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Usability Engineering by John M. Carroll, Mary Beth Rosson

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CHAPTER 8 User Documentation

In the early 1980s, our group at the IBM Watson Research Center investigated the difficulties people experienced getting started with personal computers. In these studies, we provided all required software, hardware, and documentation, and then watched quietly. Our observations illustrated how people did not, and perhaps could not, make effective use of what appeared to be carefully designed documentation and self-instruction material. As part of this project, we carried out a study of the Apple Lisa, one of the first systems to incorporate a graphical user interface, an interactive tutorial, and an extensive library of manuals specifically designed for end users.

One of our volunteer users turned out to be a linguist ...

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