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I much prefer minimalist writing that goes through a user interface as
text, with tables for values an parameters. However, if the user interface
is terrible then screen shots may be the user's only hope for using the
Besides that, you may need to check that the manual instructs the user to
complete several discrete tasks, rather than teaches people "to use the
software". The user doesn't care what the developers intended, only how it
can help them to be more productive so they can leave the office on time.
STC Vice President Nicky Bleiel is giving a free webinar on best practices
for creating mobile help.