University of Twente Student Theses


Official manuals vs commercial manuals : effects on expectations and user experience

Yang, Bingying (2015) Official manuals vs commercial manuals : effects on expectations and user experience.

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Abstract:Purpose: The arising popularity of commercial manuals in the market is an interesting fact to notice. To the contrary, official manuals seem to suffer from bad reputation and image problems. In order to investigate the differences between commercial manuals and official manuals, two studies were conducted. Method: An online survey about users’ expectations of the quality of the two types of manual was conducted in the first study, and an experiment regarding user experience and the effects of the perceived sources on users’ evaluation of the quality of the two manuals in the second study. Results: The results of the first study show that users held higher expectations of the perceived quality in the aspects of the language, layout, real-life connections for commercial manuals but they tended to consider the authors of official manuals as being more expert than commercial manuals’ authors. However, the second study shows that there were no significant differences found in those aspects of perceived quality between the two manuals regarding user experience in the experiment. Conclusion: The two studies show that although the perceived quality of the two types of manuals is the same, users still hold higher expectations for the commercial manuals than for the official manual especially in the language, layout and real-life connections of the manual, which indicates that official manuals have image problems.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:05 communication studies
Programme:Communication Studies MSc (60713)
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