Date of Award

8-21-2007

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

English

First Advisor

Dr. Jennifer L. Bowie - Chair

Second Advisor

Dr. George Pullman

Third Advisor

Dr. Elizabeth Lopez

Abstract

This thesis examines the user-centered design methods and methodology inherent to designing and testing a web-based Dreamweaver 8 tutorial for undergraduate and graduate students who enroll in certain English rhetoric and composition courses at Georgia State University. The tutorial’s three interfaces were rhetorically designed to support three corresponding types of user—novices, intermediates, and experts— whose familiarity with Dreamweaver and student web space determined their starting point of interaction with the artifact. Three usability tests examined each interface based on four usability attributes. Findings revealed the novice and expert interfaces to be usable, while the intermediate interface was more problematic. The analysis of findings indicated the advanced documentation theory to be sound; however, the practical implementation of the theory to this artifact was comparatively ineffective. More research is suggested for determining whether a multimodal tutorial design is the most useful and usable for the target audience(s).

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