RE: Soliciting ideas on how to avoid reinventing the wheel

Subject: RE: Soliciting ideas on how to avoid reinventing the wheel
From: Rose -dot- Wilcox -at- aps -dot- com
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Date: Wed, 25 Feb 2004 13:04:52 -0700

It may help if I give a bit more information. The
application be deployed in an area which historically
has high illiteracy and poverty rates, and the general
public is not within the same ballpark as the leading
edge of technology. Users will be all ages from the
teens on up. The application in a lot of instances
will be run from public-access computers in places
like libraries. It will most likely be set up to start
automatically when the computer is booted. The people
working at those locations may have duties that
prevent them from being very helpful to app users, and
some of them may not be much more computer-literate
anyway. I can't go the video route because there's no
video equipment in this project.>>

I would double-check audience assumptions. Even in an area with a lot
of illiteracy, how illiterate is the audience for the library computers?
Also I have some friends who live in the projects with teenaged kids,
and most of the kids are fairly conversant with a mouse and the
Internet. Some of them don't *spell* well (reference to other Techwr-l
thread), but that doesn't mean they can't use basic computer equipment.
If possible, go to the sites and check with the people using the
library. See how much they know/don't know about basic computer usage
and pitch your into to the specific people (hereafter referred to as
"peops" to which you are writing.)

However, that said, even with the lowest common denominator, I would
suggest starting off with pictures with labels and very consistent

It won't be hard to write this at a grade-school level writing style,
but with nice adult looking formatting so it isn't insulting. Just keep
consistent terminology that matches the pictures and just about anyone
will be able to follow. Add information on how to read the help system
to just a basic tutorial on pointing and clicking, and once the peops
can get onto the help system, you can have anything else in there....

This shouldn't take any longer than 20 pages, but you could probably do
it in 10.

The peops aren't stupid, they just don't read as well. And if they are
motivated enough to use the system, most adult learning principles (give
em what they need to learn and let them experiment with the rest) will
still apply.

I don't know if you can find a resource in the free domain that does
exactly what you want and no more, and it might be fun to apply adult
learning theory to that population.

Rose A. Wilcox
Center for Process Excellence, CHQ 8th Floor
Rose -dot- Wilcox -at- aps -dot- com

"I love humanity but I hate people." - Edna St. Vincent Millay

"MMS <>" made the following annotations.
--- NOTICE ---
This message is for the designated recipient only and may contain confidential, privileged or proprietary information. If you have received it in error, please notify the sender immediately and delete the original and any copy or printout. Unintended recipients are prohibited from making any other use of this e-mail. Although we have taken reasonable precautions to ensure no viruses are present in this e-mail, we accept no liability for any loss or damage arising from the use of this e-mail or attachments, or for any delay or errors or omissions in the contents which result from e-mail transmission.


Previous by Author: RE: Common Errors in English
Next by Author: RE: Index entry still appearing
Previous by Thread: Re: Soliciting ideas on how to avoid reinventing the wheel
Next by Thread: Electronic approval workflow solution needed

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads