0
From a Technical Writer to  a Usability Engineer Presented by / Bogo Vatovec Change Management / Knowledge Engineering / U...
Why do you want to do it? <ul><li>Because you are frustrated? </li></ul><ul><li>Nobody listens to you? </li></ul><ul><li>N...
Why do you want to do it? <ul><li>Because you see a natural progression. </li></ul><ul><li>Because you are deeply interest...
What are you doing now? <ul><li>You are an advocate of the users  </li></ul><ul><li>Analyze your audience </li></ul><ul><l...
Why is a move common? <ul><li>Similar goals and knowledge profiles </li></ul><ul><li>Similar believes and thinking </li></...
Areas of work <ul><li>Usability </li></ul><ul><li>User research & feedback </li></ul><ul><li>UI design and development </l...
Skills <ul><li>Usability </li></ul><ul><li>Cognitive sciences </li></ul><ul><li>Interaction design </li></ul><ul><li>Visua...
Backgrounds <ul><li>Usability </li></ul><ul><li>Specialized programs </li></ul><ul><li>Psychology </li></ul><ul><li>Comput...
Similarities and Differences <ul><li>Usability </li></ul><ul><li>Understanding the users </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on intera...
Tasks of a usability engineer <ul><li>User goals/tasks analysis and profiling </li></ul><ul><li>Competition analysis </li>...
Example profiles in usability
Profile:User researcher <ul><li>Typical background in psychology or cognitive sciences, communications. </li></ul><ul><li>...
Profile: Information architect <ul><li>Focuses on information design and structuring.  </li></ul><ul><li>Typical backgroun...
Profile: Interface designer Focuses on the interaction design and the interface. <ul><li>Typical background in HCI, cognit...
Profile: Usability evaluator <ul><li>Focuses on evaluations of prototypes and interfaces. </li></ul><ul><li>Typical backgr...
Profile: Visual designer <ul><li>Focuses on graphic design and icons. </li></ul><ul><li>Typical background: visual art, me...
Skills to learn
Skills to learn (1) <ul><li>Ergonomics and human behavior </li></ul><ul><li>Cognitive sciences, human mental models </li><...
Skills to learn (2) <ul><li>Direct and indirect manipulation methods </li></ul><ul><li>Menu selections, form filling, dial...
What do you need to know about technology <ul><li>More than a technical writer, but less than a programmer. </li></ul><ul>...
Steps in the Transition <ul><li>Get yourself a mentor </li></ul><ul><li>Decide which usability area suits you the most </l...
Examples of tasks and process
Learning about your users   <ul><li>Direct and indirect observations of users at workplace, home. </li></ul><ul><li>Broad ...
Analyzing and structuring the results <ul><li>Create user profiles/personas </li></ul><ul><li>Write scenarios of use </li>...
Specifying the interface <ul><li>Write detailed use cases/user tasks instructions </li></ul><ul><li>Prepare interaction di...
Usability evaluations <ul><li>Heuristic evaluation </li></ul><ul><li>Cognitive and pluralistic walkthroughs </li></ul><ul>...
Consultancy work <ul><li>User research and behavior studies </li></ul><ul><li>External usability evaluations </li></ul><ul...
Recommended Links HCI Resources Network www.hcirn.com   Keith Intone’s collection of topics on usability   www.usableweb.c...
Recommended Books and Articles <ul><li>Randolph G. Bias and Deborah J. Mayhew (Eds.)  Cost-Justifying Usability . Boston: ...
Thanks! Bogo Vatovec Consulting Office Gabriel-Max-Str. 20 / 10245 Berlin T +49 30 20078666 / F +49 30 20078661 / M +49 17...
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in...5
×

From a technical writer to a usability engineer

3,935

Published on

a comparison of jobs of a technical writer and a usability engineer with a roadmap to transition.

Published in: Business, Technology
0 Comments
5 Likes
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

No Downloads
Views
Total Views
3,935
On Slideshare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
0
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
130
Comments
0
Likes
5
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Transcript of "From a technical writer to a usability engineer"

