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Applying Research to Practice
– Understanding Users
Janice (Ginny) Redish, Ph.D.
Redish & Associates, Inc.
Bethesda, Maryl...
© 2016, Janice (Ginny) Redish Applying Research to Practice Slide 2
Everything we write
is part of a conversation
Photo cr...
© 2016, Janice (Ginny) Redish Applying Research to Practice Slide 3
Conversations in writing may be synchronous
© 2016, Janice (Ginny) Redish Applying Research to Practice Slide 4
© 2016, Janice (Ginny) Redish Applying Research to Practice Slide 5
But they are often asynchronous
© 2016, Janice (Ginny) Redish Applying Research to Practice Slide 6
© 2016, Janice (Ginny) Redish Applying Research to Practice Slide 7
© 2016, Janice (Ginny) Redish Applying Research to Practice Slide 8
© 2016, Janice (Ginny) Redish Applying Research to Practice Slide 9
Work by Reva Daniel
with VBA counselors
in Jackson, Mi...
© 2016, Janice (Ginny) Redish Applying Research to Practice Slide 10
Issuance of a TOP command results in a line
zero cond...
© 2016, Janice (Ginny) Redish Applying Research to Practice Slide 11
Many devices, contexts, scenarios
– but always with p...
© 2016, Janice (Ginny) Redish Applying Research to Practice Slide 12
noise
source encoder decoder receiver
Channel
Message...
© 2016, Janice (Ginny) Redish Applying Research to Practice Slide 13
noise noise
source encoder decoder receiver
Channel
M...
© 2016, Janice (Ginny) Redish Applying Research to Practice Slide 14
source encoder decoder receiver
Channel
Message
Becau...
© 2016, Janice (Ginny) Redish Applying Research to Practice Slide 15
And people are very complex!
© 2016, Janice (Ginny) Redish Applying Research to Practice Slide 16
Let’s look at the research
behind specific guidelines...
© 2016, Janice (Ginny) Redish Applying Research to Practice Slide 17
Example courtesy of Caroline Jarrett and Whitney Ques...
© 2016, Janice (Ginny) Redish Applying Research to Practice Slide 18
Research:
Everyone constructs meaning
based on their ...
© 2016, Janice (Ginny) Redish Applying Research to Practice Slide 19
Interested persons, on or before June 17,
2016, may s...
© 2016, Janice (Ginny) Redish Applying Research to Practice Slide 20
B
© 2016, Janice (Ginny) Redish Applying Research to Practice Slide 21
Research:
People come to manuals and websites
with qu...
© 2016, Janice (Ginny) Redish Applying Research to Practice Slide 22
Dixon, 1987
© 2016, Janice (Ginny) Redish Applying Research to Practice Slide 23
Research:
People don’t read to the end.
They act as s...
© 2016, Janice (Ginny) Redish Applying Research to Practice Slide 24
Approved fumigation with methyl bromide at
normal atm...
© 2016, Janice (Ginny) Redish Applying Research to Practice Slide 25
In the presentation, this slide had a visual
with two...
© 2016, Janice (Ginny) Redish Applying Research to Practice Slide 26
In the presentation, this slide had a visual
with two...
© 2016, Janice (Ginny) Redish Applying Research to Practice Slide 27
Research:
A / B testing of real websites
where conten...
© 2016, Janice (Ginny) Redish Applying Research to Practice Slide 28
What does it mean to
"write the conversation"?
H. P. ...
© 2016, Janice (Ginny) Redish Applying Research to Practice Slide 29
Grice's 4 maxims
of how we cooperate in conversations...
© 2016, Janice (Ginny) Redish Applying Research to Practice Slide 30
Relevance
 Be relevant.
Also see Schank, 2012, and R...
© 2016, Janice (Ginny) Redish Applying Research to Practice Slide 31
Research:
Work of scholars who study conversation:
Gr...
© 2016, Janice (Ginny) Redish Applying Research to Practice Slide 32
Major updates in Release 1.5 include the
implementati...
© 2016, Janice (Ginny) Redish Applying Research to Practice Slide 33
What's new in Release 1.5?
You can run historical rep...
© 2016, Janice (Ginny) Redish Applying Research to Practice Slide 34
28 words
What's new in Release 1.5?
