Criteria for usability testing a document

Subject: Criteria for usability testing a document
From: David Orr <dorr -at- ORRNET -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 22 Dec 1998 16:37:02 -0600

Peg Rickert asked about criteria for usability testing a document. Here
are a few:

1. How many users attempt to use it? Do they come back to it again?
2. What percentage of the time do users find what they need to continue
working successfully?
3. How often do users have to stop one task to go elsewhere in the
manual to find information?
4. How long does it take to do a task? Does the new manual improve
performance? Is the new manual perceived to be easier even if
performance is degraded?
5. How many times in a manual does a user simply not understand or
misunderstand a procedure or explanation?
6. After the user performs the task, can the user accurately describe
what he or she has accomplished on the system?
7. Does the user, within a minute or two, accurately figure out where to
start for a given task?
8. Can the user explain conceptually how the product works after using
it with the manual?

Good luck,

David Orr
Orr & Associates/Usability Management

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