  1. 1. From a Technical Writer to a Usability Engineer Presented by / Bogo Vatovec Change Management / Knowledge Engineering / User Experience / Interaction Design / Process Engineering
  2. 2. Why do you want to do it? <ul><li>Because you are frustrated? </li></ul><ul><li>Nobody listens to you? </li></ul><ul><li>Nobody takes you seriously? </li></ul><ul><li>You only get the dirty editing work from the engineers? </li></ul><ul><li>WRONG. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Why do you want to do it? <ul><li>Because you see a natural progression. </li></ul><ul><li>Because you are deeply interested in Human Computer Interaction. </li></ul><ul><li>Because you are passionate about your job and you are willing to spend lots of time learning. </li></ul>
  4. 4. What are you doing now? <ul><li>You are an advocate of the users </li></ul><ul><li>Analyze your audience </li></ul><ul><li>Analyze user goals and tasks </li></ul><ul><li>Develop a task oriented manual </li></ul><ul><li>Develop designs of manuals, online help, Web sites. </li></ul><ul><li>You are suggesting improvements to the user interface </li></ul>
  5. 5. Why is a move common? <ul><li>Similar goals and knowledge profiles </li></ul><ul><li>Similar believes and thinking </li></ul><ul><li>Good documentation adds to usability </li></ul><ul><li>Documentation is part of the product </li></ul><ul><li>Bad product is difficult to document </li></ul><ul><li>Text is an inseparable part of the interface </li></ul>
  6. 6. Areas of work <ul><li>Usability </li></ul><ul><li>User research & feedback </li></ul><ul><li>UI design and development </li></ul><ul><li>Usability evaluation </li></ul><ul><li>Usability engineering </li></ul><ul><li>Performance optimization </li></ul><ul><li>Web design and development </li></ul><ul><li>Technical writing </li></ul><ul><li>Instructional design </li></ul><ul><li>Printed documentation </li></ul><ul><li>Online documentation </li></ul><ul><li>Web design and writing </li></ul><ul><li>Editing </li></ul>
  7. 7. Skills <ul><li>Usability </li></ul><ul><li>Cognitive sciences </li></ul><ul><li>Interaction design </li></ul><ul><li>Visual design </li></ul><ul><li>Interviewing, observations, analysis </li></ul><ul><li>Technical writing </li></ul><ul><li>Instructional design </li></ul><ul><li>Interviewing </li></ul><ul><li>Writing and editing </li></ul><ul><li>Information design </li></ul><ul><li>Presentation media </li></ul>
  8. 8. Backgrounds <ul><li>Usability </li></ul><ul><li>Specialized programs </li></ul><ul><li>Psychology </li></ul><ul><li>Computer science </li></ul><ul><li>Anthropology </li></ul><ul><li>Technical writing </li></ul><ul><li>Specialized programs </li></ul><ul><li>Languages </li></ul><ul><li>Computer science </li></ul><ul><li>Variety of social studies </li></ul>
  9. 9. Similarities and Differences <ul><li>Usability </li></ul><ul><li>Understanding the users </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on interaction design </li></ul><ul><li>Make things easy to use </li></ul><ul><li>Design the product and the interface </li></ul><ul><li>Technical writing </li></ul><ul><li>Understanding the users </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on instructional design </li></ul><ul><li>Explain how to do </li></ul><ul><li>Support the use of the product </li></ul>
  10. 10. Tasks of a usability engineer <ul><li>User goals/tasks analysis and profiling </li></ul><ul><li>Competition analysis </li></ul><ul><li>Product design and interface design </li></ul><ul><li>Prototyping and evaluations </li></ul><ul><li>Acceptance testing and evaluations </li></ul><ul><li>Post release evaluations </li></ul><ul><li>Consulting and training </li></ul><ul><li>Consultancy </li></ul>
  11. 11. Example profiles in usability
  12. 12. Profile:User researcher <ul><li>Typical background in psychology or cognitive sciences, communications. </li></ul><ul><li>Conducts observations, focus groups and surveys. Defines general user profiles, goals, needs and expectations. </li></ul><ul><li>Skills: research methods, reporting, presentation. </li></ul>Focuses on behavioral and general information about the users.
  13. 13. Profile: Information architect <ul><li>Focuses on information design and structuring. </li></ul><ul><li>Typical background in technical communications, journalism. </li></ul><ul><li>Defines content flow and structure. </li></ul><ul><li>Skills: information analysis and chunking, mental models, interaction design. </li></ul>
  14. 14. Profile: Interface designer Focuses on the interaction design and the interface. <ul><li>Typical background in HCI, cognitive psychology, computer sciences. </li></ul><ul><li>Defines interface interaction styles, elements, layouts. </li></ul><ul><li>Skills: interaction elements, mental models, platform specific guidelines. </li></ul>
  15. 15. Profile: Usability evaluator <ul><li>Focuses on evaluations of prototypes and interfaces. </li></ul><ul><li>Typical background: cognitive psychology. </li></ul><ul><li>Performes usability evaluations of the products, write reports and recommends improvements. </li></ul><ul><li>Skills: evaluating methods, report writing, presentations. </li></ul>
  16. 16. Profile: Visual designer <ul><li>Focuses on graphic design and icons. </li></ul><ul><li>Typical background: visual art, media and communications. </li></ul><ul><li>Design visual elements, icons and layouts. </li></ul><ul><li>Skills: graphic design, colors, human perception. </li></ul>
