Re: Task oriented manuals

Subject: Re: Task oriented manuals
From: Mary Bull <Mary_Bull -at- DAYNA -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 27 Jun 1994 08:53:26 -0700

LRERICKSON -at- ALEX -dot- STKATE -dot- EDU,Internet writes:

> 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." <snip>

I've produced some similar documentation. Here's what I did (maybe some of it
will be useful to you):

1. Define all the tasks (jobs) that must be done using the software. This
can include everything from creating a file to updating database records.

2. Create a "user guide" with each of these tasks standing alone-a modular
approach. That way users can find just the instructions they need.

3. Provide a "reference guide" with simplified descriptions of each screen,
menu item, etc. Keep it as brief as possible.

4. Create a tutorial with sample data that can be deleted later.

5. Create a quick reference card with only steps (no excess verbage) for
completing the tasks most often done. This can be done if you and/or the
client still feel the documentation/program is still lacking.

Hope that helps a little. Good luck with your project!

Mary Bull
Dayna Communications
Sorenson Research Park
849 West Levoy Drive
Salt Lake City, UT 84123
Mary_Bull -at- dayna -dot- com


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