Developing Usable Online Information for a Web Authoring Tool

by Mark Chignell of Concept 1 Communications and Benjamin Keevil of Keevil & Associates

Here is the World Wide Web version of the paper, "Developing Usable Online Information for a Web Authoring Tool", that was presented at the annual SIGDOC'96 Conference in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, USA on October 21, 1996. The theme of the conference was - Marshalling New Technological Forces: Building a Corporate, Academic, and User-Oriented Triangle. Some topics of the paper have been rearranged to make the paper easier to read online.

Figure 1 shows a triangle of information development among academic researchers, industry product developers, and users of the Tapestry software tool.

Figure 1, Information development triangle

Figure 1, Information development triangle

The paper references two Usability Index and Quality Assurance Checklists that you can use to measure the usability index of a software user guide. You can view the checklists in table format or you can download them in Microsoft Excel format and use them online or as printed forms. If you use the online version, Excel calculates the usability index based on your answers. You can also add and delete questions to better fit the requirements of your own user guides.


To display a topic, click on one of the following links:

  1. Introduction
  2. Related Research
  3. Developing Our Checklists
  4. Usability of the Tapestry Software
  5. Summary and Conclusions


Copyright © 1996 by the Association for Computing Machinery, Inc. Permission to make digital or hard copies of part or all of this work for personal or classroom use is granted without fee provided that copies are not made or distributed for profit or commercial advantage and that copies bear this notice and the full citation on the first page. Copyrights for components of this work owned by others than ACM must be honored. Abstracting with credit is permitted. To copy otherwise, to re-publish, to post on servers, or to redistribute to lists, requires prior specific permission and/or a fee. Request permissions from the Publications Department, ACM Inc., at facsimile (212) 869-0481, or e-mail ( Reprinted by permission, © ACM, Inc. Issue October 17, 1996.

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