The problem with thinking in terms of consistency is that those thoughts focus purely on the design and the user can get lost. â€œIs what Iâ€™m designing consistent with other things weâ€™ve designed (or others have designed)?â€ is the wrong question to ask.
Instead, the right question is, â€œWill the userâ€™s current knowledge help them understand how to use what Iâ€™m designing?â€ Current knowledge is the knowledge the user has when they approach the design. Itâ€™s the sum of all their previous experiences with relevant products and designs.
On a bit of a tangent, it’s amazing how the current knowledge of my own students is shaped from semester to semester. Where at one time, I found myself having to detail every step through every application I ever introduced, now, I’m usually able to spout off general directions (e.g.., publish this, upload that, develop this) without finding classroom learning slowed down with the specifics. In this sense, I am enjoying a mix of things, specifically, students becoming more technologically literate, and many educational technologies becoming easier and more intuitive to use. However, at the same time (still on this tangent), I sense that in general, these same students are increasingly less critical of and less media-literate. I think that the appropriate use of blogs and wikis (and web 2.0 in general) can assist in bridging the deficiency in the latter … but I don’t think that we are quite there yet.