A Cognitive Design for            User Assistance	                    Users	  Become	  Learners	  RAY	  GALLON	  CULTURECO...
Once, we needed to learn to make fire…	                            Presentation	  ©	  2012-­‐2013	  Ray	  Gallon	  all	  ri...
Do we teach it today?                    	                                      Our	                                      ...
The only thing we know about the futureis that it will be different ! ! !              Peter DruckerOur job is to help peo...
Presentation	  ©	  2012-­‐2013	  Ray	  Gallon	  all	  rights	  reserved	  
Complex Communication• Communication• Knowledge                                                                   Expert T...
Today’s Software Provides Information-Rich Environments   	                           Presentation	  ©	  2012-­‐2013	  Ray...
Today’s Software Provides               Information-Rich Environments   	...to	  a	  vector	  of	  information	  that	  ac...
A Few of the Things Software Now Does                                    	    All	  these	  applications	      put	  you	 ...
Faced with this Complexity,                             I, the User, Have Needs!                                          ...
Example: Using MS Office                                                                            	                      ...
And Learning supports Decision-Making…	                            Presentation	  ©	  2012-­‐2013	  Ray	  Gallon	  all	  r...
Decision Support for Users                                               	  •    Two	  types	  of	  decision	  support	  i...
Core Principles for                                    Decision Support of Any Type 	         •     Begin	  with	  users’	...
Core Principles of Minimalism as                       Restated by JoAnn Hackos   	       •    Focus	  on	  an	  action-­‐...
The Problem with Minimalism	         Many	  of	  us	  who	  espouse	  these	  principles	  don’t	  know	  them	           ...
It’s Not the Same Thing!                                                     	•    We	  create	  assistance	  for	  users	...
It’s Not the Same Thing!                                                        	•    We	  create	  assistance	  for	  use...
The Solution           	                 Presentation	  ©	  2012-­‐2013	  Ray	  Gallon	  all	  rights	  reserved	  
Embedded UA and Our Role	    Can	  you	  design	  a	  proper	  embedded	  user	  assistance	  system	  without	       work...
Is memorizing a procedure by rote necessary                             for competency?	                                  ...
For	  many	  yea                    rs,	  in	  our	  pro have	  been	  sa                        fession,	  we	           ...
let s teach our users to fish!	                         Presentation	  ©	  2012-­‐2013	  Ray	  Gallon	  all	  rights	  rese...
Not Just Minimal – Minimal and Meaningful	                                                          It’s	  m              ...
Kanban Information:              Help Users Learn Your Software Fast                                               	    We...
Kanban Information:            Help Users Learn Your Software Fast                                             	    For	  ...
Integrated Competency Learning	                                                                                           ...
Double Embeddedness                  	           Embed        concep    simple               ts dir            into t    e...
Cognition and Context	                                       Concept	  topics	  remain	  abstract.	  Their	               ...
Cognition and Context	                                                            Concept	  topics	  remain	  abstract.	  ...
Tip	  of	  the	  day	  is	  cognitively	  unusable	  because	  the	  tip	  is	  presented	  out	  of	  context.	  	  Worth...
Double Embeddedness using                               Progressive Disclosure                                            ...
DEMO	RAY	  GALLON	  CULTURECOM                              Presentation	  ©	  2012-­‐2013	  Ray	  Gallon	  all	  rights	 ...
Tool Tip: a DITA Generic Topic                             	                                          The	  abbreviated-­‐...
Process Query Task Topic 1/2                                                	                                             ...
Process Query Task Topic 2/2                                             	•  This	  topic	  groups	  together	       Many	...
RAY	  GALLON	  CULTURECOM                                                                                            Thank...
