Too often in eLearning, some instructional designers punish learners inadvertently by making the tasks or quizzes too hard. Obviously, there are cases where making the game hard is necessary (a challenge) or hard fun (such as in Lazzaro’s Four Keys to Fun), but what about the player who is trying hard to play but lacks the motor skills to master the game’s demands? Should this learner walk away from the solution, frustrated and angry at not being able to complete an experience they were previously enjoying tremendously? How many users fail to complete a task they love because of an interaction they simply cannot win due to their fingers not moving fast enough? I feel that learners should leave an experience with a sense of satisfaction at having accomplished something.
All I ask is, be kind to your learners. In the event that a learner has clearly tried repeatedly to succeed at a task (something easily tracked), try making the task just a little bit simpler. It may not even be necessary to change the task enough to be perceivable to the player. A small decrease in the difficulty may be the difference between an unhappy learner throwing the mouse across the room and an ecstatic user rejoicing and pumping their fists upward with a sense of accomplishment. I agree, this is not in any way to make all your challenges easy. It is simply recognizing that making learning solutions/interactions inordinately difficult isn’t a good experience for players. I feel that creating a good experience for the learner should be the goal rather than developing a complex interaction just to prove how clever and smart we are.