Completely intuitive software

Subject: Completely intuitive software
From: Peterson Karen <Peterson_Karen -at- PRC -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 7 Jun 1999 16:23:41 -0400

I am helping to design bug tracking software for our office. As a result of
usability testing, I recommended that a certain function be changed, because
the users consistently did not understand it. The overwhelming response from
the developers was that it's impossible to create software that's completely
intuitive; the user must read the manual.

It was my impression that the current tech-writer-favored trends were to
make the software functionality and the UI as intuitive as possible, weaning
the user off documentation. Was I wrong?

I'm not debating whether or not we should have manuals or anything like
that. I was just trying to get the project lead to make changes to the
interface rather than always saying, "Just explain it in the manual" or
"Once they do it wrong, they'll learn not to do it that way again."

Please share your insight. Thank you so much!
Karen Peterson
Peterson_Karen -at- prc -dot- com

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