A Classification of Opening Posts in Commercial Software Help Forums

Xiaole Kuang, Bo Yi, Shengdong Zhao, Jianann Chow, Tovi GrossmanGeorge Fitzmaurice

Asia Pacific Conference on Computer Human Interaction
2012

Abstract

The opening posts in software help forums reflect the users’ confusion/expectations regarding to the software learning and usage. In this study, we present a classification of 1200 opening posts in two commercial software help forums (Adobe Photoshop & Cakewalk Sonar) based on three dimensions: type, scope, and topic. We find that the most common opening posts are related to error/stuck situations while using the software to finish a specific task. Additionally, users tend to spend more words to describe posts that involve the operating system or installation issue. Our classification presents a new perspective to examine the software feedback from users and motivates design implications for software designers and researchers.

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