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A Cognitive Design for User Assistance 1: Users Become Learners

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Part 1 of a series of 3 webinars sponsored by Adobe (thank you) explaining the need to treat software users as learners in our rapidly changing informational environment. Recording of complete webinar at http://adobe.ly/WpNZQJ

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A Cognitive Design for User Assistance 1: Users Become Learners

  1. 1. A Cognitive Design for User Assistance Users  Become  Learners  RAY  GALLON  CULTURECOM Presentation  ©  2012-­‐2013  Ray  Gallon  all  rights  reserved  
  2. 2. Once, we needed to learn to make fire… Presentation  ©  2012-­‐2013  Ray  Gallon  all  rights  reserved  
  3. 3. Do we teach it today? Our   immediate,   contingent   needs   change   over  time   Presentation  ©  2012-­‐2013  Ray  Gallon  all  rights  reserved  
  4. 4. The only thing we know about the futureis that it will be different ! ! ! Peter DruckerOur job is to help people use ourproducts well and wisely, whichmeans they learn to adapt,and cope with changes intechnology and society. Presentation  ©  2012-­‐2013  Ray  Gallon  all  rights  reserved  
  5. 5. Presentation  ©  2012-­‐2013  Ray  Gallon  all  rights  reserved  
  6. 6. Complex Communication• Communication• Knowledge Expert Thinking Routine manual tasks Routine Cognitive Tasks Non-routine Manual Tasks OECD:  The  Future  Requires  Complex  Thinking   Presentation  ©  2012-­‐2013  Ray  Gallon  all  rights  reserved  
  7. 7. Today’s Software Provides Information-Rich Environments Presentation  ©  2012-­‐2013  Ray  Gallon  all  rights  reserved  
  8. 8. Today’s Software Provides Information-Rich Environments ...to  a  vector  of  information  that  actually  makes  vital  decisions  for  you.   Presentation  ©  2012-­‐2013  Ray  Gallon  all  rights  reserved  
  9. 9. A Few of the Things Software Now Does All  these  applications   put  you  in  a  changed   relationship  with   people  who  are  in  a   different  context   from  your  own   Presentation  ©  2012-­‐2013  Ray  Gallon  all  rights  reserved  
  10. 10. Faced with this Complexity, I, the User, Have Needs! To  solve  my  immediate  problem,  I  need  to…   In  order  to  do  that,  I  need  to…  •  Decide  •  Do   •  Know   •  Understand   Presentation  ©  2012-­‐2013  Ray  Gallon  all  rights  reserved  
  11. 11. Example: Using MS Office Move   Column   Send   Mail   Autofit   Save   Text   File   Indent   Text   Shared  Common  Understanding   Consolidated  Expertise   Presentation  ©  2012-­‐2013  Ray  Gallon  all  rights  reserved  Inspired  by  Prof.  Jim  Cummins,  University  of  Toronto  
  12. 12. And Learning supports Decision-Making… Presentation  ©  2012-­‐2013  Ray  Gallon  all  rights  reserved  
  13. 13. Decision Support for Users •  Two  types  of  decision  support  in  software:   •  Automated  decision  support  aids   •  Information  designed  to  inform  the  users  judgment,  but   not  formalized  into  an  automated  system   he t ime of t on, most ati unic tter ty pe. al c omm la nic theIn tech w e do Presentation  ©  2012-­‐2013  Ray  Gallon  all  rights  reserved  
  14. 14. Core Principles for Decision Support of Any Type •  Begin  with  users’  needs   •  Give  priority  to  process  over  products   •  Link  information  between  producers  and  users   •  Build  connections  across  disciplines  and  organizations   •  Seek  institutional  stability   •  Design  processes  for  learning  Source:  U.S.  National  Research  Council   Presentation  ©  2012-­‐2013  Ray  Gallon  all  rights  reserved  