 Run historical ...
© 2016, Janice (Ginny) Redish Applying Research to Practice Slide 35
Thanks to Caroline Jarrett
for finding the example fo...
© 2016, Janice (Ginny) Redish Applying Research to Practice Slide 36
© 2016, Janice (Ginny) Redish Applying Research to Practice Slide 37
© 2016, Janice (Ginny) Redish Applying Research to Practice Slide 38
Removing Red Wine Stains
Vanish Oxi Action Powder rem...
© 2016, Janice (Ginny) Redish Applying Research to Practice Slide 39
You may have to convince others
(Data from 4 research...
© 2016, Janice (Ginny) Redish Applying Research to Practice Slide 40
Convincing others – 1
Dana Botka, personal correspond...
© 2016, Janice (Ginny) Redish Applying Research to Practice Slide 41
Summers, K. and Summers, M., 2005,
Reading and Naviga...
© 2016, Janice (Ginny) Redish Applying Research to Practice Slide 42
Convincing others – 3
 Voting – Redish, et al., 2010...
© 2016, Janice (Ginny) Redish Applying Research to Practice Slide 43
Convincing others – 4
 Legal language – Trudeau, 201...
© 2016, Janice (Ginny) Redish Applying Research to Practice Slide 44
You can help
colleagues
plan and
evaluate
successful
...
© 2016, Janice (Ginny) Redish Applying Research to Practice Slide 45
Plan
 Why?
(Purposes)
 Who?
(Personas)
 How?
(Cont...
© 2016, Janice (Ginny) Redish Applying Research to Practice Slide 46
When you write
this type of content
what do you want
...
© 2016, Janice (Ginny) Redish Applying Research to Practice Slide 47
Why?
Focus on your “readers” and what you want them t...
© 2016, Janice (Ginny) Redish Applying Research to Practice Slide 48
Who?
Create and use personas
Letting Go of the Words,...
© 2016, Janice (Ginny) Redish Applying Research to Practice Slide 49
How?
Understand the contexts
© 2016, Janice (Ginny) Redish Applying Research to Practice Slide 50
What?
Plan successful conversations
Successful
commun...
© 2016, Janice (Ginny) Redish Applying Research to Practice Slide 51
Usability test on different devices
A usability test ...
© 2016, Janice (Ginny) Redish Applying Research to Practice Slide 52
Walk your personas
through their conversations
with y...
© 2016, Janice (Ginny) Redish Applying Research to Practice Slide 53
Photo credits
From 123RF.com
 Slides 11, 21: Asian m...
© 2016, Janice (Ginny) Redish Applying Research to Practice Slide 54
Thank you!
More questions?
Write to me:
ginny@redish....
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Redish understanding users

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About content as conversation, research about users, usability, practice for successful communication

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Redish understanding users

  1. 1. Applying Research to Practice – Understanding Users Janice (Ginny) Redish, Ph.D. Redish & Associates, Inc. Bethesda, Maryland @GinnyRedish Conduit 2016 STC Mid-Atlantic Conference April 2, 2016
  2. 2. © 2016, Janice (Ginny) Redish Applying Research to Practice Slide 2 Everything we write is part of a conversation Photo credits at the end of the slide deck
  3. 3. © 2016, Janice (Ginny) Redish Applying Research to Practice Slide 3 Conversations in writing may be synchronous
  4. 4. © 2016, Janice (Ginny) Redish Applying Research to Practice Slide 4
  5. 5. © 2016, Janice (Ginny) Redish Applying Research to Practice Slide 5 But they are often asynchronous
  6. 6. © 2016, Janice (Ginny) Redish Applying Research to Practice Slide 6
  7. 7. © 2016, Janice (Ginny) Redish Applying Research to Practice Slide 7
  8. 8. © 2016, Janice (Ginny) Redish Applying Research to Practice Slide 8
  9. 9. © 2016, Janice (Ginny) Redish Applying Research to Practice Slide 9 Work by Reva Daniel with VBA counselors in Jackson, Mississippi See Redish Technical Communication, 2003 Calls dropped by 82%
  10. 10. © 2016, Janice (Ginny) Redish Applying Research to Practice Slide 10 Issuance of a TOP command results in a line zero condition. To go to the beginning of your file, type TOP and press Enter. conversation is the contribution of professional technical communicators ^ Asynchronous
  11. 11. © 2016, Janice (Ginny) Redish Applying Research to Practice Slide 11 Many devices, contexts, scenarios – but always with people
  12. 12. © 2016, Janice (Ginny) Redish Applying Research to Practice Slide 12 noise source encoder decoder receiver Channel Message Claude Shannon’s 1948 model popularized by Warren Weaver (1963) Old communication models left out the people
  13. 13. © 2016, Janice (Ginny) Redish Applying Research to Practice Slide 13 noise noise source encoder decoder receiver Channel Message More important sources of noise are at the ends
  14. 14. © 2016, Janice (Ginny) Redish Applying Research to Practice Slide 14 source encoder decoder receiver Channel Message Because those ends are people
  15. 15. © 2016, Janice (Ginny) Redish Applying Research to Practice Slide 15 And people are very complex!
