11. user support


Find a computer application that you have never used before. Attempt to learn to use it using only the online support. Is there enough information to allow you to use the application effectively? Is the information easy to find? What improvements (if any) would you suggest?


This is an investigative exercise for which there is no example solution. Possible systems to consider would be a word processor (for example, Microsoft Word, Publisher, Appleworks), a graphics package (Adobe Photoshop, Macromedia Freehand, Paintshop Pro) or a spreadsheet (Excel, Lotus). It may be helpful to have a list of tasks to learn to perform using the application. Include in this list basic tasks (creating a document, spreadsheet, etc.) and more complex ones (creating templates, etc.). The aim is to think about the provision of help from the point of view of the solitary user trying to figure things out alone. You should therefore make explicit any prior knowledge you use to help interpret the system (for example, experience of similar systems).

Other exercises in this chapter

ex.11.1 (ans), ex.11.2 (ans), ex.11.3 (ans), ex.11.4 (ans), ex.11.5 (tut), ex.11.6 (tut), ex.11.7 (tut), ex.11.8 (tut), ex.11.9 (tut), ex.11.10 (tut)

all exercises for this chapter