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Introduction to Usability for Technical Writers by Suman Kumar
 

Introduction to Usability for Technical Writers by Suman Kumar

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Session conducted on Saturday, March 20, 2010, at Huawei Technologies India Pvt. Ltd., Bangalore.

Session conducted on Saturday, March 20, 2010, at Huawei Technologies India Pvt. Ltd., Bangalore.

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    Introduction to Usability for Technical Writers by Suman Kumar Introduction to Usability for Technical Writers by Suman Kumar Presentation Transcript

    • yoUXUsability, User Experience,  Interaction Design…Technical Communicators & User‐experience design [OR] Conquering the world 101 By Suman Kumar  Saturday, March 20, 2010
    • Agenda∗ Why should you care about UX?  ∗ What is UX? ∗ UX RoI ∗ Does it matter to you? ∗ What’s in it for you? ∗ Career option∗ Hands‐on exercise
    • What is UX?∗ The desired, expected, or actual experience of a user  interacting with a product, especially as it relates to  the design of the products user interface. [Source:  Wikipedia]∗ The quality of the interaction between your product  and your customer
    • Cost Justifying UX∗ IBM, along with several other companies, state that for every $1 invested in usability testing on  software, the payback is between $10 and $100. ∗ The cost issues related to usability are well documented. For example,  Sun Microsystems has  compiled this useful list: ∗ Usability engineering has demonstrated reductions in the product‐development cycle by over 33‐50%  (Bosert 1991).  ∗ 63% of all software projects overrun their budgetary estimates, with the top 4 reasons all related to  unforeseen usability problems (Lederer and Prassad 1992).  ∗ The percentage of software code that is devoted to the interface has been rising over the years, with  an average of 47‐60% of the code devoted to the interface (MacIntyre et al. 1990).  ∗ Ricoh found that 95% of the respondents to a survey never used three key features deliberately added  to the product to make it more appealing. Customers either didnt know these features existed, didnt  know how to use them, or didnt understand them (Nussbaum and Neff 1991).  ∗ 80% of maintenance is due to unmet or unforeseen user requirements; only 20% is due to bugs or  reliability problems (Martin and McClure 1993; Pressman 1992) ∗ Design changes due to usability work at IBM resulted in an average reduction of 9.6 minutes per task,  with projected internal savings at IBM of $6.8 Million in 1991 alone (Karat 1990).∗ Clean, cutting‐edge UI design cuts McAfees support calls by 90%
    • Does it matter to you?∗ You are already a UX pro if you perform any two of  these tasks: ∗ Audience analysis ∗ Task analysis ∗ Scenarios ∗ Personas ∗ Renew your STC membership every year∗ What separates the best technical writers is their UX  design skills
    • What’s in it for you?∗ UX skills can help you: ∗ Get ahead in your tech writing career ∗ Prepare for a career switch ∗ Improve your people skills ∗ Acquire vital insights into the product development  process ∗ Figure out how your wife’s brain works ∗ Build extremely effective mother‐in‐law repellents  
    • What do UX folks do?∗ User research∗ Requirements design∗ Prototyping∗ User tests∗ UI reviews∗ Establish, evangelize, and enforce UX standards and  UX design itself
    • UX Design as a career option∗ You are in a great place (to move to UX design)∗ Read about UX∗ Volunteer: ∗ Your product ∗ Intranet site ∗ Corporate website ∗ Elevators, doors, your cafeteria’s buffet design…∗ Build a personal brand: blog, tweet, network, and connect∗ Do it only if you are interested and passionate about it.
    • Preparing for the UX job∗ Start with your strength: ∗ Documenting UX standards/guidelines ∗ Error messages…∗ Prepare an ‘elevator pitch’ on why the management  should give you UX work∗ Speak in numbers∗ Make friends with developers, testers, and product  managers, pre‐sales guys, support folks… you know?∗ Never critique a product. Help build it instead. Which  means, “don’t ask questions, if you don’t have answers”∗ Be prepared to be the one‐person UX army
    • Recommended Reading∗ Books ∗ The Elements of User Experience: User‐Centered Design  by Jesse James Garrett  ∗ Don’t Make Me Think by Steve Krug ∗ Designing Web Usability by Jakob Nielsen ∗ Handbook of Usability Testing by Jeffrey Rubin ∗ Emotional Design by Don Norman ∗ Why We Buy: The Science Of Shopping by Paco Underhill  ∗ Phantoms in the Brain by Dr. V.S. Ramachandran
    • Recommended Sites/Tools Sites Also useful…∗ Reading ∗ MS‐Powerpoint (yes!) ∗ Useit.com ∗ MS‐Visio ∗ Uxmatters.com ∗ Ixda.org ∗ Google Docs ∗ Smashingmagazine.com ∗ MS‐Excel ∗ uxdesign.com  ∗ HTML from W3C∗ Prototyping Tools ∗ Balsamiq [paid] ∗ Google Search ∗ Flair Builder [paid] ∗ Beer ∗ Pencil [☺ ]
    • Thanks people! ☺Questions?∗WWW:  http://sumankumar.com/usability∗T: http://twitter.com/sumank∗@: sumank+stcsig@gmail.com