  15. 15. Core Principles of Minimalism as Restated by JoAnn Hackos •  Focus  on  an  action-­‐oriented  approach   (Users’  needs,    process)   •  Ensure  you  understand  the  users’  world   (Users’  needs,  links  and  connections,  institutional  stability)     •  Recognize  the  importance  of  troubleshooting  information     (Users’  needs,  links  and  connections,  learning)   •  Ensure  that  users  can  find  the  information  they  need     (Users’  needs,  learning,  links  and  connections)  Source:  http://www.infomanagementcenter.com/Resources/eNews2012-­‐12JHackos.pdf   Presentation  ©  2012-­‐2013  Ray  Gallon  all  rights  reserved  
  16. 16. The Problem with Minimalism Many  of  us  who  espouse  these  principles  don’t  know  them   well  enough       But  John  Carroll,  w ho  create d  minima   People  u lism,  said sing  pr oducts  a :   in  getting al  work  d re  most  intereste “What often goes w information that vio rong with  re lates the first   People  b one.     d   minimalism principle est  learn s is a focus on somethin  about  pr using a product’s in g  rather   oduct  us terface rather than somethin than  read e  by  doin achieving real goals g.     ing  abou g   and completing t   real work. “ -JoAnn H ackos Presentation  ©  2012-­‐2013  Ray  Gallon  all  rights  reserved  Source:  JoAnn  Hackos  
  17. 17. It’s Not the Same Thing! •  We  create  assistance  for  users  that  tells  them  how  to  perform   useful,  real  work.  That s  an  important  part  of  our  added  value.  •  With  traditional   static  manuals,  we  assume  that  the   documentation  provides  meaning  (and  learning)  to  the  user   about  the  product.  •  In  reality,  it  is  the  product  that  gives  meaning  to  the  docs:   Presentation  ©  2012-­‐2013  Ray  Gallon  all  rights  reserved  
  18. 18. It’s Not the Same Thing! •  We  create  assistance  for  users  that  tells  them  how  to  perform   useful,  real  work.  That s  an  important  part  of  our  added  value.  •  With  traditional   static  manuals,  we  assume  that  the   documentation  provides  meaning  (and  learning)  to  the  user   about  the  product.  •  In  reality,  it  is  the  product  that  gives  meaning  to  the  docs:   •  Reading  about  the  product  remains  abstract...     •  …until  the  user  is  confronted  with  the  reality  of  having  to  use  the   product.  The  activities  are  separated.   Presentation  ©  2012-­‐2013  Ray  Gallon  all  rights  reserved  
  19. 19. The Solution Presentation  ©  2012-­‐2013  Ray  Gallon  all  rights  reserved  
  20. 20. Embedded UA and Our Role   Can  you  design  a  proper  embedded  user  assistance  system  without   working  on  the  interface  design?    Can  you  write  user  assistance   content  without  reference  to,  and   involvement  in,  the   non  content  of  the  interface,  messages,  and   other  operational  linguistic  material  of  the  software?    Do  you  work  in  an  agile  environment?  Are  you  present  in  design   meetings?    Do  you  have  a  common  strategy  for  all  the  content  delivered  in,   alongside,  and  in  complement  to  the  software?   Presentation  ©  2012-­‐2013  Ray  Gallon  all  rights  reserved  
  21. 21. Is memorizing a procedure by rote necessary for competency? Is  it  “    STEP 1 minim  STEP 2 back   al”  if   to  the users  STEP 3  help    need   H repea  to  go ow  do tedly?   NOTE: wants es  a  u    or  ne ser  kn HAT eds  to ow  if   ON’T D OT  do  th s/he  e D is  task ven   ct  us e   ?   odu ut  pr arn  abo her  than   hen   ople  best  le hing  rat that  w e   ason   de  th Pe omet g.     d  to  re e  inclu oing  s t  somethin t  stan g,”  w  by  d g  abou   Do esn’t  i y  doin read in rning  b lp  the  user   “lea s  th at  he sks?   co ncept to  similar  ta gener alize   Presentation  ©  2012-­‐2013  Ray  Gallon  all  rights  reserved  
