14 March 2010

Assessing Error Message Effectiveness

Microsoft.com Feedback  Form for Fix-It

A weak underlying model for detecting and reporting errors is often revealed through casually thrown (or thrown off) error messages. One post hoc way to address this deficiency -- though it may not improve the model's weaknesses -- is to request feedback from message recipients.  Microsoft Office users are
sometimes requested to indicate whether a particular message is effective. Not all Microsoft messages offer this feature. How does Microsoft determine which messages deserve this treatment? What internal workflow accompanies the feedback received? If changes are made to the message, how are the proposed changes evaluated prior to release? Will they be improvements or simply add to the confusion?

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