Chuck's Q Blog

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Just another ICM blog

I’m my own best customer

Who do I think the typical user of my site would be and what are they looking for?

Well, considering that I’m in this program and that I’ve been a frequent user of these kinds of tutorials over the years, I guess I would be User 0 for this site.

So, what am I looking for? Here are a few thoughts:

  • Organization — Interesting that this is the first thing that comes to mind. I can handle mediocre design in terms of aesthetics, but poor navigation and and the inability to find something quickly are huge turnoffs for me on any site. I should be able to find what I want no more than a couple of clicks. I don’t want to be following breadcrumbs around.
  • Design — No matter the site, I like a clean design that shows me at a glance what I’m looking for, or at least points me in the right direction quickly. I should be able to look around the homepage and immediately get a good idea of the features on the site.
  • Content — Content is king. Once the user is drawn into the site, there had better be something there to hold their interest or answer their questions.
  • Graphics — Proper use of images or multimedia is a plus. I’d like to see screencasts used for many of the tutorials, but if that’s not possible (maybe due to bandwidth considerations), the generous use of screenshots should help illustrate the lesson.
  • Community — On this site, I’d hope that each of the tutorials would include a section for comments or questions and there there would be an area where people could discuss the tutorials, share their own how-tos and workarounds or ask for tutorials on specific things they can’t figure out.
  • Lots of voices — Links to other reference sites, the sites of contributors to my site and to other sites where users can pick up more information should be offered throughout. I don’t think I’d go so far as to call this a scholarly site, but since it has education at it’s core, there should be lots of options for second options, alternate theories and general reference material.

Again, based on my experience, I think these needs are probably not being met in a single site, at least not a free site. Some of the material is available via educators, on blogs that cater to a certain topic, on the sites of software manufacturers and elsewhere. Users who are diligent and don’t mind running a few Google searches will probably find this material, though many will need to pay a fee to see it. But I don’t think there is a no-cost central repository for this kind of information.

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