What documentation quality means to readers

To improve the quality of the information we provide, we need to understand what information quality means to our readers. An actionable documentation feedback model shows meaningful results.


The best way to align ourselves with our readers' needs is to get direct feedback from them. But we also need to ensure that the feedback we get is clear and focused, and not vague and hard to implement. To collect feedback, but be unable to act upon it because it is not clear to us what the problem is and what we need to do about it, is perhaps worse than not collecting any feedback at all.

To improve our documentation quality (DQ), the feedback we collect must be both meaningful and actionable:

  • Meaningful feedback requires readers to focus only on the important issues.
  • Actionable feedback requires us to be able to take what our readers tell us and do something about it.

This article proposes a preliminary, focused, clearly defined, and reader-oriented model for collecting meaningful and actionable DQ feedback, based on well-known, empirically tested information quality ...