RE: UI navigation info for customizable UI

Subject: RE: UI navigation info for customizable UI
From: Gordon Mclean <Gordon -dot- McLean -at- mclarensoftware -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Wed, 26 Apr 2006 16:35:46 +0100

Why are there so many views available? Does each view offer a focussed way
for the user to interact with the software? If so then you might need to
double (triple) up the information, and provide information for each type of

How is the product supplied? One thing I've done in the past is provide the
documentation based on the default view. Introduce each task by describing
what needs done "you need to turn on X in the control centre, before you can
do Y." before breaking out into the procedure.

Alternatively you are looking at providing multiple versions of similar
information and I'd suggest single source is the way to go. You can then
provide a "Using Product ABC in XYZ mode" type docs.

Be interesting to hear what you decide on. Good luck.


-----Original Message-----
From: Chris Orr [mailto:got2940 -at- hotmail -dot- com]
Sent: 26 April 2006 15:36
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Subject: UI navigation info for customizable UI

Hello techwr-lers.

My documentation team has a thorny problem with our product's new UI. With
the new UI, users can choose how they want to view the product, and items
appear in different folders and menu structures, according to the chosen
view. Additionally, users can create new views.

We do not know how to direct users to find the items mentioned in
procedures. We have tentatively decided to provide no UI navigation info in
the procedures but instead provide a comprehensive UI navigation section in
our Basics chapter. But we are concerned that users may find the procedures
they need, but not go on to use them because they can't find the items
mentioned in the procedures.

Whatever solution we decide on, it must work for us in a highly dynamic
development environment, where we maintain hundreds of documents and
localize them into many different languages.

Do you have other options for providing UI navigation info that we should

Chris Orr

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