Re: Studies relating to documentation density and getting the user to read the manuals

Subject: Re: Studies relating to documentation density and getting the user to read the manuals
From: Stuart Burnfield <slb -at- westnet -dot- com -dot- au>
To: Techwr-l <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 18 Feb 2009 13:32:09 +0900 (WST)

Is there any scope to simplify the installation procedure?

It might seem foolish and self-defeating for users to skim the instructions, but it seems (to me) equally foolish and self-defeating for the client to provide users with so many opportunities to get into trouble.

I can't cite any studies off the top of my head, but logically, fewer decisions => fewer wrong decisions => less information needed to inform and support decisions.

I agree with you that terse, well laid-out instructions that are actually used are better than the detailed, comprehensive, thorough, kitchen-sink variety (riffle, thud).

Is this possible:
- Document the main line or success path of the procedure very briefly
- Include necessary warnings at the appropriate points
- After each step, put a 'more info' or 'troubleshooting' link to a separate topic that has detailed information about unusual cases, side branches, error handling, and so on

I also agree with those who say that a blanket warning isn't sufficient. Each warning has to be just before the decision or action that leads to the risk.

Stuart

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

ComponentOne Doc-To-Help 2009 is your all-in-one authoring and publishing
solution. Author in Doc-To-Help's XML-based editor, Microsoft Word or
HTML and publish to the Web, Help systems or printed manuals.
http://www.doctohelp.com

Help & Manual 5: The complete help authoring tool for individual
authors and teams. Professional power, intuitive interface. Write
once, publish to 8 formats. Multi-user authoring and version control! http://www.helpandmanual.com/

---
You are currently subscribed to TECHWR-L as archive -at- web -dot- techwr-l -dot- com -dot-

To unsubscribe send a blank email to
techwr-l-unsubscribe -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
or visit http://lists.techwr-l.com/mailman/options/techwr-l/archive%40web.techwr-l.com


To subscribe, send a blank email to techwr-l-join -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com

Send administrative questions to admin -at- techwr-l -dot- com -dot- Visit
http://www.techwr-l.com/ for more resources and info.

Please move off-topic discussions to the Chat list, at:
http://lists.techwr-l.com/mailman/listinfo/techwr-l-chat


Previous by Author: Re: "advance" vs "advanced"
Next by Author: Re: "advance" vs "advanced"
Previous by Thread: Re: Qualifications for an Offshore Writer
Next by Thread: Offshore technical writer


What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads


Sponsored Ads