Interaction Design and printed documentation

Subject: Interaction Design and printed documentation
From: John Posada <jposada01 -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 28 Oct 2004 09:10:02 -0700 (PDT)

Hi, company has embraced the interaction design model as
put forth by Alan Cooper. We're big on the persona model, and this
direction has resulted in a complete change in out software
development, so far to good customer feedback. Out applications are
smaller, more streamlined, and appear to be well received by our
early users of the new products.

I'd like to find out how anyone has applied these concepts to printed
documentation. Here's what I've done:

I've created a catalog of about 40 scenarios that each describe a
goal of our targeted user. A goal may be as simple as "Add a user" to
something as complex as "Your manager has decided to reduce the UNIX
budget by 8% and you need to come up with a list of software that has
usage by less than 5% of your users" (remember...we're in the asset
management field). Theses goals are also used in the training
material and are designed so that if you address each goal, by the
time you are done, you'll have covered all the functionality of the

Using these scenarios, I start a section with the scenario, introduce
the portions of the application needed to perform this goal, then
walk them through the process, sometimes with specific values, which
correspond to the sample database that we include in my training

So...if you following Interaction Design in your application
development, how do you approach this in your documentation?

John Posada
Senior Technical Writer

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