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Heuristics for Broader Assessment of Effectiveness and Usability in Technology-Mediated Technical Communication

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Purpose: To offer additional tools for the assessment of effectiveness and usability in technology-mediated communication based in established heuristics.

Method: An interdisciplinary group of researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute selected five disparate examples of technology-mediated communication, formally evaluated each using contemporary heuristics, and then engaged in an iterative design process to arrive at an expanded toolkit for in depth analyses.

Results: A set of heuristics and operationalized metrics for the deeper analysis of a broader scope of contemporary technology-mediated communication.

Conclusions: The continual evolution of communication, including the emergence of new, interactive media, provides a challenging opportunity to identify effective approaches and techniques. There are benefits to a renewed focus on relationships between people and between people and information, and we offer additional criteria and metrics to supplement established means of heuristic analysis.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: February 1, 2013

More about this publication?
  • 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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