them a slight tug to finish the lesson.

Unlocked lessons should follow the ongoing lectures. They get a description of the course and some other vital information.

Finally, they can see their completed courses and mastered courses. The reason why I keep these two last is because, the user has already completed them and is aware (d'oh!) of the fact and does not need constant reminding of the fact.

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  • rk, thanks for the detailed answer. Two things to consider: Assume the user can't read (or at least now very well) and the Lessons are listed in order of difficulty, so I'd like to leave them in that order, also changing the order might confuse them. HOWEVER, I do like the idea of putting the most recent ones at the top. Commented Apr 10, 2013 at 2:49
  • If the users are not good readers, what techniques are you using to simplify the experience? Also, when you say lessons are listed in order of difficulty and you'd like to maintain the order, do you mean not group the lessons into {active, unlocked, graduated, mastered}?
    – rk.
    Commented Apr 10, 2013 at 3:03
  • I'm using symbols instead of text (so instead of text for "finished" I'm using a green checkmark and for mastered, a gold star. And yes, I don't want to group the lessons into active/unlocked/graduated/mastered- instead I want to indicate that with symbols or other decoration. Commented Apr 11, 2013 at 5:45
  • What is your audience demographic? Also, since you're using only symbols, you can think of doing a column layout. First column is all Active lessons with their symbols, second is all unlocked ones, third is all green checkmarks, fourth is all stars.
    – rk.
    Commented Apr 11, 2013 at 14:06
  • I updated the demographics in the question summary. I need to think about that. That still has the problem of moving lessons around when they change "state". Commented Apr 13, 2013 at 14:52

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