how to document multiple user roles?

Subject: how to document multiple user roles?
From: "Writer Whirler" <a_whirler -at- hotmail -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 03 Oct 2001 15:20:47 -0500

I am writing a user guide for an application whose users can have one of three levels of permissions: A, A+B, or A+B+C. The business wants me to write one user guide that incorporates all functions, instead of three separate guides, which is fine with me.

My question is this: How much should I explain the three roles a user can have? For example, when describing the "C" function, should I explain that you cannot perform the "C" function (the option does not even appear on your system)if you do not have permission to do so? Or is it enough to just explain all of the functions, and not offer any overall explanation of what functions your permissions entitle you to.

I should explain that the application I am writing about is a very specialized financial trading application with a limited user base. It's not something you can get off the shelf and install yourself. Users must be registered, and set up with a specific data set and accounts. In the past we've assumed a certain level of knowledge on the part of the users (they know what they can do and there's no need to explain their roles because by the time they get access to the system that's all been explained).

But I've been rethinking that assumption lately and want to get more opinions. Thanks in advance for any advice.


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