User-Centered Information Design For Improved Software Usability / Edition 1

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When writing computer user documentation, focusing on the needs of your audience is critical. This book provides you with a surefire approach to generating clear, effective documentation that's tailored to the information requirements of the end-user.

Written for technical writers and their managers, quality assurance experts, and software engineers, the book describes a user centered information design method (UCID) that helps you ensure your computer documentation conveys significant, meaningful information for the user — and avoids unnecessary repetition or inconsistencies. Specifically, the UCID approach shows you how to...

• Integrate the four major information components of a software system from the user's viewpoint: user interface labels, system messages, online documentation, and printed documentation

• Make sure these individual elements are working together to improve software usability

• Make better decisions on which information to provide and in which media, based on user needs and project-specific requirements

• Deploy iterative design and prototyping procedures that minimize design flaws and save you valuable time and money

• Get more out of each of your technical writer's individual skills, and guide them in effectively designing interface labels and system messages

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Editorial Reviews

This book approaches technical writing from its role in the larger software usability context. It discusses designing the four information components of software usability: labels, messages, online support elements such as Help, and printed support elements such as a user's guide. The focus is on User-Centered Information Design (UCID), and several chapters discuss key features of the UCID process and managing UCID. Also addresses achieving information design goals and a two-level approach to evaluating information. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780890069462
  • Publisher: Artech House, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 5/31/1998
  • Series: Artech House Computer Science Library
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 280
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.69 (d)

Table of Contents

1 Information: Its Role in Software Usability 1
2 What is UCID? 23
3 The UCID Process 35
4 Managing UCID 51
5 Analyzing Users and Tasks 67
6 Goal Setting for Software Usability and Information Quality 81
7 Designing the Information Architecture 91
8 Designing the Specifications and Prototypes 111
9 Designing Labels 121
10 Designing Messages 133
11 Designing Online Support Elements 153
12 Designing Printed Support Elements 179
13 Achieving Information Design Goals 187
14 Evaluating Information: Two-Level Approach 215
Glossary 237
About the Author 243
Index 245
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