AW: Task-based documentation-best practice

Subject: AW: Task-based documentation-best practice
From: Shea Michael EXT <Michael -dot- Shea -dot- extern -at- icn -dot- siemens -dot- de>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 1 Mar 2002 15:13:05 +0100

Sounds like the perfect place for a decision table.

For example:

Once you have opened your image you can apply effects.

To add sparkles, see Adding sparkle, pg 23.
To make it swirly-whirly, see Applying the spin cycle, pg. 82.
To change the color depth, see Reducing or Increasing the color depth, pg 16.

Naturally, you will want to see if this makes sense for you or not. Perhaps some decision table entries will lead to other decision tables. Perhaps you want to flow-chart the possible actions user can go or the actions that would make the most sense for the user to follow.


> -----Urspr> üngliche Nachricht-----
> Von: etienneg -at- interlog -dot- com [SMTP:etienneg -at- interlog -dot- com]
> Gesendet am: Donnerstag, 28. Februar 2002 10:17
> Betreff: Task-based documentation-best practice
> My difficulty is that some of our procedure steps can be non-linear and
> equivalent to:
> "Use a mix and match set of tools to do what you want." (Tools being meant as
> features, objects, or commands. This could compare to a paint program where the
> user utilises the line tool, the paint tool, etc. in any combination to make a
> picture.) Some of those tools can be quite complex, need few pages to explain,
> and include procedures. Obviously, the use of those tools is a fundamental part
> of the software.
> My questions are:
> Where does the documentation of those tools belong?
> ? In the reference material (including their procedures in task-based format)
> ? In the task-based guides (even if the use of the tool is not a direct
> "business" task)
> ? Somewhere else: a "tool" section or guide
> What is the best way to distinguish between direct "business" tasks and indirect
> tasks such as the use of those tools? (In my opinion, this is important because
> the user must focus on the "business" task rather than on a tool.)

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