RAY	  GALLON	  C U L T U R E C O MPresentation	  ©	  2013	  Ray	  Gallon	  all	  rights	  reserved	  Applying Cognitive Sc...
Presentation	  ©	  2013	  Ray	  Gallon	  all	  rights	  reserved	  About Me - Ray Gallon	The Humanist Nerd!Owner/Consultan...
RAY	  GALLON	  C U L T U R E C O MPresentation	  ©	  2013	  Ray	  Gallon	  all	  rights	  reserved	  The only thing we kno...
Presentation	  ©	  2013	  Ray	  Gallon	  all	  rights	  reserved	  OECD:	  The	  Future	  Requires	  Complex	  Thinking	  ...
Presentation	  ©	  2013	  Ray	  Gallon	  all	  rights	  reserved	  Before Proceeding, Decide	Modern	  software’s	  complex...
Presentation	  ©	  2013	  Ray	  Gallon	  all	  rights	  reserved	  Before Proceeding, Decide	•  User	  assistance	  that	 ...
Presentation	  ©	  2013	  Ray	  Gallon	  all	  rights	  reserved	  Designing User Assistance - Experience is MoreImportant...
Presentation	  ©	  2013	  Ray	  Gallon	  all	  rights	  reserved	  Designing User Assistance - Experience is MoreImportant...
Presentation	  ©	  2013	  Ray	  Gallon	  all	  rights	  reserved	  Let’s Look at Minimalism	"   Two	  common	  ideas	  abo...
Presentation	  ©	  2013	  Ray	  Gallon	  all	  rights	  reserved	  Not Just Minimal – Minimal andMeaningful	§ Minimal	  a...
Presentation	  ©	  2013	  Ray	  Gallon	  all	  rights	  reserved	  Everything We Know…	"   Get	  straight	  to	  procedure...
Presentation	  ©	  2013	  Ray	  Gallon	  all	  rights	  reserved	  Double Embeddedness	Embed simpleconcepts directlyinto t...
Presentation	  ©	  2013	  Ray	  Gallon	  all	  rights	  reserved	  Cognitive Bases: Gestalt Psychology	Source: http://en.w...
Presentation	  ©	  2013	  Ray	  Gallon	  all	  rights	  reserved	  Cognitive Bases: Constructivism	•  Allows	  the	  learn...
Presentation	  ©	  2013	  Ray	  Gallon	  all	  rights	  reserved	  •  Knowledge	  is	  activated	  in	  the	  world	  as	 ...
Presentation	  ©	  2013	  Ray	  Gallon	  all	  rights	  reserved	  •  Knowledge	  is	  activated	  in	  the	  world	  as	 ...
Presentation	  ©	  2013	  Ray	  Gallon	  all	  rights	  reserved	  Kanban Information: Help Users Learn Your Software Fast...
Presentation	  ©	  2013	  Ray	  Gallon	  all	  rights	  reserved	  ...AND WHEN????!Integrated Competency Learning	Adapted	...
Presentation	  ©	  2013	  Ray	  Gallon	  all	  rights	  reserved	  As	   richness	   of	   content	  i n c r e a s e s , 	...
Presentation	  ©	  2013	  Ray	  Gallon	  all	  rights	  reserved	  Integrated Learning: Dimensions of Competency	Integrate...
Presentation	  ©	  2013	  Ray	  Gallon	  all	  rights	  reserved	  Blending Concepts and Tasks: Kanban Information meets D...
Presentation	  ©	  2013	  Ray	  Gallon	  all	  rights	  reserved	  Blending Concepts and Tasks: Kanban Information meets D...
Presentation	  ©	  2013	  Ray	  Gallon	  all	  rights	  reserved	  !Example	shortdesc	  (from	  tool	  tip)	  context	  Th...
Presentation	  ©	  2013	  Ray	  Gallon	  all	  rights	  reserved	  Use choice lists to includeconceptual information	cmd	 ...
Presentation	  ©	  2013	  Ray	  Gallon	  all	  rights	  reserved	  choicetable offers another option	cmd	  choicetable	  A...
Presentation	  ©	  2013	  Ray	  Gallon	  all	  rights	  reserved	  DITA Composite Topic – One Size Fits All	The	  composit...
Presentation	  ©	  2013	  Ray	  Gallon	  all	  rights	  reserved	  The Top of the Cognitive Spiral	This	  is	  where	  Int...
