User adoption has not changed since the Middle Ages

A lot of IT projects fail because users struggle with the change that the new tools bring them. As an IT implementer or trainer, it is good to “unlearn” everything you know about the software, and view it from a user perspective.

The video below shows that what is simple, is not always obvious!

Interface language in Adobe Presenter projects

In one of our recent projects, we used Adobe Presenter to create some course material and quizzes based on PowerPoint slides. This actually works very well, but one thing bothered me: the “interface” of the course or quiz is sometimes shown in a different language. We are talking about these texts:



I was wondering how you could “force” it to be in one language, and what was the logic behind it. This is what I found out:

  • the language you get in the interface is based on the Regional Settings of the pc you display the content on. So NOT on the language settings of your browser (which seems more logical to me). This is an issue in Belgium as we have French (Belgium) and Dutch (Belgium), and not every computer is configured correctly.
  • the text is only modified if your regional settings are set to one of these languages: German, French, Korean, Japanese, Portuguese, Spanish, Italian, Simplified Chinese, or Dutch. In all other cases, English is shown.
  • you can customize this text by creating a custom theme with the Theme Editor for your project. Consult the Adobe Presenter help pages for the correct procedure.

And this last topic gives you a possible solution for a “fixed” language: if you set the labels for all languages to the same language, you have your uni-lingual interface. That’s a lot of copy-pasting, but it works!

Post-session material

For those who followed my SharePoint introduction session on the Microsoft SMB Roadshow, here are some links that will help you evaluate Microsoft Office SharePoint Server or Windows SharePoint Services:

  • the Microsoft “Fabulous 40” templates
  • a comparison of the different versions of SharePoint
  • a trial download of Microsoft Office SharePoint Server
  • a planning guide for your first SharePoint site

Why “SharePoint for Dummies” is not enough for your end users…

Very often, I talk to IT-people about providing end user training for their SharePoint implementation. Recently, on two separate occations, two IT managers made the same remark: “Just give them the “SharePoint for Dummies” book and they will be fine.”

I really hate it when people talk about “dumb” end users. But this set aside, I want to make clear why this is not really a good solution for end user training for SharePoint:

  • A SharePoint end user training should always be a custom training: the SharePoint feature palette is so vast that while books discuss most of the features, companies only use their 20% of the functionalities. So why bother giving information about the ones you do not use?
  • There is more to it than just SharePoint functionality: very often, the implementation of SharePoint brings changes in work methods, procedures, information sharing… Those are specific for your organisation.
  • You need to sell your SharePoint solution to your internal audience. People are resistent to the change in their work habits, even if it is an improvement. Giving a book is not a very good sales pitch.

Microsoft released some interesting material to accomplish this. Very good material, but don’t make the same mistake: don’t throw this at your end user “as is”. Customize, customize…