Re: Lots of forms?

Subject: Re: Lots of forms?
From: "Kelly Williamson" <kwcwtech -at- iwaynet -dot- net>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 6 Feb 2001 09:41:04 -0500

Geoff, Jo, Jenise, Pat, and Dick were kind enough to reply to my posting
about lots of forms. I do need to clarify a few things...

> The advantage of "MyExpenseReport" is
> that nobody ever needs to look up the meaning, and removing the step of
> forcing someone to consult a lookup table is a kindness to busy users of
> your manual. My second reaction is that if the online manual is well
> organized, it should be easy for users to find the correct form simply by
> navigating down through the hierarchy; in that case, the names become
> irrelevant.

The forms in the online manual are well organized and the names *should be*
irrelevant: they should just find the title of the form they are looking for
in the manual (e.g., Expense Report for Case Managers), click the link, and
the form opens for them (they currently don't even have access to the lookup
table--they shouldn't need it). They can even find the form by doing a
search on "expense report" if they can't find it in the alphabetically
organized "Case Manager Forms" section.

> But as for "asking" to copy
> the forms to their hard drives, how are you going to stop them? If the
forms
> are available on the CD, anyone with rudimentary computer skills can

They would literally have to be taught how to copy the forms to their hard
drive--they really have almost zero computer skills, despite our trainer
having taught them Windows basics at least one or two times already. Which
is really why this worries me. If these were users with decent computer
skills, I wouldn't be as nervous about it, as they would know to which
directory they are copying the files. With these folks though, they may
accidentally copy them to two or more places, won't remember where they put
them, etc.

> the solution is likely to dump the CDs in favor
> of some kind of intranet solution.

Ahh, that was my original suggestion. However, these are remote users that
do not have access to the corporate network and do not have Internet access.

> suggests you need to adopt a solution that encourages them to adopt the
> behavior you want them to adopt (using a single form at a central
location)

That's what I would really like them to do--just use the forms on the CD
(central location). Alas, they are already asking for a "quicker" solution
(i.e., the hard drive route).

Thank you so much for your quick replies. As a lone writer, it really helps
to have people to "discuss" this with.

-Kelly Williamson
kwcwtech -at- iwaynet -dot- net



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