Electronic documents offer the possibility of presenting virtually unlimited amounts of information to readers in forms which can be rapidly searched and structured to suit their needs. However, poor design and a failure to consider the user often combine to compromise the realization of this potential.; In this book, Dillon examines the issues involved in designing usable electronic documents from the perspective of the designer. It examines the human issues underlying information usage and emphasizes the issue of usability as the main problem in the electronic medium's failure to gain mass acceptance. In an attempt to provide a relevant description of the reading process that supports a more informed view of the issues, a series of studies examining readers and their views as well as uses of texts is reported. The results lead to the proposal of a user-centred framework that provides a broad qualitative model of the important issues for designers to consider when developing an electronic document.; "Designing Usable Electronic Text" focuses attention on aspects that are central to usability, and concludes with an analysis of the likely uses of such a framework and the realistic potential for electronic documents.
The reading process and electronic text; electronic documents as usable artefacts; so what do we know?; describing the reading process at an appropriate level; classifying information into types - the context of use; capturing process data on reading; information as a structured space; a framework for the design of electronic texts; assessing the framework in terms of validity and utility; designing usable electronic text - conclusions and prospects.