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Remember the User without videos

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Presentation at Open Help Conference, Cincinnati, OH (June 4-5, 2011)

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Remember the User without videos

  1. 1. Remember The User!<br />
  2. 2. We started with a book. <br />There were copies around somewhere for training and reference.<br />
  3. 3. So we thought about the user.<br />What does the user need to do?<br />What ‘s the work environment like?<br />What info does the user need?<br />Right information. <br />Right place.<br />Right time. <br />Right media.<br /> (Saul Carliner)<br />
  4. 4. User’s goal<br />Accomplish Work<br />Job<br />#1<br /><ul><li>Successfully
  5. 5. Efficiently</li></ul>(John Bowie)<br />
  6. 6. Sorter video help and training was born.<br />We delivered what the user needed and when. <br />We tied the information to maintenance and error messages. <br />It was displayed at the operator workstation. <br />AND it demonstrated tasks through video.<br />
  7. 7. An End-User…<br />http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S7D69la8uec<br />
  8. 8. A “Modern” User<br />http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CReDRHDYhk8<br />End-users are not new. <br />But through the industrial revolution, we all become one.<br />Moore’s Law applies not only to transistor packing density, <br />it describes the technology complexity curve we face.<br />
  9. 9. http://carteblancheleeway.wordpress.com<br />
  10. 10. COMPLEXITY<br />
  11. 11. Frustrated? Frustrated.<br />My file…………………. (Where did it go?)<br />I know WHAT I need do. Just tell me HOW.<br />Why is this so #&*$*! tough?<br />I know I just saw “that” somewhere.<br />OLAP cube, transactional replication; ADAM vs AD LDS<br />C’mon, I just want to see the clipboard.<br />Who wrote this?<br />ASP.NET is part of the .NET Framework for coding in any CLR-compatible language including VB and C# to benefit from runtime, type safety, inheritance, and so on.<br />Huh?!?<br />HELP!!!<br />Do we need training – yes. Is it complex – yes!<br />
  12. 12. Lead the charge.<br />Lead the change.<br />
  13. 13. Ask Not what Technology can do for You.<br />Ask what YOU can do <br />for Technology.<br />Remember The User!<br />
  14. 14. Yeah, Right.<br />
  15. 15. A.D.A.P.T.<br />Avocation<br />Dedication<br />Alternatives<br />Process<br />Team<br />Change our thinking.<br />Change our approach.<br />Not just documentation<br /> as usual.<br />Focus on end-users.<br />Design and usable products pay: <br />What’s good for the customer is good for business.<br />
  16. 16. <ul><li>Special Interest
  17. 17. Pursuit</li></ul> Thesaurus.com<br />Career…More<br />Calling<br />Life’s work<br />Let’s make a difference.<br />Avocation<br />
  18. 18. Advocation - Technical Communicator<br />Disciplines to Practice and Learn From<br />Style and grammar<br />Graphics / Presentation<br />User and task analysis – audience<br />Usability & user-centered design<br />Instructional Design<br />Performance Support<br />Online Help / User Assistance<br />Information Design and Technology<br />TIPS! Always orient your users. Paint the big picture.<br />Lead users to the information they need. <br />Be clear, accurate, and complete. (“cac”)<br />
  19. 19. Dedication<br />http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L-7Vu7cqB20<br />Eric Liddell<br />User Advocate / User Proxy / User Hero<br />
  20. 20. Alternatives<br />Approach:<br />Focus on critical tasks.<br />Set conceptual context.<br />Define terms.<br />Get UI to do its job.<br />Provide access and pathways to information (delivery, availability, search, hypertext).<br />Use training to go deep.<br />Design & manage support.*<br />Create & monitor collaborative spaces.*<br />*Where I intend to place some new focus.<br />Be the user.<br />Use the product.<br />Test the product.<br />Know the user.<br />Talk to users.<br />Watch users.<br />Do informal testing. <br />Engage QA or support people.<br />Seek out new users that fit the audience.<br />
  21. 21. Follow a Process<br />Engage in design processes.<br />Develop an information plan.<br />Write with the user in mind. <br />Review & test.<br />“The Deming Cycle” (Wikipedia)<br />Incorporate lessons learned.<br />
  22. 22. “The Vision of Teams”<br />Developers<br />Quality assurance folks<br />Support personnel<br />Peers<br />Directors/managers<br />Technology specialists<br />Marketing<br />Training developers & trainers<br />http://www.media-partners.com/teams/the_vision_of_teams.htm<br />User information is part of the product.<br />Foster collaboration to get there.<br />
  23. 23. In Conclusion…<br />Let serving your end-users be your motivation and passion. <br />Someone, somewhere will thank you.<br />
  24. 24. Resources<br />Technical Writing<br />“The Elements of Technical Writing,” Blake<br />“Microsoft Manual of Style for Technical Publications”<br />Dictionaries (American Heritage, Webster’s); A good grammar guide<br />Users and Usability<br />“User and Task Analysis for Interface Design,” Hackos<br />“A Practical Guide to Usability Testing,” Reddish<br />“Usability Testing Essentials: Ready, Set… Test!” Barnum (Pretty new – looks good)<br />Design<br />Personas (check out menoinnovations.com – not a plug)<br />“Usability Engineering,” Nielsen<br />“The Design of Everyday Things,” Norman<br />Content Management – looking: “Enterprise Content Management”, Cameron?<br />“The Inmates Are Running the Asylum,” Cooper<br />Planned New Additions to My Reading List<br />“Conversation and Community: The Social Web for Documentation,” Gentle<br />“Letting Go of the Words.” Reddish<br />Rocket Surgery Made Easy,” Krug<br />“About Face 3: The Essentials of Interaction Design,” Copper<br />“Collecting, Analyzing, and Presenting Usability Metrics,” Tullis<br />
  25. 25. Discussion<br />New day. New paradigms may be called for. Assess what’s worked and what hasn’t. What’s needed? DIY Help? Users still don’t read. We are explorers by nature.<br />Collaboration. How can we make it work in the work place? Is it confined to special interests? How can we better engage users? User support.<br />
  26. 26. Bio<br />Dave Robbins has enjoyed a long career as a technical writer, recently joining GE Intelligent Platforms as a Lead Help Author after many years with Unisys Corporation. He has won a number of STC awards for documentation as well as training videos, including a regional Best of Show for a video-rich help system. <br />

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