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User Assistance

    • technische kommunikation 6/2008

      International study uncovers need for change

      Knowledge is in demand

      Monika Reck

      A whole range of precise guidelines and recommendations describing what high quality technical documentation should like is available these days. For many technical products, we even have insights on usability obtained from research. Yet, there is a tangible risk of a manual ending up wide off the mark from users and their needs. The requirements users have from instruction manuals are now the object of an international study. [...]

    • technische kommunikation 6/2007

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      Abus illustrates manuals with photos

      Usability: photo versus drawing

      Alexander Kalcher

      Fundamentally, the photo has a very important place as visual medium in technical documentation. Distracting details, problematic illumination and bad quality are often charges against photos. Apart from that, the technical editor is often faced with the problem of having to write and illustrate the manual much before the final construction and thus does not have a readily available product that can be photographed in time. [...]

    • technische kommunikation 2/2007

      Four points of view on ergonomics

      What does the subject of ergonomics mean considering the complexity and diversity of technical products? How are ergonomics and Technical Documentation interrelated? We have asked four specialists on their opinion as to what it is that binds both these fields together and what ergonomics expects from Technical Documentation. [...]

    • technische kommunikation 2/2007

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      Ergonomic Products and User Guides for the Elderly

      Cappuccino for all

      Catherine Badras und Cornelia Nüssel

      Many technical products are aimed at young clientele. At least that is what we are told by the advertising business. Many technical products are, however, also purchased by older people who, in terms of their purchasing power, are an important target group that is likely to grow larger in the next few years. By 2030, as demographers predict, one among three persons will be over 65 years of age. But how does the industry react to this development? How suitable are user guides for older people? [...]

    • technische kommunikation 2/2007

      Study conducted by the University of Halle-Wittenberg on text optimisation

      Equivalent in terms of content –different in terms of language

      Christian Günther

      The target group for technical documentation is extremely varied. User manuals for products that are used daily, in particular, address several user groups, who differ in terms of their educational backgrounds, skills in comprehending written texts, age or even hearing and language abilities. Hence, it becomes necessary to evolve strategies for writing manuals in such a way that all these users can benefit from them. [...]

    • technische kommunikation 4/2006/2006

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      How do you see it?

      Gertrud Grünwied

      The Ulm-based software company Wilken made use of the CeBIT 2006 to analyse the usability of its sales and business application. The idea: visitors to the trade fair discover loopholes and potential for improvement through usability testing. About 250 visitors took part in the test. The results were determined through eye tracking. The system measures every reaction of the eye, recording the duration for which the glance lingers over a particular point. [...]

    • technische kommunikation 3/2006/2006

      FIDUCIA IT AG tests online help

      Gaining trust

      Jakob Biesterfeldt

      FIDUCIA IT AG employs user tests regularly to optimise the usability of their software. Recently, it was also the turn of the corresponding online helps to go through the rigors. Technical experts analysed, tested and optimised the help for usability and technical documentation, together with users. This article describes how they went about doing this, and with what results. [...]

    • 2005

      Understanding Usability Issues of Bidirectional Multilingual Websites

      Leah Guren

      Many Israeli companies maintain websites that support both Hebrew and English; some also support Russian, Arabic, and several European languages. As we worked with clients to help them improve website usability, we discovered that no one had analyzed the problem of bidirectional website usability. We assumed that the visual hotspot area on the screen is influenced by the user’s mother-tongue language; that is, we assumed that a native speaker of any left-to-right language would view the upper-left quadrant of the screen as the dominant visual [...]

    • 2005

      Accessing Information through Natural Language Interface

      László Kóvács and Tanja Sieber


    • technische kommunikation 5/2005

      Orientation Help for Operating Instruction Manuals

      The Structured Table of Contents (TOC)

      Martin Tillmann

      As experience shows, users generally do not read their instruction manuals from beginning to end. But they are rather eager to know the entire product usage as quickly as possible. In practical terms, a user likes to get to the required information as quickly as possible through targeted search within the manual. Many companies are, therefore, confronted with the question how best to customise their user manuals to such user behaviour? [...]

    • technische kommunikation 4/2005

      Bernhard Heiny und Rüdiger Tillmann: Smaller Scale – Improved General Survey

      Gas or diesel, automatic transmission or manual gears, basic model or something with more emphasis on comfort, and, above all, the special fittings –  [...]

    • technische kommunikation 4/2005

      Christoph Köhler und Clemens Schwender: Rethinking to accommodate a new audience

      The proportion of elderly people in Germany is increasing significantly, as shown by recent statistics. The reasons are stagnant birth rates and  [...]

    • 2004

      Whitney Quesenbery: Using Language to Improve Usability


    • 2004

      Whitney Quesenbery: Language and Usability


    • technische kommunikation 2/2005

      Fabian Hermann: Using Small Tests to Get the Best Results

      Usability-Methods help in making design decisions and in improving the quality of software products. What counts here is choosing the right method and  [...]

    • technische kommunikation 2/2005

      Bernd Holz auf der Heide: Avatars - More Than Just a Cute Pastime

      Human beings will continue to be just that - human, even when it comes to dealing with technical products and systems! Our cognitive and emotional  [...]

    • Tagungsband 2004 FP 45/2004

      Jakob Biesterfeldt und Robert Schäflein-Armbruster: Practice-Oriented Usability Evaluation for Technical Documentation

      Desire and necessity exist: To know from experience how well documentation targets the user. Uncertainty exists with respect to choosing the right  [...]

    • Tagungsband 2004 FP 46/2004

      Jochen Mussgnug: Selection and Integration of Usability Methods...

      ... to Improve the Product Development Process for the Development of Interactive Systems <br />To test the usability of interactive systems or to  [...]

    • Tagungsband 2004 FP 43/2004

      Fabian Hermann: Evaluation for Technical Documentation

      Software development has finally embraced the practice of evaluating usability, it is also becoming more and more important in the area of Technical  [...]

    • technische kommunikation 6/2004

      Anne Lehrndorfer: Clear statements

      While reading a User’s guide, the reader finds it particularly irritating if he fails to locate the information he is looking for easily. The  [...]