Business issues, documentation....hows and whys

Subject: Business issues, documentation....hows and whys
From: JRessler -at- ewa-denver -dot- com
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 10 Jan 2002 14:53:32 -0700

I too am struggling with incorporating the ?why? into ?how.?
Fortunately, or unfortunately depending on your view, I am writing under a
government contract. The government feels the need to introduce
requirements that are a bit redundant to say the least. I have found that
multiple sections often contain the same information, or information that
is extremely similar. To me, it is inconvenient to flip back and forth
from section to section every time I want to know ?why? to use something,
rather than just ?how? to do it.

I think your hyperlinking is a nifty idea, and is exactly how I have
alleviated my frustration. Screen tips (mouse/drag overs?) are useful
too. I often use them to give a bit more of a ?why? explanation to the

Obviously, the ?why? is often more subjective than the ?how? and requires
more thought. That is the fun part to me, taking all the possibilities
and conveying them in a concise, efficient manner.

The best case for a user is ?one-stop shopping.? I like the fact that I
can get how to do something, and why I should do it from one manual,
rather than outsourcing all the data. I don?t think that the ?why? should
be included in the ?how? process. Sometimes, I just want to do something,
and I don?t particularly care why it is done. Sometimes I already know
why, and I just don?t know how. Let the user decide.

That is obviously a ?for what it is worth? opinion. All the best.


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