Re: Help describing fields.

Subject: Re: Help describing fields.
From: David Castro <thetechwriter -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: Stanley Smith <smith -at- tdk -dot- dk>, TECHWR-L Mailing List <TECHWR-L -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 8 Mar 2000 10:53:10 -0800 (PST)

> But the description of some of the fields is quite obvious and can be
> discerned from the field title. Since the system is so complex, each Form
> field that will be described in the user guide must have some text either
> descibing the use of the field or indicating the data type to input into the
> field. Still, some field descriptions are self explanatory as they appear at
> many instances throughout the system eg. description, country name,
> international ID etc.

Ah, ah, ah. Self-explanatory? How about the length of the entry? How about the
format that it must take? Is the format determined by the company that's
implementing the software, or is it hard-coded? How about an example? How about
where in the application the entry might show up? That will help them to
determine what kind of value to enter.

There's all sorts of information for even the simplest of fields (like the
First Name field). Even if you are merely repeating the name of the field
(Enter your first name in this field), it's better than leaving it blank (or
virtually blank, like "self-explanatory"). Users will visually skip over those
"unnecessary" field descriptions to get to the ones they need.

-David Castro
Senior Technical Writer
thetechwriter -at- yahoo -dot- com
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