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User Assistance: Cognitive Architecture


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This is my presentation about architecting user assistance into product design, at the EuroIA conference in Edinburgh, 2013.

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User Assistance: Cognitive Architecture

  1. 1. RAY  GALLON C U L T U R E C O M Presentation  ©  2013  Ray  Gallon  all  rights  reserved User Assistance: Cognitive Architecture The  Transformation  Society Saturday, 28 September 2013
  2. 2. Presentation  ©  2013  Ray  Gallon  all  rights  reserved Who IsThis Guy? Ray Gallon -The Humanist Nerd 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 Owner/Consultant,  Culturecom  –  specialist  in      usability,  content   strategy,  and  user  assistance  for  software Saturday, 28 September 2013
  3. 3. Presentation  ©  2013  Ray  Gallon  all  rights  reserved Who IsThis Guy? Ray Gallon -The Humanist Nerd NOT  AN  INFORMATION  ARCHITECT! ■ What  makes  you  think  you  can  speak  to  this  crowd? ■The  Hairball  of  Content! ■We’re  All  Just  Content  Workers! Saturday, 28 September 2013
  4. 4. Presentation  ©  2013  Ray  Gallon  all  rights  reserved When User Assistance was “Documentation” Technical  writers  were  at  the  end  of  the  food  chain: Following  engineers  around Writing  what  they  said  they  did­‐FISH-­‐LITTLE-­‐FISH-­‐Food-­‐Chain.jpg User  Assistance  was  an  Add-­‐on Today,  UA  must  be  a  designed  subsystem   integrated  into  the  product Saturday, 28 September 2013
  5. 5. Presentation  ©  2013  Ray  Gallon  all  rights  reserved Provide Decision Support 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!.” User  assistance  that  is  limited  to   procedures  cannot  help  people   with  contingent  needs. People  with  contingent  needs  are   not  going  to  wade  through  long   conceptual  texts.   Saturday, 28 September 2013
  6. 6. Presentation  ©  2013  Ray  Gallon  all  rights  reserved Experience is More Important thanTaxonomy In  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...   Saturday, 28 September 2013
  7. 7. Presentation  ©  2013  Ray  Gallon  all  rights  reserved Experience is More Important thanTaxonomy In  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.   Saturday, 28 September 2013
  8. 8. Presentation  ©  2013  Ray  Gallon  all  rights  reserved People Learn Best by Doing People  learn  about  product  use  by   doing  something  and  making   connections  in  the  process.   BUT:  is  memorizing  a  procedure  by   rote  necessary  for  competency? How  do  I  even  know  if  I   need  to  do  this? Saturday, 28 September 2013
  9. 9. Presentation  ©  2013  Ray  Gallon  all  rights  reserved Performance-Based Meaning? STEP 1 STEP 2 STEP 3 DO THIS DON’T DO THAT NOTE: WARNING!If  concepts  are   important,  and  we   learn  best  by  doing...  do  we  learn   concepts  by  doing? Put  them  where  they  will  be  useful  and  remembered: Saturday, 28 September 2013
  10. 10. Presentation  ©  2013  Ray  Gallon  all  rights  reserved Double Embeddedness Embed procedural UA directly into the Interface Embed simpleconcepts directly into the UA Cognitive Sciencebacks this up Saturday, 28 September 2013
  11. 11. Presentation  ©  2013  Ray  Gallon  all  rights  reserved Cognitive Bases: Gestalt Psychology Source: Tries  to  understand  how  we  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 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. Saturday, 28 September 2013
  12. 12. Presentation  ©  2013  Ray  Gallon  all  rights  reserved Cognitive Bases: Constructivism Learner  experiences  an  environment  first-­‐hand,   gets    trust-­‐worthy  knowledge.   Self-­‐directed  learners  must  act  on  the   environment  to  acquire  and  test  new   knowledge. Instructors  are  facilitators,  not  teachers. The  learning  context  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: Saturday, 28 September 2013
  13. 13. 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  =  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  facilitates  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: Saturday, 28 September 2013
