Complete and Accessible

Subject: Complete and Accessible
From: Tom Williams <usr5237a -at- TSO -dot- UC -dot- EDU>
Date: Wed, 14 Dec 1994 18:51:12 -0500

I am interested in knowing about methods, models,
or processes technical writing groups use to
insure that their documentation is complete and
accessible, particularly where complex software
and multivolume documentation or extensive online
documentation are involved.

If you would like to answer any of the following
questions or can refer me to books or articles on
these topics, please respond directly to
usr5237a -at- tso -dot- uc -dot- edu

1. How do you conduct task analysis? Do you talk
to users, software engineers, or both? Do you use
other resources?

2. How do you insure that you have a reasonably
complete list of tasks? Do you have a definition
or a measure of "complete"?

3. How do you determine what needs to be included
-- definitions, concepts, process descriptions,
etc. -- in addition to task-specific material?

4. How do you deal with information needed in more
than one place? Do you have guidelines for when to
repeat the information and when to cross reference
it? If you are using a hypertext system, do you
sometimes repeat information rather than providing
a link?

5. How do you organize your documentation?
Installation Manual, Administrator Manual, End-
User Manual? By screens, by tasks, by concepts?
Some other scheme?

6. Do you have a separate information model you
use for gathering and organizing information that
is independent of the way the information is
finally manifest online or in print?

Thanks for whatever information you are willing to

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