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Subject:Re: need information on use of indexes From:Shannon White <shannonwhite -at- YAHOO -dot- COM> Date:Wed, 10 Jun 1998 05:50:02 -0700
Check the Second Quarter 1998 edition of Technical Communication.
There is a piece "Fear and Loathing of the Help Menu: A Usability
Test of Online Help." You'll find support there for the fact that
indexes are the main navigation tools for online Help (which is
I've also read another piece on the usability of online Help where the
author said he/she had NEVER seen a usability subject use anything
OTHER than the index to navigate through Help. I can't find that
citation immediately, though.
I just ran one of my Help projects through a formal usability session,
and, out of the 6 subjects, none used the TOC. All used the index.
Business Technical Writer
---Marsha Finley <mmf -at- CADENCE -dot- COM> wrote:
> A small group of misfits in my company, including myself, would like
> disprove the notion that users of online documentation rarely consult
> The party-line (based on rather suspect usability studies) is
> that users prefer to use search. On this basis, our management has
> suggested that we stop devoting valuable time to indexing.
> Does anyone know of any studies that show how users find information
> online documentation? If you could point me to any information of this
> type, I'd be most grateful.
> Marsha Finley
> Senior Technical Writer
> Cadence Design Systems
> LDV Technical Publications Group
> Chelmsford, MA
> (978) 446-6450
> Everybody is somebody else's weirdo.
> -- Dykstra
> Send commands to listserv -at- listserv -dot- okstate -dot- edu (e.g., SIGNOFF
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