Usability Tips and Handouts

Usability Testing: What Is It?
Better-written technical documents enable people to work with greater speed, recall, accuracy, and comfort. These qualities, when taken together, make up the usability factor. This document suggests some ways you might conduct tests to measure the usability of your technical documents.  It covers the kind of data you should collect, how many test subjects you need, and how you should treat those subjects.

Prototypes in Technical Writing: Why Bother?
A good prototype will help you identify flaws (such as incomplete research or mistaken assumptions) before you have multiplied their harmful effects by investing additional effort in them.  A sculptor makes a scale model in clay -- a prototype -- before chiseling away at a full-sized chunk of marble.  It it much easier to fix major mistakes in clay than it is to throw away a ruined chunk of marble and start over again.

Usability Testing: 8 Quick Tips for Designing Tests
This document is intended to help beginners design usability testing questions. If you already have a prototype you want to test, you've already drafted a few questions, and you're eager to learn how to make the most of your opportunity to learn from your users, then this document is for you.

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