Making sense of step-by-step procedures

M.F. Steehouder, Joyce Karreman, Nicole Ummelen

  • 2 Citations

Abstract

Procedural instructions that consist of only a sequence of steps will probably be executable, but nevertheless ¿meaningless¿ to users of technical devices. The paper discusses three features that can make procedural instructions more meaningful: adding functional coordinating information, adding information about the use of the technical device in real life, and adding operational information about how the device works. The research literature supports the effectiveness of the first feature, but offers little evidence that real life elements enhance understanding of instructions. As for operational information, the research suggests that users are willing to read it, and that it contributes to better understanding and performance in the long term, but only if it is closely related to the procedure. As a conclusion, we propose a theoretical framework that assumes three levels of mental representation of instructions: syntactical, semantic, and situational
Original languageUndefined
Title of host publicationIPCC/SIGDOC 2000 Technology and Teamwork
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings IEEE Professional Communication Society International Communication Conference and ACM Special Interest Group On Documentation Conference
PublisherIEEE
Pages463-475
ISBN (Print)0-7803-643 1-7
DOIs
StatePublished - 2000
EventJoint IEEE International Professional Communication Conference and 18th Annual Conference on Computer Documentation, IPCC/SIGDOC 2000 - Cambridge, United States

Conference

ConferenceJoint IEEE International Professional Communication Conference and 18th Annual Conference on Computer Documentation, IPCC/SIGDOC 2000
CountryUnited States
CityCambridge
Period24/09/0027/09/00

Fingerprint

instruction
information
user
understanding
research
semantics
representation
effectiveness
procedure
performance

Keywords

  • IR-55925
  • functional coordinating information
  • Human Factors
  • Mental representation
  • real life elements
  • step-by-step procedures
  • procedural instructions
  • professional communication
  • user manuals
  • theoretical framework
  • technical device
  • technical device users
  • operational information

Cite this

Steehouder, M. F., Karreman, J., & Ummelen, N. (2000). Making sense of step-by-step procedures. In IPCC/SIGDOC 2000 Technology and Teamwork: Proceedings IEEE Professional Communication Society International Communication Conference and ACM Special Interest Group On Documentation Conference (pp. 463-475). IEEE. DOI: 10.1109/IPCC.2000.887303

Steehouder, M.F.; Karreman, Joyce; Ummelen, Nicole / Making sense of step-by-step procedures.

IPCC/SIGDOC 2000 Technology and Teamwork: Proceedings IEEE Professional Communication Society International Communication Conference and ACM Special Interest Group On Documentation Conference. IEEE, 2000. p. 463-475.

Research output: ScientificConference contribution

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Steehouder, MF, Karreman, J & Ummelen, N 2000, Making sense of step-by-step procedures. in IPCC/SIGDOC 2000 Technology and Teamwork: Proceedings IEEE Professional Communication Society International Communication Conference and ACM Special Interest Group On Documentation Conference. IEEE, pp. 463-475, Joint IEEE International Professional Communication Conference and 18th Annual Conference on Computer Documentation, IPCC/SIGDOC 2000, Cambridge, United States, 24-27 September. DOI: 10.1109/IPCC.2000.887303

Making sense of step-by-step procedures. / Steehouder, M.F.; Karreman, Joyce; Ummelen, Nicole.

IPCC/SIGDOC 2000 Technology and Teamwork: Proceedings IEEE Professional Communication Society International Communication Conference and ACM Special Interest Group On Documentation Conference. IEEE, 2000. p. 463-475.

Research output: ScientificConference contribution

TY - CHAP

T1 - Making sense of step-by-step procedures

AU - Steehouder,M.F.

AU - Karreman,Joyce

AU - Ummelen,Nicole

PY - 2000

Y1 - 2000

N2 - Procedural instructions that consist of only a sequence of steps will probably be executable, but nevertheless ¿meaningless¿ to users of technical devices. The paper discusses three features that can make procedural instructions more meaningful: adding functional coordinating information, adding information about the use of the technical device in real life, and adding operational information about how the device works. The research literature supports the effectiveness of the first feature, but offers little evidence that real life elements enhance understanding of instructions. As for operational information, the research suggests that users are willing to read it, and that it contributes to better understanding and performance in the long term, but only if it is closely related to the procedure. As a conclusion, we propose a theoretical framework that assumes three levels of mental representation of instructions: syntactical, semantic, and situational

AB - Procedural instructions that consist of only a sequence of steps will probably be executable, but nevertheless ¿meaningless¿ to users of technical devices. The paper discusses three features that can make procedural instructions more meaningful: adding functional coordinating information, adding information about the use of the technical device in real life, and adding operational information about how the device works. The research literature supports the effectiveness of the first feature, but offers little evidence that real life elements enhance understanding of instructions. As for operational information, the research suggests that users are willing to read it, and that it contributes to better understanding and performance in the long term, but only if it is closely related to the procedure. As a conclusion, we propose a theoretical framework that assumes three levels of mental representation of instructions: syntactical, semantic, and situational

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KW - technical device users

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Steehouder MF, Karreman J, Ummelen N. Making sense of step-by-step procedures. In IPCC/SIGDOC 2000 Technology and Teamwork: Proceedings IEEE Professional Communication Society International Communication Conference and ACM Special Interest Group On Documentation Conference. IEEE. 2000. p. 463-475. Available from, DOI: 10.1109/IPCC.2000.887303