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Learning Ubiq P2: Support Structures

As outlined in Part 1, the traditional style of documentation is antithetical to actual usage.  Style is a major problem, but the delivery mechanisms are just as bad. At best, a manual can be oriented to predefined tasks and known problems, at worst it is a dense technical read with a broad overview intertwined with nitty-gritty details.  Neither approach considers how people actually work with documentation.  Firstly users never consult a manual unless they encounter a problem they cannot solve

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Learning Ubiquity P1: Minimalist Documentation

It has been over a month since my last post -testing has taken a backseat to reading research in social learning theory and technical communications.  But now I have some more solid ideas I want to share in this 3-part series. Today I am going to talk about a typical users, how they learn, and the principals of minimalist documentation.  If you want to skip the fluff, head to the minimalist style guidelines for Ubiquity’s documentation. Reasoning (skip this if

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Ubiquity Advert

I don’t really need to make it perfect for my closed tests.  If I were doing this for a real ad I would have a single, flowing sequence like search on Craigslist, check prices on Ebay, email it to a friend, and  insert a map.  I am working out some compression issues so I can put the iMovie project online to make remixing easier if you are interested.  Suggestions are welcomed in the interim : )

Community Building and UI

There is a lot of talk about community building for the Ub command developers. My main concern is UI engineering; how can we help command developers create Humane commands? Earlier I blogged about the translate command, offering some suggestions, hoping it would help future command developers. Sadly, we can’t expect trained Usability professionals to review every 3rd party command. One of the things that I find interesting is how Apple has evolved their 3rd party developer ecosystem. While John Gruber

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Ubiquity Translator Command

I have been running into two types of usability problems in my testing of Firefox Ubiquity. One set of problems is with Ubiquity itself, it’s discover-ability, the display of suggestions, help, etc. The other set of problems is with the commands. The Translator command caused a lot of confusion. It would change the contents of a page, and users didn’t know how to revert it. So instead, I thought up a translator lens that allowed us to visually communicate how

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