TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
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!
Sorenson Research Park
849 West Levoy Drive
Salt Lake City, UT 84123
Mary_Bull -at- dayna -dot- com