Re: Must documentation always follow the UI?

Subject: Re: Must documentation always follow the UI?
From: John G <john -at- garisons -dot- com>
To: "Cardimon, Craig" <ccardimon -at- m-s-g -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 23 Sep 2015 15:26:43 -0400

I try not to build a monument to the UI if I can possibly avoid it. The UI
exists in the code - why does it have to be reiterated in the documentation?

If you're writing task based content, just tell them how to use the UI -
Click "Abercrombie" to order high-markup clothes for preppies - but you
don't have to recount how and in what order things are organized on the
page - they can see that.

And if you are presenting the contents of the page, for example, as links
to more information, I'd take a stab at listing the ones most likely to be
used first, and the ones least likely to be used last.

tldr; Don't describe the page in words, and consider what the user is doing
with the page and cater to their needs.

My 2Â,

JG



On Wed, Sep 23, 2015 at 3:18 PM, Cardimon, Craig <ccardimon -at- m-s-g -dot- com>
wrote:

> Hello, Whirlers,
>
> How important is it that documentation exactly follow the interface?
>
> Hypothetical question: On the landing page of an application, functions
> are laid out in non-alphabetical order. There doesn't *seem* to be a
> functional reason for laying it out the way it is. Maybe they were
> developed in this order. Let's say it looks a bit random. Something like
> this:
>
>
> * Crotons
>
> * Abercrombie
>
> * Donuts
>
> * Fish
>
> * Ectoplasm
>
> * Birds
>
> * Guppies
>
> I was thinking that if I were writing the documentation, that I might lay
> out the docs in alphabetical order, to be more pleasing to the eye.
> Something like this:
>
>
> * Abercrombie
>
> * Birds
>
> * Crotons
>
> * Donuts
>
> * Ectoplasm
>
> * Fish
>
> * Guppies
>
> What would you all handle this situation?
>
> Cordially,
> Craig Cardimon | Senior Technical Writer
>
>
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