London software testing news UK

Usability Testing of User Documentation

Posted in Software testing by testing in London on May 13, 2007

From Open PR
The credibility of any organisation depends on the user documents that accompany its products. If the information required by a user is missing in the document or the user wastes valuable time and effort in searching the information due to poor cross references, it lowers the reputation of the product as well as the organisation. It also results in higher support costs with lower customer satisfaction. All these problems can be avoided if the user document too undergoes rigorous testing. The various methods of testing user documents are elaborated in this paper.

The white paper begins with a brief introduction of the types of user documents like hard copy documents and on-line help and also explains the parameters being measured in Usability. The paper goes on to discuss at length, the two ways of achieving Usability: evaluation and testing. It elaborates upon the methods of Usability Evaluation like surveys, questionnaires, the obtrusive and unobtrusive type of observational evaluation and the heuristic evaluation. It also delves into the ways of Usability Testing such as cognitive evaluation, acceptance testing and the various types of expert review like technical, peer, quality, user and publication review.

The white paper identifies that the Usability Tests should be carried out throughout the Document Life Cycle (DLC) and explains the factors that contribute towards the cost of the tests. It summarizes the argument in favour of Usability Testing with the following: “although usability testing may be a cumbersome process involving a lot of preparation and planning, nevertheless the credibility of your organisation is directly proportional to the usability testing.”

The white paper on Advanced Testing Techniques for User Documents will help organisations understand the need for testing user documents.

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