Re: Has anyone ever written the user guide before the product was developed (coded)?

Subject: Re: Has anyone ever written the user guide before the product was developed (coded)?
From: Sally Derrick <sjd1201 -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: Chantel Brathwaite <brathwaitec -at- castupgrade -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 17 Nov 2010 14:48:02 -0600

As long as we're talking about functional specs, does anyone have a good
template doc that you would be willing to share?

Thank you in advance.

Sally



On Thu, Nov 11, 2010 at 3:44 PM, Chantel Brathwaite <
brathwaitec -at- castupgrade -dot- com> wrote:

> Vanessa,
>
> It almost sounds like you'd be writing a functional spec. The functional
> spec often looks a lot like a user's guide, in that it can contain screen
> mockups, steps for performing different functions (which usually comes from
> use case diagrams and maybe sequence diagrams), a full definition of all
> fields in a window as well as the parameters that indicate what range of
> options are acceptable for each field (often comes from other requirement
> documents). Conditions are also in there as well.
>
> Functional specs can often be made end user documentation with very little
> tweaking (provided the developer follows the spec).
>
> This is doable, but works best if you can work closely with the developers.
> That means being part of development meetings and so forth. I personally
> can't see how this would be divorced from the design process frankly, since
> as you write and work through screen mockups, you'll see ways to refine the
> design or find out that other screens etc. are needed to accommodate a
> certain workflow). In a sense, by writing the instructions, you are
> testing
> the idea - and that brings changes. I agree with the others that having
> good software or system requirement specs are key when writing documents in
> this way.
>
> The type of writing that you describe is actually the type that I like best
> because a lot of creativity and collaboration is involved. I've definitely
> written documentation for sections of software that have not been coded,
> including documentation for programmers who said that they were doing to do
> a certain thing - then ended up not doing it - or getting overruled. If
> you
> take this route, be sure to allow time at the end to accommodate the
> changes
> to the software that will inevitably occur.
>
>
> Chantel Brathwaite
> Tech Writer
> Cole Engineering
>
>
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References:
Has anyone ever written the user guide before the product was developed (coded)?: From: Vanessa ScottSabic
RE: Has anyone ever written the user guide before the product was developed (coded)?: From: Chantel Brathwaite

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