Visual UA: Posters and Posterpedia

Posted by on Jan 19, 2013 in Articles |

I’m always on the lookout for new ideas about how to present technical content to our users. One of the award-recipients from the Puget Sound STC Competition had some interesting aspects to it. The project was submitted by a team at Microsoft and featured a series of posters that provide a detailed overview to Microsoft services. Topics include Hyper-V, Remote Desktop Service, Active Directory, and SharePoint Server. According to the creators,...

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A Video Tutorial for iTunes

Posted by on Jan 17, 2013 in Articles | 45 comments

I finally upgraded my iTunes to the most recent version some four months after was released. The Windows version of iTunes has been one of the worst pieces of software I’ve used over the past several years. News reports didn’t give me any indication that I was in for any positive surprises. One thing that I didn’t expect was for a video tutorial to popup the first time I used it. Maybe Apple has done that before, but I don’t remember it....

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2013 User Assistance Tools Survey

Posted by on Jan 14, 2013 in Articles, Surveys | 8 comments

The use of software tools is an important part of user assistance development. They make it possible to author, edit, and design our content. Tools are also required to transform our content into digital deliverables. Some tools are extremely robust and do many things. Others are very specialized utilities. Today, with our very diversified documentation sets, the number of tools we regularly use has become quite sizeable. This survey supplies...

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Help Behind the Wheel

Posted by on Jan 5, 2013 in Articles |

User Assistance for an In-dash Automotive Entertainment System Automotive manufacturers are moving forward with a wide range of in-dash, digital services. Usually this includes a link to a cellular data connection. In many cases, it includes tethering to the driver’s phone and in a growing number of cases, a link to mobile apps. Whether or not you think working with apps as you cruise down the interstate is a wise idea, it is likely this trend...

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Debating the Value of Walkthroughs

Posted by on Jan 2, 2013 in Articles |

Supporting the First-time UX in Mobile Apps The old axiom “You only get one chance to make a first impression” is as relevant to mobile software development as it is to a job interview or meeting the parents of your significant other. The app revolution has changed a lot about how we think about software design. One aspect – the first-time user experience – is still undergoing a lot of discussion. A recent article by Max Rudberg sparked...

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Mobile UA – Google Earth

Posted by on Dec 28, 2012 in Articles, Uncategorized | 1 comment

The Google Earth app for iOS and Android provides an optional interactive tour when you first launch the app. A message box appears asking if you want to take a short tour. Electing to take it displays a text overlay with five sequential tips on how to use your fingers to manipulate the app. In addition to the text, circles appears on the Earth to show you where to place your fingers. Arrows appear to show you how to move them. I think this...

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