Study shows people use search to learn as well as to find facts

Researchers at Penn State University are claiming people don’t just use Search Engines to find facts – mostly, they’re using them to learn. Could this influence the way in which e-learning courseware is developed in the future? The researchers sought to discover the cognitive processes underlying searching. They examined the search habits of 72 participants while… Read more »

Documentation as flash cards

Here is a nice use of flash cards as a way of providing user documentation. In this case, it’s the legal rights of New York tenants: Designer and artist Candy Change collaborated with non-profit group “Tenants & Neighbors” to develop and produce a boxed set of 30 flash cards on tenants’ rights. The flash cards translate New… Read more »

Google Chrome OS Help – What will it be like?

Techcrunch has reported on an early glimpse of Google’s upcoming Operating System, Chrome OS. So, you are no doubt asking, will Chrome OS come with online Help? Will it be initiated in a similar way to Help in Windows or by some sort of new means? From the screen shots on the Techcrunch site, it appears, yes,  there… Read more »

Can you design your way to a “no user documentation” approach?

Chris Edwards has written an article on product design in the E&T magazine called “The art of avoiding lemons“, in which he looks at whether there is more to product design than simply getting your design to look good or your product to work. He shows there are many situations where brilliantly designed products still… Read more »

Attention Economics

The various discussions concerning the future of the Society of Technical Communication reminded me of the concept of Attention Economics and Attention as a product. Herbert Simon wrote in the 1970s: “In an information-rich world, the wealth of information means a dearth of something else: a scarcity of whatever it is that information consumes. What… Read more »