Quick Reference cards

Subject: Quick Reference cards
From: Tara English-Sweeney <tesweeney -at- novadigm -dot- com>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 2 Oct 2000 12:24:40 -0400

Our quick reference cards have served multiple purposes in the past - (1) as
a way to distribute documentation about new features that weren't covered in
the manuals, (2) as installation guides, and (3) as standard quick reference

We are about to revamp them. They've become little clones of our manuals
(they're too long!). And, I'm looking for your feedback. I have some
opinions/ideas, but I'd love to hear what the experts on this list think. I
searched the archives and found that many people recommended knowing your
audience or performing user tests. And, we will certainly follow those
suggestions [as much as we can. The timing is perfect as I'll be at a
conference for our users the rest of this week :)]. I've also looked at the
Visio QRC [as someone suggested]. It's quite nice.

Our software is aimed at IT administrators. And, it's complex. We will be
meeting next week to try to determine where to draw the line on information
included in a Quick Reference Card (QRC). I think it's a given that we'll
include descriptions of the main icons, menus and windows/dialog boxes.

However, the real questions for us are about handling procedures and
conceptual information. Should basic procedures be included in a QRC? Should
concepts be left to the manuals? How much is too much information? too
little? And, any other advice, suggestions, comments you might have.

I look forward to your responses. And, if I get enough information, I will
be sure to pull a summary together.


Tara English-Sweeney
Sr. Technical Writer/Analyst
Technical Publications, Novadigm, Inc.

Think like a wise man but communicate in the language of the people.
- William Butler Yeats

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