RE: Another Newbie question about procedures

Subject: RE: Another Newbie question about procedures
From: "Sharon Burton" <sharon -at- anthrobytes -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Sun, 15 May 2005 17:58:08 -0700

When I teach, I talk about Task Flows. It's the idea that you need to walk
your user thru the steps to do what they need and only the steps that the
user needs to complete that task. If there are other things that CAN be
done, in a dialog box for example, you ignore them because they are not
related to the current task path.

Thus, I wouldn't tell the user what the Cancel button does, as it does not
move them forward thru to the end of the task. However, I would tell them to
click OK to finish the task, simply because I think users expect to be done
with the steps and the procedure at the same time.

Having said that, Microsoft, in the 3rd edition style guide for tech pubs,
says to not bother with the Click OK thing. I would like to see some
usability stuff on this. Does it confuse users or doesn't it? Do they feel
like the writer just got tired and stopped writing but there might be more
steps to this? Or are users confident that the procedure is complete?

Personally, as a user, I get uncomfortable. If I'm in the procedure for
something in Windows, I usually need the steps to help me and I feel
uncertain if I don't get that "Now you're done" thing out of Click OK. But
I'm one data point.


Sharon Burton
CEO, Anthrobytes Consulting
President of IESTC

-----Original Message-----

And then Susan goes:
I think that saying 'Click OK' signals the completion of a step or
task, without having to say "to confirm..." or anything else.

Also, since users are used to seeing this, its absence could confuse,
or make a user think that there is a missing step.

But first Carrie Baker went:
> When writing a procedure, can you presume that users know that the
> last stage is Click OK to confirm your settings,
> or should you tell them this.
> Furthermore, should one tell them click Cancel to leave the screen.
> These sentences appear in our existing user guide.


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Re: Another Newbie question about procedures: From: Susan Scott

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