RE: Populated screenshots

Subject: RE: Populated screenshots
From: "Eichelberger, Mark" <Mark -dot- Eichelberger -at- aftech -dot- fiserv -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 02 Apr 2001 09:02:13 -0500

-----Original Message-----
From: Foster, Willow

<<<When taking a screenshot, do you put dummy data in the fields? For example,
would you have something like 'Jane Doe' in the name field? What about in
the training or reference material? Our product is a huge database, so there
could be any number of fields on a screen. Most of the fields are not
required by the system (they won't give you an error), but they really
should have something in them (for example, customer name). >>>

These are our general rules for screenshots. We link all of our screenshot graphics in our documentation to reduce size and to ease documentation updates when screens change. Many identical screen shots are shared and used in multiple manuals, so this eliminates the need to manually update each of these manuals. My company is a developer of financial software for Credit Unions, and our database is an actual client's database. If we are taking a screenshot from this database, we blank out Social Security Numbers and the client name for reasons of security and privacy. If an actual name and account number is visible, we modify the member name or account number. If only the member name or account number is visible, we just leave it alone.

When circumstances require it, we add dummy accounts to the database. For consistency, all fields that require input do have values in them...including Name...and yes, we do use Jane and John Doe occasionally.

We also have many clients that use some fields and not others. In addition, some clients enter unique values in fields. How we deal with this is that we include a generic screenshot of just required information. Beneath this screenshot, we provide a list in a table format of each field in the screenshot:

Field Name: Length: Description:
Last Name (R): 20 characters Last Name of Member
First Name (R): 10 characters First Name of Member
Middle Initial: 1 character Middle Initial
Statement Frequency: 1 character Enter A for Annual Frequency, M for Monthly Frequency, etc.
Date of Birth (R) 8 characters Date of Birth in MMDDCCYY format

If there are unique situations that must be documented, then we enter unique screenshots that contain only the required fields and the unique values for those fields. In addition, we place in a general statement such as "For additional information on all fields available, refer to......" and provide a link to the generic screenshot as it contains all of the descriptions and values for those fields.

I hope this helps.

Mark Eichelberger
Technical Writer
Mark -dot- Eichelberger -at- Aftech -dot- Fiserv -dot- com
610 993 8000 x534


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