Re: Display, Displays, or Appears

Subject: Re: Display, Displays, or Appears
From: Ned Bedinger <doc -at- edwordsmith -dot- com>
To: "Downing, David" <DavidDowning -at- Users -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 10 Jun 2008 02:59:45 -0700

Downing, David wrote:
> Lauren
> Okay, so you just refer to the window without explicitly saying it
> opened. That makes sense. However, I am still concerned about the
> situation where something goes wrong and the window isn't displayed as
> it should be. You say that's outside the scope of the instructions

Instructions fail if task analysis fails.

Take the "Print" task as an example. Assume that you've ruled out all of
the peripheral print topics about changing toner cartridges, installing,
administering, configuring printer, ...

You just want to write the procedure for the user who needs to print.
You know where the buttons that need clicking are. Have you analyszed
the task sufficiently to write a foolproof procedure? Is a simple
instruction telling how to locate and click buttons enough for this task?

Let's get serious about this. The user's goal in doing this procedure is
not to locate and click buttons. The procedure is supposed to get
something printed. Failure to accomplish that, with results like
walking down the hall to the printer room and finding no printout,
aren't what this procedure is about, is it? It will be part of the
result set if the procedure abandons you before you before giving the
result of the print command.

1. Click the Print button.
The print job should appear immediately in the print queue.
For more information, see "Print Queues."

IMHO, foolproof does not come easy, but stating what the result is
supposed to be, is cheap, graphic insurance that you, at least, haven't
sent your users down the hall for no good reason.

Ned Bedinger
doc -at- edwordsmith -dot- com


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RE: Display, Displays, or Appears: From: Downing, David
RE: Display, Displays, or Appears: From: Downing, David

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