A directory of resources inthe field of technical communication.

Houser, Rob

6 found.

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Developing Non-Software Related Training with Captivate   (PDF)

Captivate was created as a demo tool. It has evolved into a powerful tool for creating eLearning content. The subject of the training does not have to be a software product.

Houser, Rob. User Assistance Group (2007). Presentations>Multimedia>Instructional Design>Adobe Captivate


How Will Vista's Online Help Affect the Future of Documentation?    (PDF)

Microsoft has set some new standards, but they didn’t make it easy to implement them. You can do everything Microsoft did with the possible exception of having the system take action for the user.

Houser, Rob. User Assistance Group (2007). Presentations>Documentation>Help>Online


Learning from Games: Seven Principles of Effective Design   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

Why do players of computer games seem to approach those applications without fear, eagerly exploring and learning as they go, while users of business applications will go out of their way to keep from using the tools? Why do business applications require volumes of documentation when the most complex games come with a brief tutorial and a strategy guide for exploration? Why can games teach pilots to fly multi-million-dollar jets better than books and classroom training? These questions have led us to ask another question: Why can’t business applications be more like games? In this article, we attempt to lay the ground work for future research by defining seven design principles found in games that we believe contribute to the creation of more usable applications.

Houser, Rob and Scott Deloach. Technical Communication Online (1998). Articles>Usability>Information Design>Games


Moving the UA into the UI: Best Practices for User Assistance   (PDF)

User assistance is any kind of guidance, explanation, or training that is available to users at the point of need to ensure a successful user experience.

Houser, Rob. User Assistance Group (2008). Presentations>Documentation>User Interface


Rob Houser on Creating Nontraditional E-Learning

Rob explains how you can use Captivate to create nontraditional e-learning materials, such as on-the-job training, sales and marketing training, or even bird-watching training. You aren't just limited to technical how-to information in screen demos.

Houser, Rob. Tech Writer Voices (2007). Articles>Interviews>Education>Online


Why We Should Archive, Share, and Analyze Information About Users   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

In this article, I argue that technical communicators should be creating a database of information about users. Over the past 20 years, our field has described many methods for gathering information about users, especially about how they interact with our products in their workplace to solve problems. This information about users is often applied to improving the design of a specific product; however, the information gathered is not usually saved or reused later. Through archiving, organizing, and exploring information about users, designers can become more user-centered, create better designs, train new designers, ensure access to usability information, make the most of company resources, plan future usability investigations, and build more advanced theories about users.

Houser, Rob. Technical Communication Online (2001). Articles>Human Computer Interaction>Usability

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