  16. 16. © 2016, Janice (Ginny) Redish Applying Research to Practice Slide 16 Let’s look at the research behind specific guidelines for practice
  17. 17. © 2016, Janice (Ginny) Redish Applying Research to Practice Slide 17 Example courtesy of Caroline Jarrett and Whitney Quesenbery
  18. 18. © 2016, Janice (Ginny) Redish Applying Research to Practice Slide 18 Research: Everyone constructs meaning based on their previous experiences. Practice: We must consider how people might interpret (misinterpret) what we write.
  19. 19. © 2016, Janice (Ginny) Redish Applying Research to Practice Slide 19 Interested persons, on or before June 17, 2016, may submit to the Hearing Clerk, 1000 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20000, written comments regarding this proposal. Faxed comments will be accepted at 202- 555-1234. To submit comments electronically, go to this site: www….... A
  20. 20. © 2016, Janice (Ginny) Redish Applying Research to Practice Slide 20 B
  21. 21. © 2016, Janice (Ginny) Redish Applying Research to Practice Slide 21 Research: People come to manuals and websites with questions. They think in stories. Practice: Answer their questions in the order they would ask them. See also Flower, Hayes, and Swarts, 1983
  22. 22. © 2016, Janice (Ginny) Redish Applying Research to Practice Slide 22 Dixon, 1987
  23. 23. © 2016, Janice (Ginny) Redish Applying Research to Practice Slide 23 Research: People don’t read to the end. They act as soon as they see a plausible action. Practice: Put context before action. Put “if” before “then.” Read the conversation in what you write. See also Clark and Haviland, 1975 new context = given, known then
  24. 24. © 2016, Janice (Ginny) Redish Applying Research to Practice Slide 24 Approved fumigation with methyl bromide at normal atmospheric pressure, in accordance with the following procedure, upon arrival at the port of entry, is hereby prescribed as a condition of importation for shipments of yams from foreign countries. If you are importing yams, [someone] must fumigate them when they arrive at the port of entry. To fumigate yams, [someone] must use this procedure:
  25. 25. © 2016, Janice (Ginny) Redish Applying Research to Practice Slide 25 In the presentation, this slide had a visual with two versions of the lead-in to a form:  a noun-based description, followed by a call to action  a conversational phrase as if the site visitor were speaking The conversational phrase generated many more leads and sales. https://whichtestwon.com/archives/19429 with permission to show but not to distribute
  26. 26. © 2016, Janice (Ginny) Redish Applying Research to Practice Slide 26 In the presentation, this slide had a visual with two versions of a call-to-action button. One button used "my." The other used "your." "My" generated many more clicks. https://whichtestwon.com/archives/20134 with permission to show but not to distribute
  27. 27. © 2016, Janice (Ginny) Redish Applying Research to Practice Slide 27 Research: A / B testing of real websites where content in the voice of the site visitor brought more clickthroughs, leads, and sales. Practice: Write the conversation using pronouns. In Q&A style, use “I” for the questions. www.insurance.wa.gov
  28. 28. © 2016, Janice (Ginny) Redish Applying Research to Practice Slide 28 What does it mean to "write the conversation"? H. P. (Paul) Grice (1913 – 1988)  philosopher of language  Oxford  Berkeley  studied conversation Photo of H. P. Grice From http://scottthornbury. wordpress.com/tag/grice/ Origin of photo not known
  29. 29. © 2016, Janice (Ginny) Redish Applying Research to Practice Slide 29 Grice's 4 maxims of how we cooperate in conversations Quantity (information)  Make your contribution as informative as is required for the current purposes of the exchange.  Do not make your contribution more informative than is required. Quality (truth)  Do not say what you believe to be false.  Do not say that for which you lack adequate evidence.
