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[libreoffice-documentation] What baffles users? What help do they need?


Hi All,

While merrily editing chapters in the Calc user guide, I have been wondering about what users have the most problems with. Surely we would provide an important service by addressing those problems in our documentation.

Of  course, there are many types of users with various levels of knowledge and diverse needs. But there may  be some fairly easy steps we could take to more effectively meet their needs.

So, how do we know how to be most helpful for users? We discussed this briefly in the documentation call yesterday and I agreed to raise the issue here.

In my mind, documentation includes the user guides and help files but could also include additional FAQs, tips, and tutorials. (Researching and writing the latter might be good tasks/tests for new volunteers.)

Here are some initial thoughts about understanding user needs:

*Ask LibreOffice Forum *

Several developers and power users have devoted significant time to answering questions on the forum. Have frequent contributors been asked for their opinions about the top problems they see users needing help with?

Is it possible to data mine the forum to glean information about the types of questions being asked?

*LibreOffice Implementation Consultants*

What can we learn from Collabora, Red Hat, CIB, and others about their experience in training clients and dealing with user questions?

*Passive User Feedback*

What mechanisms are there for users to give us comments and suggestions? The guides invite users to send feedback to this mailing list. What has been the result?

What else could be done to encourage users to send their feedback?

*Asking Users Directly*

Have there been focus groups or similar initiatives for understanding user needs?

Has the UX team conducted strategies for obtaining user feedback?

I am sure that many participants in this mailing list have already discussed ways to get a sense of what users need.

Thoughts?

Cathy


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