Presentation	  ©	  2013	  Ray	  Gallon	  all	  rights	  reserved	  Software Integrated Learning Communities	•  Not	  user	...
Presentation	  ©	  2013	  Ray	  Gallon	  all	  rights	  reserved	  Vectorising = Actions	http://www.acreditacionfada.org/u...
Presentation	  ©	  2013	  Ray	  Gallon	  all	  rights	  reserved	  Self-Organised Groups	We	  made	  great	  UA	  and	  no...
And needs to come up first…A Group is not a Community“Finding is the new Doing” –Ian Barker
Presentation	  ©	  2013	  Ray	  Gallon	  all	  rights	  reserved	  Integrated Learning Communities	Let people know whatyou...
Presentation	  ©	  2013	  Ray	  Gallon	  all	  rights	  reserved	  RAY	  GALLON	  C U L T U R E C O MEmail:	  	   infodesi...
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Applying Cognitive Science to User Assistance

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My presentation from the UA Europe 2013 conference, a condensation of ideas applying cognitive science to user assistance. For a more complete exploration of this subject, see the three-part series, A Cognitive Design for User Experience.

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Applying Cognitive Science to User Assistance

  1. 1. RAY  GALLON  C U L T U R E C O MPresentation  ©  2013  Ray  Gallon  all  rights  reserved  Applying Cognitive Scienceto User Assistance Member, Board of Directors
  2. 2. Presentation  ©  2013  Ray  Gallon  all  rights  reserved  About Me - Ray Gallon The Humanist Nerd!Owner/Consultant,  Culturecom  –  specialist  in      usability,  content  strategy,  and  user  assistance  for  software!Research  collaborator  and  principal,  The  Transformation  Society,  a  new  research  and  training  institute  in  Barcelona,  Spain!■  20  years  in  technical  communication  with  major  companies  such  as  G.E.  Healthcare,  Alcatel,  IBM,  etc.  ■  Member,  board  of  directors,  Society  for  Technical  Communication  (STC)  ■  Past  president,  STC  France  ■  Award-­‐winning  radio  producer  and  journalist  –  CBC,  NPR,  France  Culture,  etc.  and  former  programme  manager,  WNYC-­‐FM,  New  York  Public  Radio!
  3. 3. RAY  GALLON  C U L T U R E C O MPresentation  ©  2013  Ray  Gallon  all  rights  reserved  The only thing we know about the futureis that it will be different " " "!Peter Drucker!Our job is to help people use ourproducts well and wisely, whichmeans they learn to adapt,and cope with changes intechnology and society.
  4. 4. Presentation  ©  2013  Ray  Gallon  all  rights  reserved  OECD:  The  Future  Requires  Complex  Thinking  Expert ThinkingComplex CommunicationNon-routine Manual TasksRoutine CognitiveTasksRoutine manual tasks• Communication• Knowledge
  5. 5. Presentation  ©  2013  Ray  Gallon  all  rights  reserved  Before Proceeding, Decide Modern  software’s  complexity,  features,  &  power  can  leave  users  perplexed  –  often  just  when  they  have  some  immediate,  contingent  need:      “I  need  to  get  this  done,  and  NOW!.”    
  6. 6. Presentation  ©  2013  Ray  Gallon  all  rights  reserved  Before Proceeding, Decide •  User  assistance  that  is  limited  to  procedures  cannot  help  people  with  contingent  needs.    •  They  need  to  decide  which,  if  any,  procedures  they  need  to  use.    •  Long  conceptual  topics  might  provide  insight.  •  But  people  with  contingent  needs  are  not  going  to  wade  through  long  texts.  •  We  can  help  users  get  real  work  done  more  quickly  with  a  bit  of  decision  support.  
  7. 7. Presentation  ©  2013  Ray  Gallon  all  rights  reserved  Designing User Assistance - Experience is MoreImportant than Taxonomy "   Problem  #1:  with  traditional  “static” documentation,  the  product  gives  meaning  to  the  docs.  "   Users’ experience  with  the  product  takes  them  from  the  abstract  realm  of  reading  about  the  product...    
  8. 8. Presentation  ©  2013  Ray  Gallon  all  rights  reserved  Designing User Assistance - Experience is MoreImportant than Taxonomy "   Problem  #1:  with  traditional  “static” documentation,  the  product  gives  meaning  to  the  docs.  "   Users’ experience  with  the  product  takes  them  from  the  abstract  realm  of  reading  about  the  product...    "   to  the  reality  of  performance.      "   For  software,  we  can  go  straight  to  performance-­‐based  meaning  if  we  embed  the  user  assistance  in  the  product  itself.    "   Minimalism  +  Structured  Authoring  make  this  doable.  
