Posts Tagged ‘User Centered Design’

Stephanie Schnieder wrote Usable Pedagogies: Usability, Rhetoric, and Sociocultural Pedagogy in the Technical Writing Classroom, which seems in theme with the last couple entries. So I’ll start there.

The article  is essentially about how usability can support a sociocultural pedagogy. It presents ways in which usability can help with technical writing. Specifically, it suggests that “usability theory not only encourages us to look at the social and polical aspects of technical documentation and information design but also provides a pedagical frame ‘specific to the field'” (448). The more usable something is, the easier it is to teach. Students are users, after all. (more…)


Looking at two articles by Whitney Quesenbery: The Five Dimensions of Usability, which is chapter 4 from Content & complexity: information design in technical communication By Michael J. Albers, Beth Mazur. and What does Usability Mean: Looking Beyond ‘Ease of Use.

The Five Dimensions of Usability are that something must be Effective, Efficient, Engaging, Error Tolerant, and Easy to Learn (84-88). So basically, if something fits all of these (inter-related) dimensions, something is very usable. (more…)

I’ve just finished Donald A. Norman’s book The Design of Everyday Things. This is not my first time reading this book, nor my first time reviewing it. If you want to look at my original review, it’s here under the book’s original title, The Psychology of Everyday Things.

Aside from how interesting it is to see how my own thought process has changed over the years since I last read it, there are a lof of things worth discussing in Norman’s book. Principles that people should consider when designing anything, pointing out where design is that we don’t see it (obvious places, like doors or keyboards); Norman talks about all of it.


Though not yet finished my reading for this week, I wanted to blog about two of the articles I am reading. The first is by Jennifer Daryl Slack, David James Miller, and Jeffrey Doak. It’s called “Technical Communicator as Author: Meaning, Power, Authority.” The second is “Extreme Usability and Technical Communication” by Bradley Dilger. Both are within Critical Power Tools edited by J. Black Scott, Bernadette Longo, and Katherine V. Wills.

So, first Slack Miller and Doak. (more…)