For the past four years we have been creating key user information for SIG Combibloc, a leading manufacturer of filling machines, and are working to improve it on a continuous basis. As part of a pilot project we are working with technology partners to develop a content delivery portal with augmented reality features, so users can find the information they need in even less time.
In cooperation with SIG Combibloc, we decided to examine whether this complete package of user information, content-delivery portals and augmented reality features is practical and provides added value when compared to traditional printed documentation. For the usability test, SIG employees came together at the company’s testing and training centre in Linnich (Germany) in October, in order to test the next level of user information on an actual filling machine.
SIG employees were assisted in this process by Master’s students studying International Technical Communication at Flensburg University of Applied Sciences. Together with the Professor in charge, Doctor Sonja Ruda, the students set tasks for the SIG employees that they were to solve once using the augmented-documentation app and once with the printed manual. The SIG employees wore mobile eye-tracking glasses to record during the trial which area of the app or printed manual participants were looking at. In addition, electrodes on the eye-tracking glasses measured the brain activity of the participants. At the same time, participants were asked to describe their attempts and difficulties as they experienced them by “thinking out loud”.
The students will now assess the extensive results of the usability test, complete assignments on the topic, and then finally make the results available. These results will further improve the Augmented Documentation App and make its contents even more user-friendly.
During the test, SIG employees very taken by the current functions and future options of this app. We are pleased with this good cooperation and now look forward to the students’ results.
If you are interested, you can try out augmented reality in technical documentation quite easily. All you need is an iPhone or iPad and our smarty.