This paper describes the application of a User Engineering process to the design and development of product documentation in order to maintain customer satisfaction and provide market differentiation in an increasingly commoditized product segment. We present the challenges of transforming a print-centric product documentation strategy into a marketable intelligent on-screen information system called Access ThinkPad®. First, we outline the intelligent information concept, forged from the tension between customer research and business reality. Second, we present the iterative design and validation processes used for the Access ThinkPad information system. Third, we discuss the realization of the project goals of improved customer satisfaction and product cost savings. We conclude with lessons learned from our experience and how they apply to future efforts.
Note: The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Incorporated is distributing this Article with permission of the International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) who is the exclusive owner. The recipient of this Article may not assign, sublicense, lease, rent or otherwise transfer, reproduce, prepare derivative works, publicly display or perform, or distribute the Article.