RE: Describing field meanings and instructions

Subject: RE: Describing field meanings and instructions
From: "Margaret Cekis" <margaret -dot- cekis -at- comcast -dot- net>
To: "'Lesli Ritchie'" <Lesli -dot- Ritchie -at- mediware -dot- com>, <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 22 Oct 2015 14:52:15 -0400

Lesli Ritchie asked, ".... Our software User Guides describe all the fields
on a screen and give the user step-by-step instructions on how to do
something, such as add a new record. I usually add a table that describes
the fields and their options in the context of the steps, but I feel that
this breaks the flow and could be confusing to a new user (our users have a
wide skill range). How do you handle this? Do you reference a table of field
descriptions within the instructions and then add it to an Appendix? Do you
keep it in the instructions? "
_______________________________________
Lesli:
I include necessary screenshots in the process description, but not the
table describing the options. At the end of the procedure, I add a sentence
to introduce the table, like, "Table 2. Lists all the action buttons (or
field descriptions, etc.) that may appear (or be used) during the <name of>
process described above." The process description already includes the usual
option. The Table is provided for later reference if something unusual shows
up besides the usual, expected result.
Margaret Cekis, Johns Creek GA

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References:
Describing field meanings and instructions: From: Lesli Ritchie

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