  17. 17. Skills to learn
  18. 18. Skills to learn (1) <ul><li>Ergonomics and human behavior </li></ul><ul><li>Cognitive sciences, human mental models </li></ul><ul><li>User centered design process and general software development process </li></ul><ul><li>Interaction theories, principles, guidelines </li></ul><ul><li>Contextual analysis skills, usability evaluations, surveys, assessments </li></ul><ul><li>Software tools </li></ul>
  19. 19. Skills to learn (2) <ul><li>Direct and indirect manipulation methods </li></ul><ul><li>Menu selections, form filling, dialog boxes </li></ul><ul><li>Interaction devices </li></ul><ul><li>Presentation styles </li></ul><ul><li>Integration of UI, online help, manuals </li></ul><ul><li>Various guidelines: Windows, Motif, OS/2, Macintosh, Web </li></ul>
  20. 20. What do you need to know about technology <ul><li>More than a technical writer, but less than a programmer. </li></ul><ul><li>Understand the concepts behind each technology </li></ul><ul><li>Understand the behavior as related to the user interaction </li></ul><ul><li>Understand the context of use – advantages and limitations </li></ul>
  21. 21. Steps in the Transition <ul><li>Get yourself a mentor </li></ul><ul><li>Decide which usability area suits you the most </li></ul><ul><li>Learn the necessary skills </li></ul><ul><li>Try to apply skills in practice </li></ul><ul><li>Prepare a new resume </li></ul><ul><li>Go out and look for a new job </li></ul>
  22. 22. Examples of tasks and process
  23. 23. Learning about your users <ul><li>Direct and indirect observations of users at workplace, home. </li></ul><ul><li>Broad surveys with questionnaires. </li></ul><ul><li>Working focus groups with users and other stakeholders. </li></ul><ul><li>Brainstorming with users and developers about user needs, design, functionality. </li></ul>
  24. 24. Analyzing and structuring the results <ul><li>Create user profiles/personas </li></ul><ul><li>Write scenarios of use </li></ul><ul><li>Create user/tasks matrix </li></ul><ul><li>Identify objects and actions from scenarios </li></ul><ul><li>Define behavior and attributes of the objects </li></ul>
  25. 25. Specifying the interface <ul><li>Write detailed use cases/user tasks instructions </li></ul><ul><li>Prepare interaction diagrams </li></ul><ul><li>Create first prototypes </li></ul><ul><li>Test prototypes with the users </li></ul><ul><li>Iteratively improve the prototypes </li></ul>
  26. 26. Usability evaluations <ul><li>Heuristic evaluation </li></ul><ul><li>Cognitive and pluralistic walkthroughs </li></ul><ul><li>Formal usability testing </li></ul><ul><li>Reports writing and recommendations </li></ul>
  27. 27. Consultancy work <ul><li>User research and behavior studies </li></ul><ul><li>External usability evaluations </li></ul><ul><li>Interface design </li></ul><ul><li>Training and courses on usability </li></ul><ul><li>Process and development consultancy </li></ul>
  28. 28. Recommended Links HCI Resources Network www.hcirn.com Keith Intone’s collection of topics on usability www.usableweb.com IBM's Human Factors web page. www.ibm.com/ibm/hci Good list of books about usability and design with descriptions. www.hcibb.org Jakob Nielsen's web site. www.useit.com A great site that explains multiple usability methods. www.best.com/~jthom/usability Interesting site that collects information about usability and discusses the latest trends in the field. www.usabilityfirst.com Bibliography of human-computer interaction publications and resources.  www.hcibib.org Usability Professionals' Association web site. www.upassoc.org
  29. 29. Recommended Books and Articles <ul><li>Randolph G. Bias and Deborah J. Mayhew (Eds.) Cost-Justifying Usability . Boston: Academic Press, 1994. ISBN 0-12-095810-4. </li></ul><ul><li>Joseph S. Dumas and Janice C. Redish. A Practical Guide to Usability Testing . Norwood, NJ: Ablex Publishing, 1993. ISBN 0-89391-991-8. </li></ul><ul><li>JoAnn T. Hackos and Janice C. Redish. User and Task Analysis for Interface Design . New York: Wiley, 1998. ISBN 0-471-17831-4. </li></ul><ul><li>Robert R. Johnson. User-Centered Technology: A Rhetorical Theory for Computers and Other Mundane Artifacts . New York: State University of New York Press, 1998. ISBN 0-7914-3932-1 (paperback). </li></ul><ul><li>Donald A. Norman. The Psychology of Everyday Things . New York: Basic Books, 1988. ISBN 0-465-06709-3. Also published as The Design of Everyday Things, 1990, Doubleday ISBN 0-385-26774-6 (paperback). </li></ul><ul><li>Jeffrey Rubin. Handbook of Usability Testing: How to Plan, Design, and Conduct Effective Tests . New York: Wiley, 1994. ISBN 0-471-59403-2. </li></ul><ul><li>Barbara Mirel. Product, Process and Profit: The Politics of Usability in a Software Venture. ACM Journal of Computer Documentation, Volume 24, Number 4, (November 2000) </li></ul><ul><li>Ben Schneiderman. Designing the User Interface. Addison Wesley, (1998). </li></ul>
  30. 30. Thanks! Bogo Vatovec Consulting Office Gabriel-Max-Str. 20 / 10245 Berlin T +49 30 20078666 / F +49 30 20078661 / M +49 174 1730406 office@bovacon.com / www.bovacon.com © Bogo Vatovec Consultig
  1. A particular slide catching your eye?

    Clipping is a handy way to collect important slides you want to go back to later.

×