Re: Doc Design and Conventions

Subject: Re: Doc Design and Conventions
From: Chris Despopoulos <despopoulos_chriss -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Mon, 2 Nov 2009 07:49:21 -0800 (PST)

Describing a use case you say:
A very high-level description. You could radically revise an
application's UI, requiring a complete rewrite of the task-oriented
portions of the documentation, but the use cases wouldn't change
unless the functional requirements changed.

This is exactly my point. Why do we call the individual steps through the GUI a task-oriented piece of documentation? Why are the "tasks" anything lower in detail than use cases? For one use case, there might be any number of "interactions" with the system. The interactions themselves are where the controls are presented. So the "task" is to perform the specific interactions in the correct order. If the widgets in the interaction have changed, that doesn't change the task, it just changes the knobs and dials you turn to set the arguments for the interaction.

If the actual content of the interaction has changed, then that changes your task. It also re-defines the use case. Maybe in your environment the use cases aren't defined to a low enough level of detail. Ok then, fix the design process and fully define the use cases. Chances are the GUI will change less often as a result.



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