Boolean Search Help Usability Test

Back in 1997, when DHTML (Dynamic Hyper Text Markup Language) was introduced by Microsoft with the release of Internet Explorer 4, I saw the potential for creating enhanced tutorials.

This is a video of the usability test for Microsoft's first animated help tutorial. When I developed the first prototype, a team member felt that it would be too complicated for novice users and too belittling for advanced users.

In this video, novice users explain how my animated tutorial helped them finally understand how Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT, NEAR and "") change the results of their search query.

Advanced users felt that, although set theory is pretty simplistic, it can get complicated and the diagram definitely helps.

My final prototype shipped as part of Windows 2000.

Please try to ignore the crazy intro music, it actually seemed cool in the 90's!

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