Will an answer be easy to find if we mimic human dialog in user assistance?

In pursuit of the ultimate techCom information architecture

Research has shown that most people avoid using the traditional book-like manual, whether it’s on- or offline. Researchers have provided a number of explanations to why this is the case. One common explanation is that users avoid manuals since they perceive them to be difficult to search.

In response, many technical communicators are exploring innovative new ways to design and deliver user assistance to make manuals more user-friendly. To make the manual an option for the user, we need to make answers easy to find.

In this article, I introduce the dialog that happens between two colleagues when one of them (the user) is seeking an answer from the other (the expert) regarding the use of a product. I argue that answers are easy to find if technical communicators mimic this dialog in user assistance.

Read the article here, which is the first article in a series of articles that proposes innovative solutions on how to design for the searching user to inspire technical communicators to break through to a new age of user-friendly manual design.

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