Task oriented manuals

Subject: Task oriented manuals
From: Leanne Erickson <LRERICKSON -at- ALEX -dot- STKATE -dot- EDU>
Date: Sun, 26 Jun 1994 18:59:28 -0500

I'd like help from any of you who have experience with task
oriented manuals. I work for a company that produces software for
the managed health care industry. Some of our clients have asked
for documentation that is task oriented. They didn't define what
they meant by "task oriented."

Some of the questions our documentation team have come up with are:

What is a task?

How do we decide what tasks should be documented?

If we decide on a quickie step-by-step first part and a reference
second part (with screens and field descriptions?) how much
tolerance would users have with being referred to the reference
section for more details about particular steps?

If we do a step-by-step task section, how much information goes in
that section?

How do we handle repetitive elements when several options share
some steps (and screens)?

Anyone who has already wrestled with and answered these questions
(or anyone currently dealing with similar questions) and is
willing to share their experiences can contact me directly. Thanks
for any help any of you can give.

Leanne Erickson
lrerickson -at- alex -dot- stkate -dot- edu

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