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May 1998 Online SIG event

Usability Testing of Online Documentation (Help and Web)

Date and Time: Thursday, 14 May 1998
Location: Meeting Room
Patrick Henry Library
101 Maple Ave. East
Vienna, VA
Phone: 703-938-0405
Topic: "Usability Testing of Online Documentation (Help and Web)"

Online Help, stand-alone online documents, Web sites for intranets or the Internet need to go through usability testing just as much as interfaces for hardware or software. But how do you do it? What's different about testing documentation? With online Help you have the problem that if you don't insist that people use Help, you may learn nothing about it in the usability test. If you do insist that people use it, are you creating an unnatural situation? And how should we treat the web in usability testing?

Come get ideas for testing online documentation, whether embedded in a product like online Help, or used as a stand-alone product as many Web sites are. Ginny Redish will discuss her experiences in planning and conducting documentation tests. She will also share what she has learned about the process, and she'll show some specific results with examples.


Ginny Redish, Redish & Associates

Janice (Ginny) Redish is an independent consultant, providing training and assistance in documentation and usability. She helps clients by reviewing documents and interfaces and by working with teams to create more usable documents and interfaces. She also does pre-design user and task analysis and conducts usability evaluations, often mentoring people in the client company as they incorporate usability into their design and development processes.

Ginny is co-author of A Practical Guide to Usability Testing, and has just completed a new book with JoAnn Hackos, titled User and Task Analysis for Interface Design (John Wiley & Sons, 1998). In 1995, the professional society of computer documentation specialists (ACM SIGDOC) honored Ginny with its Rigo award, given annually to an individual for significant contributions to the profession. Ginny is an Associate Fellow of the Society for Technical Communication (STC) and earned her Ph.D. in Linguistics at Harvard University.


photo of Patrick Henry Library

Patrick Henry Library
101 Maple Avenue East
Vienna, VA 22180-5794
Phone: 703-938-0405

Map and directions to Patrick Henry Library in Vienna, VA.

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