User's Annotations

Examples: Bad Examples: Context:  The artifact is complex and difficult to learn, but will be used again by the same user or by others.  This is common in Sovereign Posture artifacts, especially ones that are used infrequently.

Problem:  How can the artifact help preserve the user's hard-won understanding from one use session to the next?


Solution:  Support ways for users to add their own comments and other annotations to the artifact.  Allow the users to place those annotations physically close to where they are needed, and if possible, allow for simple drawings in addition to text.  Let users write private comments, for their own eyes only, and also let them write public ones that other users can read.  Save the annotations from session to session, as a part of the artifact's Remembered State.

Resulting Context:  Make sure the comments are extremely easy to use, or users are not likely to bother with it -- if it's too much effort, a user will probably choose to use sticky notes instead, or scribble a note in the manual's margin or something.

Notes:  The truly ambitious designer may even want to use some kind of revision history.  Be careful not to introduce too much unneeded complexity, of course.

Comments to:
Last modified May 17, 1999

Copyright (c) 1999 by Jenifer Tidwell.  All rights reserved.