July 19, 2010
Critique of Microsoft Outlook
As I searched the Internet for an Outlook User Manual, I came across one from Emory Healthcare and Intellisoft Training Solutions. This will be a critique of the user manuals organization, layout, use of visuals, and written instructions. This user manual is organized and easy to follow. With the table of contents on the side of the main page, shows at a glance the different tasks within Microsoft Outlook. The first page has an easy to see screen print of the main screen when outlook first opens. This manual comes with Tips and Tricks on the left side, down a few pages. The manual appears to be very informative and explaining every task that can be done within outlook. The manual also has instructions on how to use the Outlook Web Access. I found a couple things that would make this user manual a little more user-friendly is by having a search feature and quick links for easier to find information. An efficient manual will consider: (1) “users need to access information which will enable them to carry out the basic tasks” and (2) “users need to find the relevant information when difficulties arise” [ (Ganier, 2007) ]. The layout of the manual starts at the first window and explains left to right the different tasks and how to use them. Information that’s accessible is the key to ensure an efficient manual. Through the use of taking chunks and breaking large amounts of information into smaller pieces provides for easier learning. Through the use of blank space and appropriate headings, the information presented in the manual is attractive and practical. [ (Dupont & Bestgen, 2006) ] stated “The combination of text and an illustration can be effective only if the user integrates the information coming from these two media.” The user manual combined text with icons and screen shots to help users understand how to accomplish the task. This manual shows...