Klaus Hofer

Engineering Usability into User Documentation

Wednesday, October 19th

13:30 - 15:00


Understanding Usability as a Safety Initiative for Industrial, Medical and Military applications. This is not about increasing sales, it is about saving lives.

This is a 90 minute interactive learning experience you will not forget. Safety and documentation cannot be separated.

  • Reader’s reading behaviour differs from users reading behaviour – Behavioral comparison
  • Search behaviour versus navigation behavior – Behavioral comparison
  • Readability grade versus Usability Grade – Behavioral analysis with exercise
  • Bullets, numbers or letters: The usability of notation – Behavioral analysis with exercise
  • Comprehension, Cognition and Behavior with stressed Users – Behavioral analysis
  • The mechanics of the Promise, Question Answer (PQA) Patters – Behavioral analysis and Exercise
  • Usability engineering Procedures, Processes, Standards and Other Enabling Documents – Demo
  • Engineering User Documents with U-Map IT -A MS Word Plugin – Playground
  • Quiz – Exercise with debriefing

Wednesday, October 19th

13:30 - 15:00

Required Experience
50% Level of Experience
70% Involvement

Klaus Hofer


Founder of Communications And Training international – CAT-i

Professional associations

  • APA – American Psychological Association
  • STC – Society for Technical Communication
  • WUC – World Usability Congress
  • IABC – International Association for Business Communications

How it started 1970 – 1976

My early work in aviation and hospitals lead to my interest in cognitive and organizational psychology. I needed to understand: Why can well-trained highly motivated people make deadly errors? I wanted researched answers, not judgmental opinions. My ongoing studies and research in behavioral and cognitive psychology provide the basis for my professional life.

Transition 1977 – 1995

After too many years in too many universities (Australia, Canada, USA and Germany), I developed a full semester course and corporate workshop: “Applied Psychology for Technical Communicators”. Initially presented at the University of Massachusetts in 1986, I taught multiple variations of this course at several colleges, universities and corporations in North America, Asia, and Europe.

Current Work 1995 – 2016

I research, consult and teach. Together with specialists in Houston Texas, our team currently conducts the first series of usability tests of operating procedures in a live operating petrochemical plant. Our emphasis continues to be on applied human behaviour research into designing user centered documentation. Together with my team I continue our active involvement with the World Usability Congress and our partners in Austria and Switzerland.

My Vision

My team and I envision the day when no operators anywhere in the world have to perform a procedure that does not follow the principles of human cognition and behavior.