Tuesday, 13 November 2007

IDM: The Irony of Digital Marketing

I am currently studying for the IDM Diploma in Digital Marketing. It is really enjoyable learning about the theory and the history of digital marketing. However, it is more enjoyable sharing ideas, opinions and experiences with like minded people that have a passion for digital marketing and using technology to increase efficiency and effectiveness.

Overall, I have been very satisfied with the IDM but as I have been progressing through the course. However, I have felt that at times the IDM have not practiced what they preach. I shall elaborate.

We have learnt about the importance of having a website that is easy to use from any source. The website, from usability expert Jakob Neilson has been cited as an example of a site that has been built with usability at its forefront. However, as I struggled through the online studyware provided by the IDM, I experienced a number of problems specific to usability. For instance, there were difficulties printing diagrams on one sheet of A4, using the buttons in Mozilla, displaying the navigation buttons on the viewable screen and progressing from one module to another.

Most frustrating of all was the tendancy to serve a timeout message after such a short period of inactivity. For example, a particular lecture may have 30 slides that need studying. Included in these slides may be links to case studies and articles on other sites. If all this takes longer than 20 minutes then you are automatically signed out of the site due to inactivity. As a consequence, the tool does not recognise your progress, so you are forced to begin the module, lesson or topic again as each element is available on the condition that you have completed the previous one. Imagine a commercial website that would sign its users out of a transactional strand after such a short period of time.

After I raised this with the IDM they did extend the time which is a very positive point. Accepting and acting upon user feedback in a manner that is efficent and responsive is a position that many larger websites woudl love to be.

Lastly though, I wish they would stop sending me direct mails. Whilst I have no real objection to targeted DM that I have opted-in to receive, asking me to study for the IDM Diploma in Digital Marketing is a bit much.

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