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Author Smart, Karl L.
Source ACM Digital Library
Content type Text
Publisher Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)
File Format PDF
Copyright Year ©2002
Language English
Subject Domain (in DDC) Computer science, information & general works ♦ Data processing & computer science
Subject Keyword Document design ♦ Documentation ♦ Quality ♦ Quality dimensions ♦ Quality metrics
Abstract In recent years, an emphasis on quality has emerged in a variety of organizations and in several fields, including technical documentation. Producing Quality Technical Information (PQTI) was one of the first comprehensive discussions of the quality of documentation. An important contribution of the book is in identifying quality as multiple, measurable dimensions that can be defined and measured (previous views of quality identified it more as some elusive thing that could be identified if present but was difficult to articulate and describe). Despite its contributions to the quality discussion, PQTI runs the risk of simplifying the quality process, reducing quality to a simple checklist that information developers can use to develop effective documentation. PQTI fails to address the fluid nature of some aspects of quality: some dimensions that are important in assessing one document may be less important or irrelevant with other documents. Additionally, PQTI falls short of accounting for the larger contextual framing of documents--that the importance of individual dimensions of quality changes depending upon the audience, context, and purpose of the document.This commentary suggests that all quality efforts should be grounded in customer data and user-centered design processes, and that we should learn to better differentiate among quality dimensions, determining those dimensions that are essential to customer satisfaction and those that are merely attractive. Through increased attention to developing the quality of information, organizations can better differentiate their products and services, facilitate greater productivity, and increase customer satisfactions, all significant activities in an increasingly competitive marketplace.
ISSN 15276805
Age Range 18 to 22 years ♦ above 22 year
Educational Use Research
Education Level UG and PG
Learning Resource Type Article
Publisher Date 2002-08-01
Publisher Place New York
e-ISSN 15579441
Journal ACM Journal of Computer Documentation (JCD)
Volume Number 26
Issue Number 3
Page Count 11
Starting Page 130
Ending Page 140


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Source: ACM Digital Library