Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Bless their hearts award #09-2

Scenario
I needed to change my e-mail client password for the 16th time and for the 16th time could not figure out where to do it. So I went to Help. I searched on "password" and clicked the first topic in the list, named "Change Password." My expectations were high. I got this:



There is not a lot to changing a password, and the Change Password screen in this application is very well designed and easy to use. (It even tells me the rules for an acceptable password.) The only reason I can think of someone going to Help for "Change Password" is exactly the scenario I was in, namely, where do I do it?

Lesson learned
Three good rules for user assistance:
  • Don't document the screen.
  • Don't document the task.
  • Do document the probable information gap(s) that could stop a user.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Is that Lotus Notes? And does it really say "Renter"?

Hmmm.




Martha

Mike Hughes said...

I won't say who it is, but it does say "Renter." I did not notice that ROTFL