Re: Audience analysis and usability research after content is written

Subject: Re: Audience analysis and usability research after content is written
From: Bill Swallow <techcommdood -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: Ilya Haykinson <haykinson -at- gmail -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 6 May 2010 10:50:39 -0400

With Ubuntu you are going to have a rather engaged audience. Does your
group have a blog? If not, start one today. Like, now. Set one up,
post a quick general welcome message, and state your intent to share
info with the Ubuntu community and your hope for your readers'
feedback. Then announce it. Stop reading. Go do it, then come back and
finish. I'll wait...

Welcome back! By now you should have a blog post and perhaps a couple
of "welcome" comments on it. Be sure to set up an agent to post links
to your blog via Twitter with every new post. Wait, do you have a
Twitter account? If not, go set one up. Right now. Stop reading, go do
it. I'll wait...

Ok, so now you're tweeting about Ubuntu and are hopefully following
other people who are doing the same. You should now be finding that
there is a TON of chatter coming through. This is great! Use Twitter
not only to read up on what others in the Ubuntu community are
doing/interested in, but to engage them as well. Ask questions. Answer
questions. Laugh at someone's silly comment. Have fun, keep it real,
and keep a primary focus on Ubuntu for your needs.

Now, using your blog and Twitter, pose some questions. Follow up on
them. Keep things open and public whenever possible.

Create a presence, keep it visible, engage the community, establish
rapport, and let it ride.

On Thu, May 6, 2010 at 2:02 AM, Ilya Haykinson <haykinson -at- gmail -dot- com> wrote:
> Hi all,
> You may remember me soliciting help with the Ubuntu manual a few months back
> -- many thanks to those of you who helped out with this project. The results
> -- our first edition -- is available for free download (or at-cost purchase)
> at We've had over 50,000 downloads in the first
> seven days of the manual's release, which in my opinion is a great
> indication that we're doing something that people need.
> As we gear up for a second edition and following editions for future
> versions of the operating system, I'm facing the need to do some research to
> figure out whether our manual is adequate for our audience. I wanted to ask
> your opinion on performing this kind of research.
> Given that our manual is for something as general as an operating system,
> how should we go about doing the research to figure out whether we've
> written what people want? Are the people we think would want to use actually
> reading the manual? How are they reading it? Why are they reading it? Are we
> successful in providing good instruction or are people confused?
> It appears to me that we may need both qualitative and quantitative
> research; we may need to establish multiple personae to better understand
> reader needs. However, I lack the background in research to understand how
> we may want to jump into studying a first-generation manual for an existing
> product, and am kind of unclear what kind of question we'd ask and how we'd
> work with folks (assuming we solve the problem of recruiting people for
> focus groups etc).
> Can anyone suggest some things to think about, or approaches to take? (or,
> does anyone want to help out?)

Bill Swallow

Twitter: @techcommdood

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Audience analysis and usability research after content is written: From: Ilya Haykinson

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