Surveys/Audience analysis - Summary2

Subject: Surveys/Audience analysis - Summary2
From: Stuart Burnfield <slb -at- FS -dot- COM -dot- AU>
Date: Mon, 23 Mar 1998 10:14:44 +0800

Damien Braniff <Damien_Braniff -at- PAC -dot- CO -dot- UK> said:
> That is the way that I used to see my audience -- fairly homogenous.
> Until I performed an audience analysis ... for a scanner/software
> package. I discovered that, for a product such as that in commercial
> market, it is nearly impossible to nail down a user type. I had a
> housewife with practically no computer experience who wanted to scan
> recipes into a recipe application, a business owner with expert
> computer knowledge who wanted to use it with a document management
> system, a graphic artist with little computer knowledge but expert
> graphics application knowledge who was going to use it for scanning
> illustrations.

An interesting problem. I'd probably start with Damian's solution
(Getting Started/Basics plus comprehensive Reference), though it feels
incomplete. As Damian points out, the audience doesn't divide neatly
into beginners/experts, so splitting the manual that way isn't ideal.

What about a third section, based on scenarios or worked examples?
You could include some of the examples you've already identified --

- scanning recipes
- making a scrapbook of a child's drawing and writing
- producing a portfolio of samples for a student (the graphic artist
example could be used for a more advanced tutorial dealing with
colour correction, retouching, and so on)
- producing a newsletter for a club, charity or small business
- scanning product shots for a stock catalogue
- the document management example

At the start of each example you could identify the type of task and
the sort of features that will be covered -- cropping, capturing,
choosing a graphic format, retouching, applying effects, etc.

That way people have two ways to find a relevant example:

- I want to scan pictures for a newsletter so I'll check the newsletter
- I want to make my design look as good as possible so I'll read the
examples that cover image quality.

Has anybody tried this sort of approach?

Stuart Burnfield That which does not kill me, makes me stranger
Functional Software Pty Ltd
mailto:slb -at- fs -dot- com -dot- au

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