  9. 9. Presentation  ©  2013  Ray  Gallon  all  rights  reserved  Let’s Look at Minimalism "   Two  common  ideas  about  minimalism:  "   Don’t  waste  user’s  time  with  unnecessary  detail,  especially  concepts  "   Save  money  in  production  and  localization  with  reduced  content  "  STEP 1!"  STEP 2!"  STEP 3!DON’T DO THAT!NOTE:!WARNING!!"   Is  memorizing  a  procedure  by  rote  necessary  for  competency?  "   If  concepts  are  important,  how  do  we  include  them  without  “wasting  users’  time?”  "   How  do  I  know  if  I  need  to  do  this?  
  10. 10. Presentation  ©  2013  Ray  Gallon  all  rights  reserved  Not Just Minimal – Minimal andMeaningful § Minimal  and  meaningful:  one  task  helps  us  understand  many  related  tasks.  § Minimal  and  meaningful:  one  quick  look  tells  us  we  don’t  need  to  bother  with  this  (or  that  we  do).  "   People  best  learn  about  product  use  by  doing  something  and  making  connections  in  the  process.    "   Learn  by  doing  –  put  the  concepts  where  they  will  be  useful  and  remembered.  
  11. 11. Presentation  ©  2013  Ray  Gallon  all  rights  reserved  Everything We Know… "   Get  straight  to  procedures  "   Don’t  waste  user’s  time  with  unnecessary  detail,  especially  concepts  "   Procedural  information  must  be  separated  from  conceptual  information.    
  12. 12. Presentation  ©  2013  Ray  Gallon  all  rights  reserved  Double Embeddedness Embed simpleconcepts directlyinto the 
User Assistance Cognitive Science (and John Carroll) backs this up
  13. 13. Presentation  ©  2013  Ray  Gallon  all  rights  reserved  Cognitive Bases: Gestalt Psychology Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gestalt_psychology•  Gestalt  psychology  tries  to  understand  the  laws  of  our  ability  to  acquire  and  maintain  stable  percepts  in  a  noisy  world.    •  The  brain  is  holistic,  parallel,  and  analog,  with  self-­‐organizing  tendencies.    •  The  human  eye  sees  objects  in  their  entirety  before  perceiving  their  individual  parts,  suggesting  the  whole  is  “other”  than  the  sum  of  its  parts.       We  fill  in  blank  spaces  to  complete  images.  John  Carroll  favours  this  kind  of  inferential  learning  in  minimalism.  
  14. 14. Presentation  ©  2013  Ray  Gallon  all  rights  reserved  Cognitive Bases: Constructivism •  Allows  the  learner  to  experience  an  environment  first-­‐hand,  thereby  giving  the  student  reliable,  trust-­‐worthy  knowledge.    •  The  learner  is  required  to  act  upon  the  environment  to  both  acquire  and  test  new  knowledge.  •  Learners  are  self-­‐directed,  creative,  and  innovative.  •  Instructors  are  facilitators,  not  teachers.  •  The  context  in  which  the  learning  occurs  is  central  to  the  learning  itself    •  Learning  is  an  active,  social  process.  •  Learners  should  collaborate  to  arrive  at  shared  understanding.  •  This  social  approach  has  developed  into…  Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constructivism_(learning_theory)
  15. 15. Presentation  ©  2013  Ray  Gallon  all  rights  reserved  •  Knowledge  is  activated  in  the  world  as  much  as  in  the  head  of  an  individual.  •  It  exists  within  systems  which  are  accessed  through  people  participating  in  activities.  Cognitive Bases: Connectivism •  Learning  is  the  process  of  creating  connections  and  elaborating  a  network.  In  this  metaphor,  a  node  is  anything  that  can  be  connected  to  another  node  such  as  an  organisation,  information,  data,  feelings  and  images.    •  Learning  may  reside  in  non-­‐human  appliances.  •  Learning  is  more  critical  than  knowing.  •  Maintaining  and  nurturing  connections  is  needed  to  facilitate  continual  learning.  •  Perceiving  connections  between  fields,  ideas  and  concepts  is  a  core  skill.  •  Currency  (accurate,  up-­‐to-­‐date  knowledge)  is  the  intent  of  learning  activities.  Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Connectivism
