Mary Elizabeth Raven

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This article discusses how technical communicators can use Contextual Inquiry (a field research method) to gather information about their audiences and their specific needs for online and hardcopy documentation. Inquiry is based on three principles: 1. Data gathering must take place in the context of the users' work. 2. The data-gatherer and the user form a(More)
We provide the first study of instant messaging (IM) based on large samples of users' self reports. Previous studies have relied on ethnographic methods or analysis of server logs. Our self-report approach has its own strengths (large-sample; focus on attitudes, beliefs, and value attributions), as well as weaknesses (self-selection by respondents). We(More)
Contextual Inquiry is a synthesis of ethnographic, field research, and participatory design [8] methods that provide designers with grounded and detailed knowledge of user work as a basis for their design. The tutorial provides an understanding of the fimdarnental principles behind Contextual Inquiry and practical experiences with methods for data gathering(More)
In his article "Object-Oriented Documentation," Johannes Sametinger describes a successful case study of creating object-oriented documentation. It is clear, however, that of the three types of documentation that he identifies, system documentation is the only one suited to this application. We argue that system documentation can afford to behave like the(More)
We describe the introduction of Lotus SametimeTM, an instant messaging (IM) product, in an organization. This brief report analyzes the development of several aspects of user experience over a 24-month period: (1) savings in the use of other communication channels, (2) growth in messaging behaviors, (3) change in messaging partners, and (4) beliefs about(More)
This article discusses the results of surveys that indicate the IBM Lotus Sametime instant messaging product is a successful “walk-up-and-use” application, requiring little documentation and no training. Users achieve a commercially significant level of performance within three months. In addition, over a much longer period, users continue to develop their(More)
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