Re: Another Newbie question about procedures

Subject: Re: Another Newbie question about procedures
From: John Posada <jposada01 -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 17 May 2005 14:33:40 -0700 (PDT)

> I write the topic "Request a report." In this process, after the
> report is requested, a confirmation message displays with request
> details. I include numbered steps detailing the process up to
> this point. After these steps, I include a note stating: To print
> details of your request, click Print. I add a brief explanation
> of why the user would want to print these details.

Here's where I see the problem with this. The topic title is
"Request a Report". If I want to know how to print a report, I'd
never think of looking here. On the other hand, if you place how to
print the report in this topic, and you also have a separate topic on
"Print a report" and the process changes, you now have two places to

Instead, I'd simply put a cross reference in the document with the
page number.

For User documentation, I've been more and more following Alan
Cooper's methodology of only telling a user what they need based on
their profile, not everything I want to tell them. For example...if
the typical user takes the report and imports it into a spreadsheet,
I'd not even bring up Printing, but would include Exporting and

OTOH, for documentation aimed at development, I give as much
technical background as I can include.

John Posada
Senior Technical Writer

?Never be afraid to try something new. Remember that a lone
amateur built the Ark. A large group of professionals built
the Titanic.? - Dave Barry


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