Re: [libreoffice-documentation] What baffles users? What help do they need?

2018-11-22 Thread jonathon
On 11/16/18 4:43 AM, Cathy Crumbley wrote:

> So, how do we know how to be most helpful for users?

Basically, we don't.

Bugzilla tells us about what users expect to be able to do, but are
unable to do.

Surveys give us what users think that the documentation should cover (^6).

Analysing AskBot/web forum data tells what users want to do right now.

Analyzing Amazon book sales data tells what information people are
willing to pay for.
Analyzing TPB/Kat etc. data simply tells us what information people are
looking for, not necessarilly what they are willing to pay for.

None of that provides us with the information that people don't know
that they don't know.

By way of example, BAILS is implemented within LibO, (ignoring that part
of the functionality was eliminated in either 6.1.2 or 6.1.1). This is
great example of something that would be useful in maintaining
compliance with SOX, GDPR, and related legislation. Yet the absence of
documentation on how to use it, means that nobody asks questions about it.

A second example is the built-in version of LOGO --- LibreLogo. There
are two or three videos in English, and either one or two short papers,
describing a very basic program. There is a long paper in Hungarian,
which I don't read, and both Google Translate and Bing Translate mangled
beyond comprehension.(^1) What is needed here, is a document that
provides both the vocabulary and syntax recognised by LibreLogo.
Ideally, a rewrite of K, except for LibreLogo, rather than C.(^2)

###

I recently read a book on writing Agile Documentation.  The main thrust was:
* Create four or five user personas;
* Write documentation that covers each use-case for each of those personas;

Each persona has a different set of use-cases. By way of example:
* Molly, the receptionist, whose primary purpose is to look pretty.(^3)
 Figure out what she uses the product for, and write instructions just
for those tasks;
* Charlie, the programmer. Figure out what he uses the product for, and
writing instructions just for those tasks;
* Jake, the accountant. Figure out what he uses the product for, and
write instructions just for those tasks;

If having trouble figuring out what the individual would use the product
for, shadow them for a day or two, writing down when, and what they use
the product, or its functional equivalent, for.

As an example of use-case specific documentation, look at Thomas Quirk's
books on using Excel:
* Excel 2016 for Bilogical and Life Science Statistics;
* Excel 2016 for Business Statistics;
* Excel 2016 for Educational and Psychological Statistics;
* Excel 2016 for Engineering Statistics;
* Excel 2016 for Environmental Statistics;
* Excel 2016 for Human Resource Management Statistics;
* Excel 2016 for Marketing Statistics;
* Excel 2016 for Physical Science Statistics;
* Excel 2016 for Social Science Statistics;

The major difference between the books, is the scenarios used in
describing when, and how to use the specific Excel function.

###

Between built-in functions, included extensions, and third party
extensions, Calc has almost 2,500 functions.
I recently stumbled across a book _1,000 Built-in Functions of Excel_
It lists a function, the expected parameters of the function, and how
the function is used.

It seems to me that this is the type of documentation that would be
relatively easy for somebody who the time to write, and be very useful
to end-users seeking to close the "knowledge that we do not know that we
do not know" gap.  Distribute it as a book, not a set of pages on the
wiki. If they are currently described on the wiki, then transcribe to a
book format. If not on the wiki, then add each function to the wiki, as
it is being written for the book.(^5)

###

In updating _OOo in a Multi-lingual Environment_  for AOo, EO, and LibO.
I'm finding that things that could be done with OOo 1.1.3-ZA can't be
done with LibO 6.1.3. OTOH, some of the things I couldn't do with that
version of OOo, I can do with LibO 6.1.3. I'm documentating those
differences in a separate set of documents.

The bigger challenge I'm facing, is sticking with a 5,000 word limit for
each chapter. (^7)

One chapter is one language that uses one writing system, in one
country. For Turkish in Turkey, that means four chapters, one for each
writing system that has been used in the last 120 years. For Afrikaans
in South Africa, that means two chapters --- one for writing Afrikaans
using the Latin writing system, and one for writing Afrikaans using the
Arabic writing system.(^4)

I keep going back to
* Should I expect the reader to read the previous chapters;
* Assume the only chapter that will be looked at, is the chapter on the
country/language/writing system in question;

I'm writing for a niche audience, that probably will read the book,
before shunting it aside as a reference guide.  (Let's face it, how many
people can read English written in the Desseret Writing System today?
How many people even knew that Afrikaans was written 

Re: [libreoffice-documentation] What baffles users? What help do they need?

