Re: Should I document this feature?

Subject: Re: Should I document this feature?
From: Keith Hood <klhra -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com, Joe Weinmunson <litlfrog -at- gmail -dot- com>, "Meryl R. Cohen" <merylster -at- gmail -dot- com>
Date: Sun, 8 Aug 2010 09:41:45 -0700 (PDT)

If I thought it would do any good I'd talk to the UI design people in any case.


I had assumed the original post was about a product that was already cut and ready for release; not sure why, really, I just did.  Your idea is a good one if the product hasn't been released yet, and there is enough slop in the schedule to handle this new change.  But if the interface is
already in customer use, it's a little too late.  I can't imagine
anyone releasing a patch or a new revision to make a change like this.

--- On Fri, 8/6/10, Meryl R. Cohen <merylster -at- gmail -dot- com> wrote:

From: Meryl R. Cohen <merylster -at- gmail -dot- com>
Subject: Re: Should I document this feature?
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com, "Joe Weinmunson" <litlfrog -at- gmail -dot- com>, "Keith Hood" <klhra -at- yahoo -dot- com>
Date: Friday, August 6, 2010, 8:43 PM

My call would be to speak to your software dev folks. If users shouldn't use these menu items unless they are talking with tech support then they should not be visible and live in the menu. They should require the user to enter a weird keyboard combination (or something else you can't do by accident) provided by tech support before the menu items show up.


Hopefully you work in the kind of company where doc people are allowed to comment on software UI issues.

Meryl

On Fri, Aug 6, 2010 at 4:36 PM, Keith Hood <klhra -at- yahoo -dot- com> wrote:

Document everything at the same level of granularity. Because just as sure as you don't, someone will find himself needing to do it, and then he will go "Why the ! -at- #$ didn't you tell me?"  Or if you document these things but more briefly than other things, he'll complain that you aren't giving him enough information.  He may be wrong, but he'll complain anyway, and then you have a CRM problem.




Since these are not everyday functions, you should make that plain in the writeups about them, and separate them from the rest of the documentation. Put them in a separate chapter of the book, or in an "Advanced Functions" book in the help system menu, or something like that.






--- On Fri, 8/6/10, Joe Weinmunson <litlfrog -at- gmail -dot- com> wrote:



From: Joe Weinmunson <litlfrog -at- gmail -dot- com>

Subject: Should I document this feature?

To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com

Date: Friday, August 6, 2010, 10:22 AM



At startup, our program looks for a license file in the application

directory. That license controls what features of the program are

activated for the user and how many users can access the program at

the same time. There are three menu functions that involve the

license: updating, reading license information, and copying a license

from one file to another. However, I can't think of any situation

where the end user can or should be using those menu functions if

they're not on the phone with tech support anyway. Should I leave

those commands out of the documentation completely? Explain what each

one does? Or take some kind of middle road? Thanks.



--

Joe Weinmunson



Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or

believe to be beautiful.

--William Morris

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References:
Re: Should I document this feature?: From: Meryl R. Cohen

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