Reading homework help

Final Project: Document redesign in plain language  

The first thing you need to do is read three chapters on usability studies. There is a lot of repetition across the chapters. “Chapter 8 Evaluating the Complete User Experience: Dimensions of Usability” is by Roger A. Grice and a broad introduction to important concepts in usability studies. “Chapter 9 Ensuring Usability” is from a book by Rebecca Burnett. The copy is unfortunately hard to read in parts but the chapter is rich and in any case it contains more than you need to know. “Chapter 13 Reviewing, Evaluating, and Testing Documents and Websites” is found in the technical communication textbook that is linked on the left menu in Blackboard.

The next thing you need to do is to find a document to work with. Take some time on this. I do not recommend that you gravitate to the first thing that comes your way. Consider different possibilities, and if you think it will help, post your thoughts in Discussions and seek feedback from your classmates. I have not set up a forum for this conversation. You can post in “Questions about the course” or to Blackboard Messages if you so choose.

The third thing you need to do is avoid panic. If you try to jump right in and start thinking about this project in terms of the readability and usability tests below you risk cognitive overload. Take this project one step at a time. This is a big assignment but it is not as scary as it may at first seem. The project is broken down in stages, and you are the one who is in charge of each stage.

So, after deciding on a document in conversation with me and maybe your classmates, you will develop an evaluation test plan using the table below as a guide. Chapter 9 in Burnett can help you fill out various parts of the plan. Delete items that do not apply.

Evaluation Plan

Testing Goals

Test Type Sub-types of Tests:

(See pp. 314, 315, 316, 318.)

Goals

(What do you want to find out?)

 

Text-based

 

(Readability tests, design review, or editorial review?)  
User-based

 

(Retrospective or concurrent? Beta test or user feedback?)

 

 

 

Participants

Test Type Researchers/Participants and Their Characteristics

(Who will perform or participate in each type of testing? How many participants?)

Text-based

 

(Describe your own characteristics as a researcher: level of education, experience, age, gender, and any other relevant characteristics.)

 

User-based

 

(Describe your participants’ level of education, experience, age, gender, and any other relevant characteristics.)

 

 

Methods

Key Features and Elements for Testing

Test Type Specific Features and Elements for Testing

(What will you focus on?)

Text-based

 

(Diction, sentence length, paragraph length, design features, etc.?)

 

User-based

 

(Organization, navigation, completeness, etc.?)

 

 

Key Questions and Testing Scenarios

Test Type Questions/Scenarios
Text-based

 

(Which tool [a checklist or a formula] will you use and what will it do?)
User-based

 

(What will you ask your participants to do?)

 

 

Document and dates

I have a Word version of the evaluation plan that I will post or send to you as your ideas develop. For now, look for documents to use for this assignment. They need to have some substance and a usability element to them. A flyer is not enough. A technical manual written for specialists is too much, especially if the content is not meant to be understood by non-specialists.

Okay, there is a lot to absorb here. For now, read the posted materials. If you already have a document in mind feel free to send it to me. If you have already done an assignment like this one in another class please do not reuse material. Each project will take on a slightly different dimension or shape.

November 15: Decide on a document

November 22: Submit your evaluation test plan and begin work on your project

November 25-28: Thanksgiving break: Make your relatives take your usability test. Refuse to feed them if they do not cooperate.

December 7: This is the last day of class at the university

December 8-9: Reading Days

December 10-16: Final Exam Week: Your project is due on December 10

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