RE: Documenting complex tasks in Online Help

Subject: RE: Documenting complex tasks in Online Help
From: "Andrew Dugas" <dugas -at- intalio -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 9 Sep 2002 12:31:15 -0700



IMO, it really depends on a number of things.

For example, you say the person must go through screens 1 - 5 before
arriving at the REAL TASK of screen 6.

My first consideration would be: what am I documenting here? The screen 6
task or a workflow of tasks represented by screens 1 - 6?

My second consideration would be: Is this a linear process? Do the screens
always follow in this sequence? For example, is screen 3 a task someone
might perform independently of screens 1, 2, 4, 5, and 6? Is screen 6 always
dependent on screens/tasks 1 - 5 being performed immediately before?

If the six screens/tasks comprise a regular workflow, in which the sequence
is repeated each time the workflow is carried out, I would see myself as
documenting that workflow and break it down by screens/tasks. Each
screen/task would have a caveat that the preceding tasks need to be
completed first. But I would precede the whole thing with a brief overview
of all the parts explaining what they were doing.

If the different tasks could be performed independently, I would present
them the same way but with the overview slanted accordingly, if included at
all.



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References:
Documenting complex tasks in Online Help: From: Andrew T. Brooke

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