  14. 14. Presentation  ©  2013  Ray  Gallon  all  rights  reserved Integrated Learning: Dimensions of Competency Integrated  Learning Literal  Content Communication Cognition A1  Beginner A2  Basic B1  Threshold Community Complexity Criteria  Selection 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 Saturday, 28 September 2013
  15. 15. Presentation  ©  2013  Ray  Gallon  all  rights  reserved As   richness   of   content   increases,  our   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: Generating Cognitive Demand Bloom’s  Pyramid Adapted from a scheme by Dr. Neus Lorenzo O PPO R TU N ITY,PR A CTICE Saturday, 28 September 2013
  16. 16. Presentation  ©  2013  Ray  Gallon  all  rights  reserved “EDIBLE!” -Guide Michelin What if a Restaurant Advertised itself like this? Diners don’t want edibleThey want delicious! WE ARE ALL RESPONSIBLE FOR THE ENTIRE CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE - WHEREVER WE MAY BE IN THE ORG CHART Customers don’t want usable They want a great experience! Saturday, 28 September 2013
  17. 17. Presentation  ©  2013  Ray  Gallon  all  rights  reserved What Happens When We Learn by Doing? Seen  this   before? Is  it  helpful? What  impression  does  a  user  get  of  your   company  when  s/he  sees  this  on  the  screen? Saturday, 28 September 2013
  18. 18. Presentation  ©  2013  Ray  Gallon  all  rights  reserved What Happens When We Learn by Doing? Roger  C.  Schank’s  Schema  -­‐  We  remember  independent,  self-­‐ contained  scripts,  or  Memory  Organization  Packets  (MOP’s) Restaurant Airplane Clothing  Shop PayBeing   seated Eat Choose Romantic   Conversation PayBeing   seated Eat Choose Pay Choose Fasten   Seatbelt Try  on MOP’s  are  composed   of  scenes,  which  can   be  generalized  from   one  MOP  to  another Serve   wine REF: Saturday, 28 September 2013
  19. 19. Presentation  ©  2013  Ray  Gallon  all  rights  reserved What Happens When We Learn by Doing? If  we  learn  about  “paying”  in  a  restaurant... Are  we  learning  something  specific  to  the  MOP  “Restaurant?” Are  we  learning  something  generalizable  to  multiple  MOP’s  -­‐   i.e.  a  scene  called  “paying?” Are  we  learning  something  about  some  more  abstract  MOP   that  has  nothing  to  do  with  the  current  MOP  or  scene  (e.g.   “economy”)? You  are  the  architect  of  this  experience! REF: Saturday, 28 September 2013
  20. 20. Presentation  ©  2013  Ray  Gallon  all  rights  reserved ...AND WHEN???? Integrated Competency Learning Adapted  by  Dr.  Neus  Lorenzo  from  Phil  Ball  &  Keith  Kelly  (2009)    Ref:    & +  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 SPACE DO YOU WANT YOUR USERS? The  architecture  of   the  scenes  we  design   for  our  user/learners   are  determinant   factors Saturday, 28 September 2013
  21. 21. User Assistance has to be Googleable! And needs to come up first… A Group is not a Community “Finding is the new Doing” –Ian Barker Create your own stakeholder communities- including user/learners as full collaborators Saturday, 28 September 2013
  22. 22. Presentation  ©  2013  Ray  Gallon  all  rights  reserved Integrated Learning Communities Make your cookies Public Let people know what you are tracking. Attribute material you reuse in your UA – from both Treat inside stakeholders and customers the same way Turn users’ tips and tricks into training materials Saturday, 28 September 2013
  23. 23. Presentation  ©  2013  Ray  Gallon  all  rights  reserved RAY  GALLON CULTURECOM Email: Thank  You! Google  Plus:  +Ray  Gallon Twitter:  @RayGallon LinkedIn:  Ray  Gallon Check  out  my  blog,  Rant  of  a  Humanist  Nerd: Portions  of  this  presentation  based  on  research  by   the  Transformation  Society  Research  group. Link  to  Adobe  webinars  on  UA  and  cognitive  science  here: Related  white  papers  published  on  Adobe  site: •Changing Paradigms in Technology and Communication •Crossing Boundaries: Implications for the Content Industries Link: Saturday, 28 September 2013