Microsoft Outlook® User Manual Critique

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Microsoft Outlook® User Manual Critique XXXX XXXX English 221 December 12, 2010 XXXX Microsoft Outlook® User Manual Critique The objective of this paper will be to evaluate Microsoft manual for Outlook®. According to Torkzadeh (1988), author of The Quality of User Documentation, “User documentation is an important tool for communications. It enhances the value of an application to the user and in turn, improves user satisfaction” (p. 99). When designing a manual Ganier (2007) suggests in his article, Comparative User-Focused Evaluation of User Guides, the strategy for a user manual should focus on 3 characteristics: format, structure, and its content. Ganier in his article also includes the criteria for measuring the…show more content…
Practicality, the second criteria, as it applies to a user manual or an instruction, is whether or not the manual or instruction is designed and applicable to actual use. Overall, the manual is useful if the user is looking for instruction on performing a specific task. The user e-manual does a good job of explaining the various functions of the Outlook® application. The tool bar menu items include navigation buttons which allow the user to easily move the focus of the manual back one page at a time or by clicking on the home button, to return to the first page. Simplicity is the lack of complexity, or intricacy, (Merriam-Webster’s, 2010). The Outlook® user e-manual fulfills the definition of simplicity in its ability to reach a diverse target audience, with the ability to read and understand the content. Both basic and advanced users can utilize the search function of the manual to find instructions on the topic being searched. Basic tasks, such as creating an e-mail, or tasks for more advanced users, can easily be found in the manual. The user e-manual lacks overall efficiency as it does not give the user the ability to accomplish a task with ease and speed. The user e-manual should allow the user, no matter what their experience level with the application, to be able to access the information in the most efficient manner. The Outlook® user
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