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    « CHI 2009 Video Showcase | Main | Reflections on the CHI 2009 Conference in Boston »

    April 17, 2009


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    Terry found noodles in her coffee maker in NYC - yuck! This got us all thinking that people sometimes use objects and tools beyond their intended use...

    I've found there to be a dearth of manuals in hotel rooms. Maybe people are taking them as souvenirs. :-)

    I suppose "RTFM" written in big letters and stuck on the wall might save a lot of phone calls for help.

    Great post!

    Firms go through the same issues when trying to document procedures. It's difficult to hit the right "soft spot". You have users that just need a little nudge (just give them the highlights & key points) and others need every little step outlined to them. I guess it's the difference between conceptual learners and those that rely heavily on memory.

    If you overcook it, you end up annoying most users. I guess this is why we have coffee cups with writing on them warning us that "Contents are hot!" (well, it's really because of lawyers), or why we have to live through yet another presentation by flight attendants on how to fasten a seat belt.

    With interactive documentation, one could show users the essence and give them control to reveal more detail between each procedure (if any obvious ones are skipped) but with printed or non-interactive documentation, it's a lot harder. I would rather see a condensed version followed by a super-detailed version which once could skip past.

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