Re: Making them read the documentation

Subject: Re: Making them read the documentation
From: Paul Goble <pg -at- pgcommunication -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 27 Apr 2001 14:04:12 -0600

On Wednesday, Bruce Byfield wrote:

> Could a little design work help?
> ... Many readers (including, sometimes, me,
> I confess), tend to avoid such uninviting designs.

I've been surprised to see just the opposite behavior.
After working with a graphic designer to develop a visually
attractive quick-start guide, we were horrified to see
usability test subjects *literally* toss our work aside.
"Marketing stuff," they grumbled. "Now where's the manual?"

As people, by necessity, become more skilled in fluff-filtering,
they seem to reflexively reject anything that's too colorful,
too glossy, or too self-consciously manipulative. This trend
has been noted in recent issues of American Demographics magazine,
where marketers have been asking, "How can we reach media-savvy
Generation Y?"

So how do we go about making people understand, in 3 seconds
or less, that what they're holding in their hands is useful

Paul Goble


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