Audience Analysis

Subject: Audience Analysis
From: Jennifer Chiki <Jennifer -dot- Chiki -at- MARCAM -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 4 Sep 1996 11:19:00 -0400


I apologize if this has been a past discussion thread, but I haven't seen
any postings on it recently.

I am sure many of you can relate to my situation - I really have no idea
WHO I am writing for.

So, I am attempting to put together a proposal on how my development lab
can obtain user feedback and audience analysis in order to improve our
documentation and also improve writer confidence. We do have an existing
product, but I don't want to limit this research solely to the usability
of our existing product.
I would like to develop some audience analysis tools such as a
questionnaires, client site visits, customer interviews, job shadowing,
etc., to determine just who are users are and what sort of documentation
needs they have.

If anyone can suggest any reading material, courses, or even past
personal experiences on this subject I would really appreciate it. I know
that last year's STC Annual Conference ran many sessions on this topic,
but I would rather not have to wait until May 1997 to attend the STC
Conference to receive this education.

Has anyone tried anything like this? Did it work? Are questionnaires as
useless as I've heard they are?

Looking forward to your two cents!


Jennifer Chiki
Intermediate Technical Writer
Marcam Canada Corporation
jennifer -dot- chiki -at- marcam -dot- com

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