2018-11-22 Thread Drew Jensen
Howdy,

inline comments

On Thu, Nov 15, 2018 at 11:43 PM Cathy Crumbley  wrote:

> Hi All,
>
>
>  

> So, how do we know how to be most helpful for users? We discussed this
> briefly in the documentation call yesterday and I agreed to raise the
> issue here.
>
> In my mind, documentation includes the user guides and help files but
> could also include additional FAQs, tips, and tutorials. (Researching
> and writing the latter might be good tasks/tests for new volunteers.)
>
> 

*Passive User Feedback*
>
> What mechanisms are there for users to give us comments and suggestions?
>

So there support in the TDF infrastructure for tracking documentation
deficiencies in the Bugzilla system used to track software defects and
enhancement requests.
There is a wiki page with a couple of predefined searches against the
database of issues, found at
https://wiki.documentfoundation.org/QA/Bugzilla/Components/Documentation/Help


Best wishes,

Drew

Checking the search for open issues against 'Spreadsheet' it finds 30
currently, majority deals with the help system.

The guides invite users to send feedback to this mailing list. What has
> been the result?
>
> What else could be done to encourage users to send their feedback?
>
> *Asking Users Directly*
>
> Have there been focus groups or similar initiatives for understanding
> user needs?
>
> Has the UX team conducted strategies for obtaining user feedback?
>
> I am sure that many participants in this mailing list have already
> discussed ways to get a sense of what users need.
>
> Thoughts?
>
> Cathy
>
>
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Re: [libreoffice-documentation] What baffles users? What help do they need?

2018-11-22 Thread Cathy Crumbley

Hi Drew,

This is useful information that is especially relevant for me since I am 
working on the Chart chapter.  I  will certainly scan the questions, 
keeping in mind that people sometimes ask questions without first 
checking the documentation.


Cathy

On 11/22/2018 10:19 AM, Drew Jensen wrote:

On Thu, Nov 15, 2018 at 11:43 PM Cathy Crumbley  wrote:


Hi All,


Howdy Cathy,

Just a quick comment on mining the ask bot site - added in line.



While merrily editing chapters in the Calc user guide, I have been
wondering about what users have the most problems with. Surely we would
provide an important service by addressing those problems in our
documentation.

Of  course, there are many types of users with various levels of
knowledge and diverse needs. But there may  be some fairly easy steps we
could take to more effectively meet their needs.

So, how do we know how to be most helpful for users? We discussed this
briefly in the documentation call yesterday and I agreed to raise the
issue here.

In my mind, documentation includes the user guides and help files but
could also include additional FAQs, tips, and tutorials. (Researching
and writing the latter might be good tasks/tests for new volunteers.)

Here are some initial thoughts about understanding user needs:

*Ask LibreOffice Forum *

Several developers and power users have devoted significant time to
answering questions on the forum. Have frequent contributors been asked
for their opinions about the top problems they see users needing help with?

Is it possible to data mine the forum to glean information about the
types of questions being asked?



  From a user of the web service perspective there are some easily answered
questions, although a gross answer at best:

So, for example, since the site uses tagging for questions that can be used
to get gross groupings.
Here is the results asking for number of questions with the Module name as
a tag:
11,558 questions Writer
8,792 questions Calc
2,796 questions Base
1,661 questions Impress
1,006 questions Draw

Then I could add an additional tag and get the number of questions tagged
with Calc fand Charts
188 questions Calc + Charts

That is still 188 questions to be scanned over, that might very well be
worth the time for the person wanting to work on the Chart chapter.

Anyone with access to the database with drives the service could get more
creative about searches.


But even with


*LibreOffice Implementation Consultants*

What can we learn from Collabora, Red Hat, CIB, and others about their
experience in training clients and dealing with user questions?

*Passive User Feedback*

What mechanisms are there for users to give us comments and suggestions?
The guides invite users to send feedback to this mailing list. What has
been the result?

What else could be done to encourage users to send their feedback?

*Asking Users Directly*

Have there been focus groups or similar initiatives for understanding
user needs?

Has the UX team conducted strategies for obtaining user feedback?

I am sure that many participants in this mailing list have already
discussed ways to get a sense of what users need.

Thoughts?

Cathy


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Re: [libreoffice-documentation] What baffles users? What help do they need?

2018-11-22 Thread Ilmari Lauhakangas

Cathy Crumbley kirjoitti 16.11.2018 klo 6.43:

*Asking Users Directly*

Have there been focus groups or similar initiatives for understanding 
user needs?


Has the UX team conducted strategies for obtaining user feedback?


There have been surveys: 
https://design.blog.documentfoundation.org/category/survey/


Such surveys are, of course, best-effort and the results cannot be seen 
as a proper representation of our user base.


TDF ran a tender for user metrics, but apparently got no quotes for it: 
https://blog.documentfoundation.org/blog/2015/12/16/tender-to-develop-and-incorporate-usability-metrics-collection-for-libreoffice-201512-02/


Ilmari

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Re: [libreoffice-documentation] What baffles users? What help do they need?

