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Jun 26, 2014

Enhancements to the Design of Experiments Book for JMP 12

In JMP 12, our work included many enhancements to the Design of Experiments (DOE) book. Before we talk about those in detail, let us introduce ourselves. My name is Susan Conaghan, and I’m a senior technical writer with a Masters in Professional Writing and Editing. Marie Gaudard has a PhD in statistics and was a Professor of Statistics at the University of New Hampshire for 27 years. Marie and I worked as a team on the DOE book, pulling together our strengths to focus on the following goals:

  • Improve organization and make content easier to find by implementing a consistent structure across chapters that describe platforms
  • Enhance understanding by adding more of the rationale that motivates examples and drives concepts
  • Add and enhance introductory material for those who are new to DOE
  • Include new examples to continue illustrating new and existing DOE concepts and features clearly

Improved Organization

We noticed that our users could benefit from a more streamlined organization of the content. We developed the following outline for the chapters:

  • Introduction - Decide if this platform is right for your needs
  • Overview - Understand what the platform does
  • Example - Learn how to use the platform
  • Window Descriptions –  Understand the process of implementing DOE in this platform
  • Option Descriptions – Find out what the features in the platform do
  • Technical Details – Learn more about implementation details like formulas and algorithms that apply to the platform

You might be new to DOE and want to walk through how to use a platform. Or, you might be an experienced user looking for more detail about a particular feature. Whatever your background or need, our goal in restructuring the content is to enable you to find what you are looking for quickly.

Enhanced Understanding

Not everyone is familiar with Design of Experiments. With new users in mind, we added:

  • A short introductory chapter that briefly explains each DOE platform.
  • A comprehensive Starting Out chapter that covers the workflow of DOE and includes an in-depth example to walk new users through the process of using DOE.
  • Even more examples to step users through different types of scenarios they might encounter or specific features they may want to use in DOE. Examples are an efficient way to help users decide if a particular approach is right for them, and to guide them through how to use it.

To meet the needs of all users, we identified concepts whose descriptions could be improved with further explanation, and added more details accordingly.

New Examples

In the Starting Out chapter, a new example describes an experiment carried out at Counter Culture Coffee, a local coffee roaster in Durham, North Carolina. With help from the baristas, the experiment was personally conducted by two of our DOE developers, Brad Jones and Ryan Lekivetz, and the manager of the documentation team, Sheila Loring. The goal of the experiment was to determine which factors had an effect on the strength of brewed coffee and to optimize the strength. We walk you through the design and analysis of the experiment, from start to finish, following the framework for experimental design (describe, specify, design, collect, fit, predict).

7983_CoffeeExperimentBaristas.jpg

   Counter Culture Coffee Baristas

The chapter on the powerful Custom Design platform has been completely revised, along with the chapters on Definitive Screening Designs and Evaluate Designs. We’ve added new examples and enhanced existing examples throughout, but particularly in the Examples of Custom Designs chapter. In that chapter, you might find the examples dealing with covariates and randomization restrictions of particular interest. In cases where a design is created using a random seed, we have added that information so that you can recreate the exact design that appears in the documentation.

Marie and I hope that these improvements will enhance your experience with DOE and help you achieve your goals. For JMP 12, we were able to add these enhancements to several chapters in the DOE book. Our goal is to continue these improvements to the DOE book. We would love to hear your feedback. Please let us know your thoughts on the changes, and if you have other suggestions for improvement.

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