Tip of the month from PRC Jan. 1996

The user map

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Tip of the month is edited by Peter Ring, PRC (Peter Ring Consultants, Denmark)
- consultants on how to write user-friendly manuals

Image of the User Map. You can e-mail PRC for the image file.

The user map with the four archetypes Aunt Clare, Harley Joe, Professor Bookworm, and P.C.Hackman has proven to be a very useful way of classifying users of instruction manuals.

Make a copy of the map and place your users on the map, with reference to the 4 well-known user archetypes "Aunt Claire", "Harley Joe", "Professor Bookworm" and "P.C.Hackman".

You can then estimate if your instruction manuals readability, product complexity and cartoon class fits to the users. If you are in doubt, these parameters are explained in details in the book about the PQM system. The PQM 3.0 programme includes an interactive electronic version of the user map also including writing style advices.

If you disagree with these ideas - or have more relevant points +/-, please e-mail me !
(Ideas for "Tip of the month" subjects are welcome, too!)

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