  22. 22. For  many  yea rs,  in  our  pro have  been  sa fession,  we   ying  that  proinformation   cedural   must  be  sepaconceptual  in rated  from   formation.     “It  is  an  error  to  confuse  a  truth  about  how  to  analyse  something  into  its  parts   with  a  truth  about  how  that  thing  should  be  organised  and  presented  to   users.”        -­‐Mark  Baker   Presentation  ©  2012-­‐2013  Ray  Gallon  all  rights  reserved  
  23. 23. let s teach our users to fish! Presentation  ©  2012-­‐2013  Ray  Gallon  all  rights  reserved  
  24. 24. Not Just Minimal – Minimal and Meaningful It’s  m inima look  a l  and   t  one mean under  task   ingful stand helps  if  one   It  many  us     ’s  min  relate quick imal  and  m d  task s.    look   eanin bothe tells  u gful  if r  with s  we  d  one    this  ( on’t  n roduc t  use   or  tha t  we  d eed  to    p rn  about aking   o).   t  lea  bes m  and   People  something cess.     epts     doing s  in  the  pro  conc by ut  the nd   ction ng  –  p seful  a conne by  doi ll  be  u earn   ey  wi L ere  th d.     wh bere remem Presentation  ©  2012-­‐2013  Ray  Gallon  all  rights  reserved  
  25. 25. Kanban Information: Help Users Learn Your Software Fast   We  want  to  give  the  user  all  the  information  s/he  needs  and  only  the   information  s/he  needs.    We  want  to  deliver  that  information  when  s/he  needs  it  –  which   implies,  at  the  moment  s/he  has  real  work  to  do.    The  logical  conclusion  is  that  user  assistance  needs  to  be  embedded   in  the  software  itself,  in  such  a  way  that:     The  user  can  find  it  immediately,  without  excessive  searching,  if     s/he  needs  it.     If  s/he  doesn’t  need  it,  it  stays  out  of  the  way.   Presentation  ©  2012-­‐2013  Ray  Gallon  all  rights  reserved  
  26. 26. Kanban Information: Help Users Learn Your Software Fast   For  the  most  part,  we ve  assumed  that  means  procedures.   Concepts  are  out  -­‐  too  long,  too  messy,  too  irrelevant.  The   user  wants  to  meet  her  or  his  contingent  need.    Some  users  will  infer  underlying  principles  and  concepts   from  repeated  procedures.  Others,  however,  will  not,  unless   we  point  them  to  it  in  some  way.    We  want  the  user  to  understand  the  information  in  a  way   that  s/he  can  apply  it  to  other  situations,  without  needing  to   call  repeatedly  on  the  user  assistance.   Presentation  ©  2012-­‐2013  Ray  Gallon  all  rights  reserved  
  27. 27. Integrated Competency Learning +  Cognitive  construction   and  process  reasoning   +Socio-­‐cultural  construction   (information    sharing,  mentoring)   User Learning Space WHERE IN THIS SPACE DO YOU WANT YOUR USERS? +Code:  Mastery  of  the     +Thematic  knowledge   language,  interface,   (SME)   iconography...   ...AND WHEN????+  Individually  significant  contextualisation  (contingency)   +Procedural   Memorisation   Presentation  ©  2012-­‐2013  Ray  Gallon  all  rights  reserved  Adapted  by  Dr.  Neus  Lorenzo  from  Phil  Ball    Keith  Kelly  (2009)    Ref:  http://ow.ly/dLK8g        http://goo.gl/Ul3A2  
  28. 28. Double Embeddedness Embed concep simple ts dir into t ectly User A he 
 ssista n c e Presentation  ©  2012-­‐2013  Ray  Gallon  all  rights  reserved  
