Subject: HOW TOs?
From: "Hart, Geoff" <Geoff-H -at- MTL -dot- FERIC -dot- CA>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 28 Feb 2002 09:28:31 -0500

Radwa Darwish is documenting General Ledger software <<I had in mind the
following: - Start with general features. - Go through the definitions and
tasks windows by giving a simple background and then a "How to..?" approach
to explain the usage of each field. - Add a reference part to list all
icons, buttons, glossary, error and warning messages and so forth. The thing
is that my boss, who is the software development manager, doesn't like the
"How to...?" approach and wants me to replace it with a listing of each
field, edit box or grid and a brief on its usage.>>

Your approach sounds basically sensible, assuming that by "How to" you mean
"How do I do the following tasks using this software?" Users want to know
how to do common tasks (e.g., balance a budget), and filling in fields only
represents the details of each step in those tasks. Think of it this way:
Nobody wants to fill in the interest rate field; everyone wants to
understand their cashf low via the ledger. So while adding field-level
reference information for fields etc. is useful, the task information is
more important. As is often the case in techwhirling, compromise is the way
to go: create both task-based information and reference information.

--Geoff Hart, FERIC, Pointe-Claire, Quebec
geoff-h -at- mtl -dot- feric -dot- ca
"User's advocate" online monthly at

“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from a
personality, and an obnoxious one at that."—Kim Roper

Now's a great time to buy RoboHelp! You'll get SnagIt screen capture
software and a $200 onsite training voucher FREE when you buy RoboHelp
Office or RoboHelp Enterprise. Hurry, this offer expires February 28, 2002.

Have you looked at the new content on TECHWR-L lately?
See and check it out.

You are currently subscribed to techwr-l as: archive -at- raycomm -dot- com
To unsubscribe send a blank email to leave-techwr-l-obscured -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Send administrative questions to ejray -at- raycomm -dot- com -dot- Visit for more resources and info.

Previous by Author: Professionalism?
Next by Author: Reading books vs. asking questions?
Previous by Thread: Re: HOW TOs?
Next by Thread: Re: HOW TOs?

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads