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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10791/161

Title: A Case Study of Client Attitude Towards the Transformation of User Manuals into an Online Environment
Authors: Letkeman mcquilkin, J.
Supervisor(s): Cleveland-Innes, Marti (Centre for Distance Education, Athabasca University)
Degree: MDE
Department: Centre for Distance Education
Issue Date: 2008
Abstract: The purpose of this longitudinal case study was to investigate the features and functionality that an online help system must embody in order to make new and experienced users successful. The study targeted individual software users employed in the home care industry during a transformation of user manuals from Word-based user assistance to an online help system. The theoretical framework selected for this study was a user-centric approach. User attitude towards the introduction of an online help system during a transformation of user manuals was investigated through the use of surveys and interviews. Guiding this longitudinal case study posed the following question, what features and functionality must an online help system embody in order to make new and experienced users successful? A second question inquired, which usability guidelines support an online help system to successfully deliver software application information to new and experienced users? The literature review examined: autonomous learners, online help users, distance-delivered course-based programs, and distance education adaptation of teaching and learning techniques, online distance education, learning, training, industry knowledge transfer, Canadian best practices, human-computer interaction, user-centric design models, learner experience theory, learning styles and usability guidelines. In this case, the researcher studied the attitude of software users towards the introduction of an online help system during a transformation of user manuals from a word-based format to an HTML format. The researcher identified features and functionality embodied in an online help system designed to give users success and design strategies to address ways to enhance learner experience. Findings from the analysis described: support users by maintaining the previous materials format; follow usability principles in the design of the online help system; demonstrate new functionality to users; develop online learning tutorials for the new user; offer hands-on workshops for users to play with new features; engage users to participate during all aspects of the transformation process; identify the level of software experience users have with the software. To give new and experienced online help user’s success, the researcher urged developers and designers to follow a user-centric approach, apply usability guidelines, and understand learning styles. User success arises from clearly defining learner needs, well-designed interface and well-designed training.
Graduation Date: 2008
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10791/161
Appears in Collections:Theses prior to 2011

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