RE: Doc Design and Convention

Subject: RE: Doc Design and Convention
From: "Rochelle McAndrews" <rmcandrews -at- csiu -dot- org>
To: "Julie Stickler" <jstickler -at- gmail -dot- com>, <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 3 Nov 2009 12:39:06 -0500

In our online help systems, document design conventions require that
each topic includes the navigation path to the option within the
software (so users can find it). For example, under the title for the
XYZ report, the topic includes this path: Reports > Absences > XYZ
If users land on the topic via TOC, index, or search, the path to the
report screen is evident. We no longer get support calls just to find
out where an option is located. Applications' pdf training materials
follow a similar convention (although formatting is for hard copy rather
than online viewing).
-----Original Message-----
From: Julie Stickler [mailto:jstickler -at- gmail -dot- com]
Sent: Monday, November 02, 2009 7:51 PM
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Subject: Re: Doc Design and Convention

On Mon, Nov 2, 2009 at 11:43 AM, Robert Lauriston <robert -at- lauriston -dot- com>
> Many times I've found the term I want in the index, and it directs me
> to a topic that I've already read, which neglects to tell me the menu
> path to the dialog box where you set the multiplex input port number.

I'm currently trying to clean up this sort of problem at my current
gig. Many of their procedures (which I didn't write but inherted)
start with "In the framazan screen, do X." But the procedure doesn't
tell you how to get to the framazan screen if you're not already
there. Which isn't very helpful if you got to the procedure via the
TOC or index instead of reading the entire documentation.

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