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Examining the Relationship Between Quality Writing and Quality Reading

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This article introduces the ISTE approach as a way to measure the relationship between the design of a document and the way that users handle it. ISTE is an acronym for Information SubTypes and Effects. The article describes the classification of information into a general typology as well as into a specific one, to illustrate how the approach can be adapted to specific usability questions. ISTE also requires a typology for categorizing possible user reactions. This article first positions ISTE within the broader context of usability testing and then describes its basic approach and some recent applications.

Unlike most formal research methods, ISTE does not require an inordinate amount of time and effort for analyzing high-fidelity data. Electronic versions such as the ERR instrument allow for the creation of a complete and detailed profile of the use of a document 10 minutes after task completion. These characteristics make ISTE a viable instrument for gathering usability metrics in industrial settings.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2000-05-01

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  • Technical Communication, the Society's journal, publishes articles about the practical application of technical communication theory and serves as a common arena for discussion by practitioners. Technical Communication includes both quantitative and qualitative research while showcasing the work of some of the field's most noteworthy writers. Among its most popular features are the helpful book reviews. Technical Communication is published quarterly and is free with membership.
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