Re: Documenting a "wizard"

Subject: Re: Documenting a "wizard"
From: "Stuart Burnfield" <slb -at- westnet -dot- com -dot- au>
To: "Techwr-l" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 09 May 2014 11:32:17 +0800

On Thu, May 8, 2014 at 2:47 PM, Hannah Drake wrote:
>_ My argument is it's redundant, because the wizard explains
>_ what it is__ IN the wizard itself (I know because I wrote the text
>_ helped__ design the__ wizard). I also pointed out that if we have
>_ document the wizard, we__ failed at creating a useful wizard._

Hannah, you said exactly what popped into my head when I read the
subject line. There's not much worse than the so-called 'friendly'
wizard that has a field, a Next button and 100,000 grey pixels, and
sends the user off somewhere else to read instructions that should fit
easily in all that unused space on the dialog box.

Documentation should be limited to 'Before you begin' or 'About this
task' material. Robert's example of a checklist is a good one. You
don't want them to have to stop in the middle of the wizard to get
some vital information from a network admin.

Kate suggests you could document tips and tricks and examples, but if
this sort of information would be necessary or useful, a wizard is the
wrong interaction model for that task.

Good luck with your colleague, Hannah. May all your wizards be
Gandalfs and not Sarumans :^)

--- Stuart

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