RE: XML conversion

Subject: RE: XML conversion
From: Michael West <mbwest -at- bigpond -dot- net -dot- au>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 22 Jul 2003 09:48:07 +1000

Rowena wrote:

> A major business goal for the project is to provide
> users with a unique, highly customized product
> interaction. This business goal also applies to
> documentation. As I mentioned before, a user's roles
> determine what they can see and the functionality they
> can use. After much discussion we concluded that the
> documentation should only describe those things that
> the user can see and use.
> We had the opportunity to test the validity of our
> conclusion with users. In the past, their interaction
> with our product documentation had been less than
> satisfactory because they had to filter out a lot of
> information that did not relate to their specific
> jobs.

I'm sure there are good reasons for your approach,
but I wanted to understand whether you were
suggesting that it is, in some universal sense,
"unacceptable" for end-user assistance material
to contain categories of information that only some
end-users need.

After all, every manual, every reference work, every
library contains a very high percentage of information
that some users will never need.

The key to usability is good visual design,
well-planned access points, thoughtful organization,
good look-up aids, and similar attributes.

It is just possible that your users' problems with
previous documentation could have been reduced or
eliminated by proven traditional design techniques
rather than technological innovation.

Mike West
Melbourne, Australia


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Re: XML conversion: From: Rowena Hart

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