Good starting points for a user guide ?

6 May 2009 - 6:05am
5 years ago
4 replies
869 reads
Rutger van Dijk
2008

Hi,

At our company we are developing a new harbour information system.
The graphical user interface and interaction is very different from
the previous software which has been used for about 10 years.

Part of the project is to create a user guide 'new style' for our
users. We don't want to create a 200 pages document with lots of
screenshots and nobody reads. We are also thinking how to integrate
help / user support in the application itself. The guide(s) have to
been supporting, informative and attractive to read.

Our audience mainly consists of low to average educated, specialized
males with lots of years of experience and knowledge about traffic
management and planning in the harbour.

Are there any good starting points for creating user guide 'the new
way' and integrating user support in your application ?

Comments

6 May 2009 - 9:24am
Anonymous

What about asking your audience or personas tell you? In the harbour/
navy world most of the time they use simulations to train the persons
with the new systems. Some of the solutions I have once applied is
making a quiz about the most important actions in the system and let
the user train himself by doing the quiz. The quiz helps to memorise
how specific actions has to be executed. I applied this idea also on
the security guide (what to do during a hostage?) and works quite
nicely.

6 May 2009 - 10:00am
Rutger van Dijk
2008

Dear Weyert,

Thanks for your reply; that's an interesting idea !

Can you give me an example of such a quiz question ?

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Posted from the new ixda.org
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6 May 2009 - 10:22am
Erin Lynn Young
2009

I've seen recommendations that instructional tool tips appear,
explaining that particular point in the UI, if the user doesn't
interact for a certain period of time (say, 7 seconds)...

You can also use question mark or i (info) icons to make those
tooltips accessible.

Make good user of explanatory tool tips/hover states on interactive
elements - if a user's mouse sits on an item for 250 ms or more, pop
up a box that explains the item they're hovering on.

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Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=41796

6 May 2009 - 10:46am
rob
2005

Hi, a couple of points:

1. Is the UI intuitive?
2. Is the app designed so users can perform their tasks according to
their expectations?
3. Consider creating short (30 second to 2 minute) video tutorials
- use Camtasia or a similar tool) - provide links to these videos at
relevant places in the UI. Add short text descriptions where necessary.
- pictures and video is always more interesting and easier to understand
4. If you provide pop up tooltips, allow users to toggle this feature
on/off.
5. Talk with the users to discover their "pain points".

Hope this helps

On Wed, May 6, 2009 at 5:24 PM, Weyert de Boer <sciencetalk at innerfuse.biz>wrote:

> What about asking your audience or personas tell you? In the harbour/navy
> world most of the time they use simulations to train the persons with the
> new systems. Some of the solutions I have once applied is making a quiz
> about the most important actions in the system and let the user train
> himself by doing the quiz. The quiz helps to memorise how specific actions
> has to be executed. I applied this idea also on the security guide (what to
> do during a hostage?) and works quite nicely.
>
>
>
>
>
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