Re: Documenting wizards?

Subject: Re: Documenting wizards?
From: Goober Writer <gooberwriter -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 14 May 2003 05:53:56 -0700 (PDT)

> The whole raison d'etre for a wizard is to avoid the
> necessity for
> explaining a task in online help or other
> documentation. Thus, mention the
> existence of the wizard in your documentation, but
> if any screen of the
> wizard seems to require its own documentation,
> consider it a failure and
> redesign it until it no longer needs additional
> explanation. All
> documentation for a wizard should be embedded in the
> wizard itself.

I agree with the gist but not with the notion that a
wizard that could benefit from help is a failure.
Wizards are indeed used to facilitate a task, but
sometimes a task can be inherently complex, with or
without a wizard (for example, a wizard designed to
help a NT box to communicate with a Solaris box over a
secure connection, or allowing a user to configure a
means to authenticate on multiple platforms from one
location). Sure, the wizard can walk the user through
the motions and handle all the complex stuff un the
background, but sometimes the information being
requested by the wizard can be complex enough to
benefit from online help. That is, the wizard is
straight-forward, but the input into the wizard can be
based on complex concepts.

Goober Writer
(because life is too short to be inept)

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Documenting wizards?: From: Hart, Geoff

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