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STC-TC Meeting Notes

Date: Tuesday, September 8, 2015


Topic: Joule Microbusiness Usability Testing for Print Documentation


Speaker: Joe Welinske


Meeting Notes:


  • Case Study on print documentation
    • Must go through project with customers prior to doing any work to fully understand what they want
    • Client priorities might be different than what you think they actually are
    • Rarely finds that his idea of how the table of contents should be structured is how the client wants things structured
    • There is not one correct way to do things
    • Implementation
      • Adjustments to texts, images, design
      • Items with high importance was moved to the wrong
      • Text revised
      • A lot of text ultimately was replaced with infographics
      • Conclusion
        • Changing how information was presented (for stakeholders, designers, writers, teenagers, etc) helped
        • It’s important that people know how to find information
        • Different ways to do usability testing
        • The project ended up with a more contemporary design
        • Mailing costs were reduced in half from all the things that were cut out from the original design
        • After writing up procedures have someone go through it to make sure it’s easy to understand
        • A documentation diary is good when the tech writer and the client don’t have face-to-face time
        • Sometimes a “critical incident report” is required
        • Become friends with the employees who work in tech support
        • Can learn a lot from direct competitors about how to present information
        • Joe uses STC competition guidelines all the time
        • Basic forms available on STC website, Joe believes


Designing a usability test:

  • The more organized and consistent you are with your approach, the more likely you are to make valid decisions
  • See resources in slide show