Subject: "usability"?
From: Geoff Hart <ghart -at- videotron -dot- ca>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>, Ronald Schwarz <RSchwarz -at- cosmocom -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 10 Aug 2006 10:39:55 -0400

Ronald Schwarz wondered: <<For a long time I thought "usability" was the tech writers' shorthand for human factors engineering, as in design for usability.>>

It is. But note that you said "tech writers". It pays to remember that words change meaning when used for different audiences, and unless the audience for your question is "us" <g>, the jargon needs to change to accomodate the expectations of the audience.

<<Now I have before me a document where the reader is told he will become familiar with the "usability" of the product - meaning how to use it. What is the definition of "usability?">>

In this case, the definition is clearly (according to the context you provided) "how to use it". That isn't the correct definition of usability in any dialect I'm familiar with, other than perhaps in an archaic sense, so the solution would be to revise: "will become familiar with how to use the product". But that's kind of verbose, so I'd prefer "learn to use the product".

-- Geoff Hart
ghart -at- videotron -dot- ca / geoffhart -at- mac -dot- com


WebWorks ePublisher Pro for Word features support for every major Help format plus PDF, HTML and more. Flexible, precise, and efficient content delivery. Try it today! http://www.webworks.com/techwr-l

Easily create HTML or Microsoft Word content and convert to any popular Help file format or printed documentation. Learn more at http://www.DocToHelp.com/TechwrlList

You are currently subscribed to TECHWR-L as archive -at- infoinfocus -dot- com -dot-
To unsubscribe send a blank email to techwr-l-unsubscribe -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
or visit http://lists.techwr-l.com/mailman/options/techwr-l/archive%40infoinfocus.com

To subscribe, send a blank email to techwr-l-join -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com

Send administrative questions to lisa -at- techwr-l -dot- com -dot- Visit
http://www.techwr-l.com/techwhirl/ for more resources and info.


"usability": From: Ronald Schwarz

Previous by Author: Transferring legal and confidential files?
Next by Author: Fun Word TOC question?
Previous by Thread: Re: "usability"
Next by Thread: Re: "usability"?

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads