HELP! Guidelines/methodology for documenting GUI software needed

Subject: HELP! Guidelines/methodology for documenting GUI software needed
From: Robert Tennant <Robert -dot- Tennant -at- JPL -dot- NASA -dot- GOV>
Date: Wed, 11 Sep 1996 18:17:39 -0700

Does anyone know if there are guidelines for documenting a software system
that mostly consists of "information-rich" (i.e., very busy) screens?

I've browsed through my back issues of Technical Communication (the quarterly
journal of STC), but haven't found anything that might help in my task --
which is to write a software operator's manual for a GUI system.

The approach I've taken is to put a screen shot into the manual and then to
carve it up into "fields," describing each field in detail. I've done this for
each screen, but I know there must be a better way; it just seems that having
to describe a screen "geographically" is not the most efficient way.

Unfortunately, the system is not structured in a way that easily lends itself
to documenting simple functional tasks (like How to Open Your File, How to Do
Thus and So, How to Print Your Data, etc.). However, the whole system is
driven by screens containing buttons that the operator clicks, drop-down menus
that contain secondary cascading menus, etc., etc.,etc.

If anyone can direct me to a How-To manual for documenting this type of
software system, please e-mail me (Robert -dot- Tennant -at- jpl -dot- nasa -dot- gov).

Thanks.

Bob Tennant

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