  16. 16. Presentation  ©  2013  Ray  Gallon  all  rights  reserved  •  Knowledge  is  activated  in  the  world  as  much  as  in  the  head  of  an  individual.  •  It  exists  within  systems  which  are  accessed  through  people  participating  in  activities.  Cognitive Bases: Connectivism •  Learning  is  the  process  of  creating  connections  and  elaborating  a  network.  In  this  metaphor,  a  node  is  anything  that  can  be  connected  to  another  node  such  as  an  organisation,  information,  data,  feelings  and  images.    •  Learning  may  reside  in  non-­‐human  appliances.  •  Learning  is  more  critical  than  knowing.  •  Maintaining  and  nurturing  connections  is  needed  to  facilitate  continual  learning.  •  Perceiving  connections  between  fields,  ideas  and  concepts  is  a  core  skill.  •  Currency  (accurate,  up-­‐to-­‐date  knowledge)  is  the  intent  of  learning  activities.  Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ConnectivismThe Underpinning forKANBAN INFORMATION:  •  +Know  where  •  Know  how  •  Know  what  •  +Know  when  Implied:!•  +Know  how  to  be  •  +Know  how  to  be  with  others  
  17. 17. Presentation  ©  2013  Ray  Gallon  all  rights  reserved  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.  
  18. 18. Presentation  ©  2013  Ray  Gallon  all  rights  reserved  ...AND WHEN????!Integrated Competency Learning Adapted  by  Dr.  Neus  Lorenzo  from  Phil  Ball    Keith  Kelly  (2009)    Ref:  http://ow.ly/dLK8g        http://goo.gl/Ul3A2  +  Individually  significant  contextualisation  (contingency)  +Socio-­‐cultural  construction  (information    sharing,  mentoring)  +Procedural  Memorisation  +  Cognitive  construction  and  process  reasoning  +Code:  Mastery  of  the    language,  interface,  iconography...  +Thematic  knowledge  (SME)  User !Learning Space!!WHERE IN THIS SPACEDO YOU WANT YOURUSERS?!
  19. 19. Presentation  ©  2013  Ray  Gallon  all  rights  reserved  As   richness   of   content  i n c r e a s e s ,   o u r  knowledge   becomes  more  and  more  complex,  cognitively  speaking.  We  return   regularly   to   the  same   place,   but   on   a  higher  cognitive  level  COGNITIVE-­‐SYMBOLIC  COMPLEXITY  RICHNESS  OF  THE  CONTENT  +!+!-!The Cognitive Spiral Bloom’s  Pyramid  Adapted from a scheme by Dr. Neus Lorenzo
  20. 20. Presentation  ©  2013  Ray  Gallon  all  rights  reserved  Integrated Learning: Dimensions of Competency Integrated  Learning  Literal  Content  Communication  Cognition  Community  Complexity  Criteria  Selection  A1  Beginner  A2  Basic  B1  Threshold  C1  Functional  B2  Advanced  C2  Mastery  Quantity  Quality  In  moving  from  contingent  need  to  confusion,  we  still  learn  more.  Interfaces,  hardware,  software,  user  assistance,  hands-­‐on  and  conceptual  combined  COMPLEXITY  ≠  CHAOS!  Quantity  of  information    contingent  need    learner  gets  confused,    sense  of  chaos    Can’t  keep  track  of  it  all  
  21. 21. Presentation  ©  2013  Ray  Gallon  all  rights  reserved  Blending Concepts and Tasks: Kanban Information meets DITA •  We  often  use  concepts  to  introduce    lead  into  multiple  tasks:  Concept:   This   concept  explains   what   this   element  of  the  interface  is  all  about.  It   is   used   in   the   following  tasks:  Task  1  Task  2  Task  3  Task  4  •  We  dont  know  how  else  to  do  it,  but  this  is  an  inappropriate  use  of  conceptual  information:  •  Not  good  cognitive  development  •  Not  good  Kanban  
  22. 22. Presentation  ©  2013  Ray  Gallon  all  rights  reserved  Blending Concepts and Tasks: Kanban Information meets DITA Why  not  use  the  DITA  Task  topic  structure  to  deliver  conceptual  information  where  it  will  do  the  most  good  and  be  best  remembered?  task  Topic  General  conceptual  information  using  the  context  element    Include  decision  support  (Reusable  for  related  tasks)  Step  1  cmd  stepresult  –  What  happens  after  execution  –  can  include  why  Step  2  cmd  info  -­‐  Use  when  there  is  no  result  to  embed  concepts  pertinent  to  the  step.  Make  sure  it  relates  to  the  task,  but  is  also  generalisable  to  other  similar  tasks,  if  appropriate  
  23. 23. Presentation  ©  2013  Ray  Gallon  all  rights  reserved  !Example shortdesc  (from  tool  tip)  context  The  first  p  comes  from  tool  tip  oXygen  Author  
  24. 24. Presentation  ©  2013  Ray  Gallon  all  rights  reserved  Use choice lists to includeconceptual information cmd  choices  info  FrameMaker  11  
  25. 25. Presentation  ©  2013  Ray  Gallon  all  rights  reserved  choicetable offers another option cmd  choicetable  All  these  elements  are  available  after  a  cmd.  Use  the  one  that  works  best,  semantically.  
