Evan Martin (evan) wrote in lj_userdoc,
Evan Martin

users don't read anything

Hi everyone. I was thinking about user interface design this morning and it occurred to me that some of it’s relevant to the documentation effort, too. As background, let me first quote Jakob Nielsen:
Studies of content usability typically find that removing half of a website’s words will double the amount of information that users actually get.

In general, a short FAQ will be read much more thoroughly than a long one. If you have a spare few minutes, please read this chapter from Joel Spolsky’s excellent book User Interface Design for Programmers.

I don’t bring this up to point out any particular flaw in what y’all have done. I just wanted to share it, because it’s had a profound effect on my thinking, and I thought you might enjoy it too. (It might help those of you in support understand why people usually don’t simply “Read the FAQ”, even when you point them at it.)

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