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Testing to Revise
  Internet Prose 101

Writing for Webzines

Testing to Revise

Restructuring Legacy Documents for Multiple Re-Use

Writing Effective Procedures

Adopting an Object Orientation to Improve Documentation

Designing Online Help

So You Wannabe a Technical Writer?


This one-day workshop shows you how to plan, administer, report, and act on a test of your documentation. The idea is that writers can themselves test their documentation, not for scientific validity, but for useful indications of what to revise.   This form of testing typically catches your worst mistakes quickly, with a half dozen people.  Compared to academic usability testing, this technique is casual, informal, and not too rigorous.  But we are not aiming at statistical significance; we care about fixing our writing.  For that purpose, this quick and not-too-dirty approach excels.

Topics covered:

  • Deciding what the documentation ought to be accomplishing.
  • Picking the passages to test.
  • Preparing a scenario.
  • Screening and recruiting participants.
  • Administering the test.
  • Debriefing the participants.
  • Drawing conclusions.
  • Writing a report—and revising the documentation based on your testing.


Author of How to Write a Computer Manual and The Trail Guide to America Online, co-author with Henry Korman of How to Communicate Technical Information, Dr. Jonathan Price has coached documentation teams in his user-oriented approach to creating hardcopy and electronic information systems for major computer manufacturers in the U.S. and Japan.

We are always glad to customize a workshop for a particular group or setting.  Please call Jonathan at 505 898-4912 to get more details.


Copyright 1998 Jonathan and Lisa Price, The Communication Circle
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