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Lecture

This is Why Users Cannot Understand Your Content

Technical communicators often hear that users avoid using manuals.

I will explain why users often misunderstand or reject information in manuals, which makes them think it is not usable. I will also elaborate on how you can design information to reduce the risk of users misunderstanding it. Reading comprehension research shows that relevant background knowledge is important to properly understand a text. But, as users try a product out before using the manual, they may create an invalid mental model. This mental model is the background causing users to misunderstand texts they find.