Feb 15 Meeting: Linda Urban on Thinking about User Assistance as Performance Support
Monday, 23 January 2012


The idea of "performance support" is to provide tools to help people do their work. Those tools might be anything from a job aid that summarizes key steps, taped to a cubicle wall, to a targeted application that helps people actually accomplish a task. With that definition, user assistance can certainly be considered performance support--it's a tool that people turn to when they have a question, want to know how to do something, or how to solve a problem. But - does all user assistance support performance? If you examine the content you create through a "performance lens" - how does it stand up? Does it actually provide the support that people need? In this session, you will learn: · What is performance support? · Does your user assistance provide performance support that people need? · How to think about what should be in user assistance, to support performance

 Linda Urban has more than 25 years of experience in designing and developing technical information and instruction. A consultant, she is available to work on projects (needs assessment, user and workplace research, and design and development of content and instruction), deliver workshops, and consult with and coach writers and teams to clarify their content strategy and improve the quality of their documentation. Linda also teaches in the Technical Communication program at UC Berkeley Extension. She can be found on twitter @lindaurban. Her website is www.urbancreations.com.