Readability Research

Subject: Readability Research
From: "Kyle, Charles" <STAMFORD/EISPO1/CKYLE%EIS_International -at- MCIMAIL -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 23 Jan 1997 11:29:00 EST

Jason wrote :
Currently, I'm compiling research on the readability of on-line help=

which will later be presented in a report for our Documentation
department. I'm having difficulty locating strong material. Can any=
one
point me in the right direction?

REPLY
The magazine Technical Communication Fourth Quarter 1996 had an article
entitled Human Information Processing Correlates of Reading Hypertext. It
had a pretty good bibliography. The article presented some very technical
research findings saying that reading performance was about the same with
online as printed.

The magazine (article reprints may be available at http://www.stc-va.org)
is from the Society for Technical Communication, 901 N. Stuart St., Suite
904 Arlington, VA 22203-1854; phone 703/522-4114.

The WinHelp Journal Spring\Summer 1996 had an article entitled What Makes
Good Hypertext. This contained good info but was mostly based on opinions of
the author, Jutta Degener (jutta -at- pobox -dot- com). You can contact the WinHelp
Journal at 800/838-8999. A year's subscription is US$170.

We just bought a couple books in this area. I haven't read them but they may
be pertinent.

Human Factors for Technical Communicators, Marlana Coe, Wiley Computer
Publishing, ISBN 0-471-03530-0

Designing the User Interface, Ben Shneiderman, Addison-Wesley, ISBN
0-201-57286-9.

I've also looked and suprisingly, have not found very much in this area.

I would be interested in what you find.

Charlie Kyle
ckyle%EIS_International -at- MCIMAIL -dot- COM
EIS Systems
Stamford CT USA

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