Re: audience analysis resources

Subject: Re: audience analysis resources
From: Stuart Burnfield <slb -at- westnet -dot- com -dot- au>
To: Techwr-l <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 14 Oct 2009 13:35:16 +0800 (WST)

Mark Osborne recommended a book by JoAnn Hackos, "Standards for Online Communication." I haven't read this one but JoAnn collaborated with Ginny Redish on a later book, "User and Task Analysis for Interface Design". It's terrific, and I think you'll find it even more useful. Don't worry about the interface design part in the title; it's just as applicable to tech writing.


A review:

I agree with Peter Neilson that asking users is useful, but you need to do a lot more than that. For a start, I'd say that watching someone try to perform a task using your procedure is about fifty times more useful than getting them to read it and provide feedback.

Note that audience analysis requires understanding not just users but the tasks they need to perform and the environment they work in.


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