Re: CLARITY OF TERMINOLOGY AND DOCUMENTATION


 

On Sun, Feb 17, 2019 at 02:12 PM, Steve Nutt wrote:
Writing menus, is the same in a way, as writing documentation, the menus need to be intuitive at the outset, or people won’t find or use your feature set.
Now I'll play contrarian, at least in part.   I agree that pretty much all of the "common" and/or "commonly tweaked" settings need to be front and center and named in such a way that the average user in your target demographic will apprehend their meaning upon encountering them.  That part is not rocket science.

At the same time, any complex piece of software, and screen readers are incredibly complex pieces of software, it is impossible for a great deal of what's in settings to be intuitive to the average user.   If you have something that's even vaguely approachable in that way, you generally have something that's got a lot of defaults that cannot be tweaked and that many special-needs users (and I mean for specific computing niches and vocational niches - which use software over which the screen reader will be overlaid that's out of the ordinary) end up stuck.

For something like a screen reader to be exquisitely configurable, there will be huge swaths of the total settings structure that will not, in any way, be immediately obvious not only to the average user, but even to the quite sophisticated user.   Most of the sorts of tweaks for very focused refinement in a given setting require either someone intimately familiar with things "deep under the hood" in the software or willing to become so in the zones they need to change.

A good analogy would be expecting your average driver to be able to understand and actually maintain every aspect of their cars.  That age passed a very, very long time ago.  But virtually any driver can get in any car and get from point A to point B based on the well-known commonalities in the technology.  And that's even if you get into a vehicle with things labeled in an entirely different language (which in the age of icons is increasingly rare, too).
 
--

Brian - Windows 10 Home, 64-Bit, Version 1809, Build 17763  

A great deal of intelligence can be invested in ignorance when the need for illusion is deep.

          ~ Saul Bellow, To Jerusalem and Back

 

 

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