  30. 30. © 2016, Janice (Ginny) Redish Applying Research to Practice Slide 30 Relevance  Be relevant. Also see Schank, 2012, and Redish, 2012. Manner (clarity)  Avoid obscurity of expression.  Avoid ambiguity.  Be brief.  Be orderly.
  31. 31. © 2016, Janice (Ginny) Redish Applying Research to Practice Slide 31 Research: Work of scholars who study conversation: Grice, Deborah Tannen, other linguists Practice: Cut! Cut! Cut! Give people only what they need. Put information in logical order. Use words your users understand.
  32. 32. © 2016, Janice (Ginny) Redish Applying Research to Practice Slide 32 Major updates in Release 1.5 include the implementation of a new archival history reporting function which allows users to efficiently query records that are associated with batches older than 18 months from the current system date. This new feature allows users to run historical reports in the system background while performing other activities with the application. Previously generated reports are also retained in the system for continued access for seven days. 71 words A
  33. 33. © 2016, Janice (Ginny) Redish Applying Research to Practice Slide 33 What's new in Release 1.5? You can run historical reports in the background while you are doing other tasks with the application. You can ask for records that are older than 18 months. After you generate a report, the system keeps it available to you for 7 days. 48 words B
  34. 34. © 2016, Janice (Ginny) Redish Applying Research to Practice Slide 34 28 words What's new in Release 1.5?  Run historical reports while doing other tasks.  Ask for records older than 18 months.  See reports for 7 days after you run them. C
  35. 35. © 2016, Janice (Ginny) Redish Applying Research to Practice Slide 35 Thanks to Caroline Jarrett for finding the example for me.
  36. 36. © 2016, Janice (Ginny) Redish Applying Research to Practice Slide 36
  37. 37. © 2016, Janice (Ginny) Redish Applying Research to Practice Slide 37
  38. 38. © 2016, Janice (Ginny) Redish Applying Research to Practice Slide 38 Removing Red Wine Stains Vanish Oxi Action Powder removes wine stains easily. Important: Follow the package directions. Do not use on wool, silk, or leather. Do not use on wood, metals, or other finished or coated surfaces. Instructions 1.Dissolve 1 scoop of Vanish Oxi Action Powder in 4 litres of warm water. (warm = max. 40o ) 2.Soak the stained item. • Colored item – soak max. 1 hour • White item – soak max. 6 hours 3.Wash as usual, adding 1 scoop of Vanish to the wash. How I might revise the Vanish Oxi content to be a better conversation
  39. 39. © 2016, Janice (Ginny) Redish Applying Research to Practice Slide 39 You may have to convince others (Data from 4 research studies)
  40. 40. © 2016, Janice (Ginny) Redish Applying Research to Practice Slide 40 Convincing others – 1 Dana Botka, personal correspondence, 3/14/16; see also Botka, 2016 A B 6 of 6 preferred B On a scale of 1 to 7 (1 being the lowest and 7 the highest), rate the organization that created the information for a customer like you. Professional: 3.88 Competent: 3.68 Approachable: 3 Professional: 6.46 Competent: 6.66 Approachable: 6.46
  41. 41. © 2016, Janice (Ginny) Redish Applying Research to Practice Slide 41 Summers, K. and Summers, M., 2005, Reading and Navigational Strategies of Web Users with Lower Literacy Skills, available at http://redish.net/images/stories/PDF/summers_asist2005.pdf Convincing others – 2
  42. 42. © 2016, Janice (Ginny) Redish Applying Research to Practice Slide 42 Convincing others – 3  Voting – Redish, et al., 2010 Plain Language Makes a Difference When People Vote  45 participants, 3 sites, 2 ballots (counter-balanced)  on average, more accurate on the plain language ballot  82% preferred the plain language ballot  See also http://civicdesign.org  See more references at http://redish.net/articles-a-slides/item/50-articles-slides- voting
  43. 43. © 2016, Janice (Ginny) Redish Applying Research to Practice Slide 43 Convincing others – 4  Legal language – Trudeau, 2012  376 people (18 – 80) including 61 lawyers  given two versions of 20 sentences  overwhelmingly chose the plain language version  more education  more likely to chose the plain language version  54 of 61 lawyers chose sentence with “among other things” rather than “inter alia”  See also Kimble, 2012 – for 50 examples of case studies where plain language made a difference!
