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Incorporating Usability Testing into the Documentation Process

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Abstract:

Documentation usability testing plays an important role at The MathWorks, Inc. with our shifting emphasis from printed to online delivery of documentation. It is also a valuable learning experience for technical communicators at our company, as it provides them with first-hand insight into how customers use our documentation. This article discusses how we approach usability testing of documentation, and how our Documentation Group has incorporated usability testing into its writing process by creating the Documentation Usability Team. The ongoing goals of this team are to define an easy-to-follow procedure for writers new to documentation usability testing, and to create a database of testing results that all writers can use as guidelines.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: February 1, 2004

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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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