Re: Testing index usability?

Subject: Re: Testing index usability?
From: "David M. Brown" <dmbrown -at- BROWN-INC -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 16 Sep 1998 10:54:31 -0700

Geoff Hart wrote:
>
> Tester: "OK, so now you have your letter typed up and saved to hard
> disk. What can you do with it now?"
>
> Participant: "Hmmm... I can e-mail it, edit it, or print out a copy
> on the printer over there."
>
> Tester: "OK, let's see if you can figure out how to print the letter
> by using the index to find the appropriate part of the manual."

I think an even better response would be:
"OK, let's see if you can figure out how to do those things."

This would show you how your users find information:
* Hunt around the menus and toolbars?
* Read tool tips and status-bar descriptions?
* Check the manual or go straight to the help file?
* Use a TOC or index (or full-text search)?

Based on your observations, you could propose changes to the UI as well
as the documentation that would help users of all "persuasions."

--David

==============================
David M. Brown -- Brown Inc.
dmbrown -at- brown-inc -dot- com
http://www.brown-inc.com/
==============================
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