  29. 29. Cognition and Context   Concept  topics  remain  abstract.  Their   application  seems  distant  to  the  user.     Putting  a  sentence  or  two  of   conceptual  information  in  context   (while  the  user  is  performing  the   relevant  task)  reinforces  knowledge   acquisition  and  integration.  Context  is  everything!     Tasks  should  also  explain  why  it  is   interesting  to  do  them  -­‐  again,  in  one   or  two  short  sentences:     Decision  Support   Presentation  ©  2012-­‐2013  Ray  Gallon  all  rights  reserved  
  30. 30. Cognition and Context   Concept  topics  remain  abstract.  Their   application  seems  distant  to  the  user.     Putting  a  sentence  or  two  of   conceptual  information  in  context   (while  the  user  is  performing  the   relevant  task)  reinforces  knowledge   acquisition  and  integration.  Context  is  everything!     Tasks  should  also  explain  why  it  is   interesting  to  do  them  -­‐  again,  in  one   Lots  of  detail  does   or  two  short  sentences:     not  necessarily   Decision  Support   mean  more   knowledge   Presentation  ©  2012-­‐2013  Ray  Gallon  all  rights  reserved  
  31. 31. Tip  of  the  day  is  cognitively  unusable  because  the  tip  is  presented  out  of  context.    Worth  noting:  on  a  web  site,  its  useful  for  SEO:  daily  fresh  copy  feeds  Google  page  rank,  and  shares  from  this  do,  too.     Presentation  ©  2012-­‐2013  Ray  Gallon  all  rights  reserved  
  32. 32. Double Embeddedness using Progressive Disclosure •  People  understand  a  system  better  when  you  help   them  prioritize  features  and  spend  more  time  on  the   most  important  ones.   •  Progressive  disclosure  says:   1.  Initially,  show  users  only  a  few  of  the  most  important   options.   2.  Offer  a  larger  set  of  specialized  options  upon  request.   Disclose  these  secondary  features  only  if  a  user  asks  for   them,  meaning  that  most  users  can  proceed  with  their   tasks  without  worrying  about  this  added  complexity.   Presentation  ©  2012-­‐2013  Ray  Gallon  all  rights  reserved  Source:  http://www.nngroup.com/articles/progressive-­‐disclosure/  
  33. 33. DEMO RAY  GALLON  CULTURECOM Presentation  ©  2012-­‐2013  Ray  Gallon  all  rights  reserved  
  34. 34. Tool Tip: a DITA Generic Topic The  abbreviated-­‐form  is   resolved  but  otherwise   ignored  in  the  tool  tip   The  shortdesc  is  what     pops  up  on  hover     The  topic  body  and   link  are  shown  in  the   tool  tip  pull-­‐down       Presentation  ©  2012-­‐2013  Ray  Gallon  all  rights  reserved  
  35. 35. Process Query Task Topic 1/2 The  shortdesc  is  reused   from  the  tool  tip   …to  pop  up  a  keyref  that   points  to  a  glossary  entry      This  time  the  abbreviated-­‐form  is  resolved  on  hover…   Presentation  ©  2012-­‐2013  Ray  Gallon  all  rights  reserved  
  36. 36. Process Query Task Topic 2/2 •  This  topic  groups  together   Many  of  the  tasks  are   conrefs  to  reusable   •  It  makes  no  sense  to   related  tasks  that  a  user   components   separate  them  purely  for   probably  needs  to  do  at   taxonomical  consistency   the  same  time   Presentation  ©  2012-­‐2013  Ray  Gallon  all  rights  reserved  
  37. 37. RAY  GALLON  CULTURECOM Thank  You! Please  visit  my  blog,  Rant  of  a  Humanist  Nerd:   http://humanistnerd.culturecom.net   Email:     infodesign@culturecom.net   Google  Plus:  +Ray  Gallon   Twitter:  @RayGallon   LinkedIn:  Ray  Gallon   arch   d  on  reseoup.   r t  basesearch  g ion  Re enta ty  presion  Socie his at s  of  t m rtionTransfor Po he   by  t Presentation  ©  2012-­‐2013  Ray  Gallon  all  rights  reserved  

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