  26. 26. Presentation  ©  2013  Ray  Gallon  all  rights  reserved  DITA Composite Topic – One Size Fits All The  composite  topic  begins,  simply,  with  a  dita  tag.  You  can  then  insert  any  type  of  DITA  topic,  nested  within  it.    Use  with  great  caution!  
  27. 27. Presentation  ©  2013  Ray  Gallon  all  rights  reserved  The Top of the Cognitive Spiral This  is  where  Integrated  Learing  takes  place  Equivalent  to  C  levels  of  linguistic  competency  In Community!
  28. 28. Presentation  ©  2013  Ray  Gallon  all  rights  reserved  Software Integrated Learning Communities •  Not  user  groups  or  user  forums,  but  integrated  communities:  •  Information  developers,  and  preferably  coders  and  interface  designers,  too  •  Marketing,  pre-­‐sales,  administration,  anyone  in  the  company  you  can  get  interested  •  Expert  users  •  Beginners  •  The  curious  •  Primary  objective:  creating  an  integrated,  collaborative  community  that  creates  value  that  is  re-­‐injected  into  the  system  
  29. 29. Presentation  ©  2013  Ray  Gallon  all  rights  reserved  Vectorising = Actions http://www.acreditacionfada.org/uploads/images/investigacion.jpg!Product!SME!Wiki!Online!Embedded!User Assistance!CRM!Marketing!TechComm!Users! Users!ImpactsInfluencesInteractswith IntegratesHelpsFeed intoFacilitatesFeedsintoFertilizesAdds value to
  30. 30. Presentation  ©  2013  Ray  Gallon  all  rights  reserved  Self-Organised Groups We  made  great  UA  and  nobody  uses  it  or  they  can’t  find  it!     Google  is  the  first  instinct!    WHY?     Look  for  community  guidance     Use  social  networks  to  get  answers     Consult  and  contribute  to  crowd  sourced  materials  Culture  of  information  sharing  and  knowledge  building,  inside  and  outside  the  organisation.  The  user  decodes  information  so  as  to  reconstruct  it.  S/he  then  recodes  it  into  new  knowledge.  
  31. 31. And needs to come up first…A Group is not a Community“Finding is the new Doing” –Ian Barker
  32. 32. Presentation  ©  2013  Ray  Gallon  all  rights  reserved  Integrated Learning Communities Let people know whatyou are tracking.!Attribute material youreuse in your UA – fromboth!Turn users’ tips andtricks into trainingmaterials!
  33. 33. Presentation  ©  2013  Ray  Gallon  all  rights  reserved  RAY  GALLON  C U L T U R E C O MEmail:     infodesign@culturecom.net  Thank  You!  Google  Plus:  +Ray  Gallon  Twitter:  @RayGallon  LinkedIn:  Ray  Gallon  Check  out  my  blog,  Rant  of  a  Humanist  Nerd:  http://humanistnerd.culturecom.net    Portions  of  this  presentation  based  on  research  by  the  Transformation  Society  Research  group.  Link  to  the  Adobe  webinars  here:    http://blogs.adobe.com/techcomm/2013/02/cognitive_design_user_assistance.html  Two  new  white  papers  published  on  Adobe  site:  • Changing Paradigms in Technology and Communication• Crossing Boundaries: Implications for the Content IndustriesLink:http://www.adobe.com/cfusion/entitlement/index.cfm?event=customsku=FS0003673e=tcs_whitepaper!

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