Re: Procedural Steps

Subject: Re: Procedural Steps
From: "Melinda M. Carr" <melindac -at- CAPSOFT -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 31 Oct 1996 09:47:50 -0800

We tried something new in our manual that is about to ship that might
come back to haunt us.

The main step-by-step procedure in each topic begins with bolded text
saying "To blah blah blah" and then lists in a paragraph the step or
steps needed to get to the first major dialog box. (Usually something
like, "Select blah blah and click blah.") Then we display the dialog box
and have the rest of the steps as callouts to the graphic. (My boss does
put more text in the paragraph than I. I'd like to convice him to
change.)

Less common steps that are related to the main step-by-step are listed as
hints at the bottom of the page.

I was a little uncomfortable about abandoning the numbered steps, but I
think the new format is easier to read and understand because it
integrates the text and the graphics more tightly. It also makes the book
easier to browse because topics take up fewer pages, so related topics
are closer together.

Have any of you done something similar? We think our users will like it
(we had some positive feedback from internal and external beta testers),
but I have to admit that this discussion has made me a little nervous
about the wisdom of making the change.

Melinda (melindac -at- capsoft -dot- com)


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