What do they really think?

There are a few ways to learn how customers feel about your documentation. You can formally ask, using a survey or focus group. You can observe, using user studies and ethnographic techniques. You can enquire informally, by attending conferences or user groups and striking up conversations. And thanks to the Web, you can seek out or accidentally discover what they're saying amongst themselves.

See, for example, Erik's observation at NSlog(); about poorly written dialogs. Or Beth's frustration with Treo documentation as described at IDblog.

Depending on your product, people who write on the Web might not be your target audience. But listen to what they have to say anyway. They are likely opinion leaders within their own circle, and since useful reviews of documentation are rare, a "real world" comment can spark a a change that benefits everyone.

Posted: May 17, 2003 link to this item, Tweet this item, respond to this item