2018-11-22 Thread Drew Jensen
On Thu, Nov 15, 2018 at 11:43 PM Cathy Crumbley  wrote:

> Hi All,
>

Howdy Cathy,

Just a quick comment on mining the ask bot site - added in line.


>
> While merrily editing chapters in the Calc user guide, I have been
> wondering about what users have the most problems with. Surely we would
> provide an important service by addressing those problems in our
> documentation.
>
> Of  course, there are many types of users with various levels of
> knowledge and diverse needs. But there may  be some fairly easy steps we
> could take to more effectively meet their needs.
>
> So, how do we know how to be most helpful for users? We discussed this
> briefly in the documentation call yesterday and I agreed to raise the
> issue here.
>
> In my mind, documentation includes the user guides and help files but
> could also include additional FAQs, tips, and tutorials. (Researching
> and writing the latter might be good tasks/tests for new volunteers.)
>
> Here are some initial thoughts about understanding user needs:
>
> *Ask LibreOffice Forum *
>
> Several developers and power users have devoted significant time to
> answering questions on the forum. Have frequent contributors been asked
> for their opinions about the top problems they see users needing help with?
>
> Is it possible to data mine the forum to glean information about the
> types of questions being asked?
>
>
 From a user of the web service perspective there are some easily answered
questions, although a gross answer at best:

So, for example, since the site uses tagging for questions that can be used
to get gross groupings.
Here is the results asking for number of questions with the Module name as
a tag:
11,558 questions Writer
8,792 questions Calc
2,796 questions Base
1,661 questions Impress
1,006 questions Draw

Then I could add an additional tag and get the number of questions tagged
with Calc fand Charts
   188 questions Calc + Charts

That is still 188 questions to be scanned over, that might very well be
worth the time for the person wanting to work on the Chart chapter.

Anyone with access to the database with drives the service could get more
creative about searches.


But even with

> *LibreOffice Implementation Consultants*
>
> What can we learn from Collabora, Red Hat, CIB, and others about their
> experience in training clients and dealing with user questions?
>
> *Passive User Feedback*
>
> What mechanisms are there for users to give us comments and suggestions?
> The guides invite users to send feedback to this mailing list. What has
> been the result?
>
> What else could be done to encourage users to send their feedback?
>
> *Asking Users Directly*
>
> Have there been focus groups or similar initiatives for understanding
> user needs?
>
> Has the UX team conducted strategies for obtaining user feedback?
>
> I am sure that many participants in this mailing list have already
> discussed ways to get a sense of what users need.
>
> Thoughts?
>
> Cathy
>
>
> --
> To unsubscribe e-mail to: documentation+unsubscr...@global.libreoffice.org
> Problems?
> https://www.libreoffice.org/get-help/mailing-lists/how-to-unsubscribe/
> Posting guidelines + more: https://wiki.documentfoundation.org/Netiquette
> List archive: https://listarchives.libreoffice.org/global/documentation/
> Privacy Policy: https://www.documentfoundation.org/privacy
>

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[libreoffice-documentation] What baffles users? What help do they need?

2018-11-15 Thread Cathy Crumbley

Hi All,

While merrily editing chapters in the Calc user guide, I have been 
wondering about what users have the most problems with. Surely we would 
provide an important service by addressing those problems in our 
documentation.


Of  course, there are many types of users with various levels of 
knowledge and diverse needs. But there may  be some fairly easy steps we 
could take to more effectively meet their needs.


So, how do we know how to be most helpful for users? We discussed this 
briefly in the documentation call yesterday and I agreed to raise the 
issue here.


In my mind, documentation includes the user guides and help files but 
could also include additional FAQs, tips, and tutorials. (Researching 
and writing the latter might be good tasks/tests for new volunteers.)


Here are some initial thoughts about understanding user needs:

*Ask LibreOffice Forum *

Several developers and power users have devoted significant time to 
answering questions on the forum. Have frequent contributors been asked 
for their opinions about the top problems they see users needing help with?


Is it possible to data mine the forum to glean information about the 
types of questions being asked?


*LibreOffice Implementation Consultants*

What can we learn from Collabora, Red Hat, CIB, and others about their 
experience in training clients and dealing with user questions?


*Passive User Feedback*

What mechanisms are there for users to give us comments and suggestions? 
The guides invite users to send feedback to this mailing list. What has 
been the result?


What else could be done to encourage users to send their feedback?

*Asking Users Directly*

Have there been focus groups or similar initiatives for understanding 
user needs?


Has the UX team conducted strategies for obtaining user feedback?

I am sure that many participants in this mailing list have already 
discussed ways to get a sense of what users need.


Thoughts?

Cathy


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