  44. 44. © 2016, Janice (Ginny) Redish Applying Research to Practice Slide 44 You can help colleagues plan and evaluate successful conversations
  45. 45. © 2016, Janice (Ginny) Redish Applying Research to Practice Slide 45 Plan  Why? (Purposes)  Who? (Personas)  How? (Contexts)  What? (Conversations) For every communication, answer these questions:
  46. 46. © 2016, Janice (Ginny) Redish Applying Research to Practice Slide 46 When you write this type of content what do you want to happen? Email to your boss because you want to go to Conduit 2016 A product page for an e-commerce site Why? Realize that everything we write to make people act Online help for a product Information about cancer treatments
  47. 47. © 2016, Janice (Ginny) Redish Applying Research to Practice Slide 47 Why? Focus on your “readers” and what you want them to do to explain what’s new in this software release We want My communication will be successful if [these people]_____________________________________ [do this] _________________________________________. people who have been using our software to use the new features appropriately
  48. 48. © 2016, Janice (Ginny) Redish Applying Research to Practice Slide 48 Who? Create and use personas Letting Go of the Words, 2nd ed., p. 142; persona for the injured workers’ compensation program, Washington State Department of Labor & Industries
  49. 49. © 2016, Janice (Ginny) Redish Applying Research to Practice Slide 49 How? Understand the contexts
  50. 50. © 2016, Janice (Ginny) Redish Applying Research to Practice Slide 50 What? Plan successful conversations Successful communications Your readers' questionsYour key messages
  51. 51. © 2016, Janice (Ginny) Redish Applying Research to Practice Slide 51 Usability test on different devices A usability test session of a website Photo courtesy Alexander & Tom, Inc. www.alextom.com Barnum, 2010 Rubin & Chisnell, 2008 Krug, 2010 www.usability.gov Evaluate
  52. 52. © 2016, Janice (Ginny) Redish Applying Research to Practice Slide 52 Walk your personas through their conversations with your communication
  53. 53. © 2016, Janice (Ginny) Redish Applying Research to Practice Slide 53 Photo credits From 123RF.com  Slides 11, 21: Asian man with tablet – mklrnt  Slide 11: old lady with paper – Paul Vasarhelyi  Slide 49: four people – Wavebreak Media, Ltd.  Slide 52: stressed woman – Marcos Calvo Mesa  Slide 52: older man with tablet – Anna Lurye From Flickr creative commons  Slide 2: two men conversing – Polandeze  Slides 5, 7: man in office – russeljsmith From iStockphoto.com  Slide 4: young people with phones  Slides 5, 7 man in green shirt  Slide 11: doctor, man with laptop, woman with clipboard  Slide 16: woman with lightbulbs  Slide 17: student in library, perplexed lady  Slide 18: woman at desk  Slide 21: young lady at computer  Slide 35: two gals with wine  Slide 39: group around table  Slide 44: gal and guy looking at computer together  Slide 49: lady with medicine bottle, mother and child  Slide 52: doctor, man in blue shirt with letter, gal with smartphone
  54. 54. © 2016, Janice (Ginny) Redish Applying Research to Practice Slide 54 Thank you! More questions? Write to me: ginny@redish.net Morgan Kaufmann / Elsevier 2nd edition, 2012 @GinnyRedish Ginny Redish Janice (Ginny) Redish, Ph.D. Redish & Associates, Inc. Bethesda, Maryland www.redish.net Get the bibliography: www.redish.net home page, events, this event See slides: I will link them next to the bibliography by Monday.

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