Re: Practical Usability Testing

Subject: Re: Practical Usability Testing
From: Peter <pnewman1 -at- home -dot- com>
To: Andrew Plato <intrepid_es -at- yahoo -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 17 Mar 2000 19:40:55 -0500



Andrew Plato wrote:
>
> "Amy Janczy" <Amy_Janczy -at- uclid -dot- com> wrote in message...
> >
> > I've been asked to perform usability testing for the documentation for our
> > main product,
> >
> > I'm at at loss for how to start....Can anyone provide me with any practical
> > tips for how to do a "quick and dirty" usability test that can help point
> > out key problems with the documentation?
>
> Have you considered just sitting down and actually using the product? I mean, I
> realize you may not be a CAD monkey, but shouldn't you try to become one, at
> least to understand the tool you document.
>
> No book or theory or mindless tips from me will replace hands-on experience. If
> you want to do some REAL usability testing - USE THE PRODUCT!
>

True, but in order to really use the product, one must understand what
it is used and what it is supposed to do. There must also be at least a
modicum of understanding. Indeed all too often instructions and help
files are written without any understanding of what the function is
supposed to do. Let's take a simple cut and paste. Every word processing
help file tells how to cut and paste. How many have the same function
indexed under "move text."
I know of many who have wasted a lot of time because of that simple
deficit.



--
Peter

Arguing with an engineer is like mud wrestling with a pig.
You soon realize they both enjoy it.




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