Procedural Steps, DD again

Subject: Procedural Steps, DD again
From: "Dimock, Dick" <red -at- ELSEGUNDOCA -dot- NCR -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 7 Nov 1996 15:57:00 PST

Peter Ring gives an excellent example of procedure
steps in his

(Start Peter:)
1. Press Enter to start the xxx configuration
The xxx configuration screen appears.

2. [Short screen shot, with arrow to the ID box if necessary]

Enter your ID and press Enter.
The Password question appears.

3. [maybe a shot]

Enter your password.
If accepted, the configuration menu comes up.
If not accepted ...
- repeat step 2-3 with the correct ID and password.
- or abort: click "Cancel".

4. [shot of the configuration menu]

Select 1 for the first step.
The Config. 1 screen displays.

The reason for this design is the mental link between the shot and
the action: to perform a step, you need to know WHERE to do the
ACTION. Also remember to include the "Way out" in case of problems
like the "If not accepted" example given in step 3 above.

(End Peter)

(Start DD:)

Which, Peter, if you had looked at my final version in my post, IS
what I wound up doing: putting the action with the screen.

1. Press Enter to start the xxx configuration.
2. The xxx configuration screen appears,
asking for your ID:
(Short screen shot)

Enter your ID.

The difference Peter has is including the " transition line"
at the end of the step, giving prediction of what comes next.

I sometimes use that also, but I find that the user feels
more in control if the step stands by itself, with each step
a completed action.

Start: The next screen appears

Change: User checks screen. "mmm ... 'Conf. Menu', it says. "
User reads transition line for "Configuration Menu"
User: "OK. I am on the right track so far..."
User: "Now what do I do?"
User reads the directions in the step.
("mmmm 'Select 2,' it says. OK!")

Stop: User enters command (2 <Enter>)
User: "There. That step is done."

The next step is right below in the table, providing
the next transition line, shot, and direction.

Maybe this "transition position" difference is more
apparent when using a table format, with separate
cells for steps, compared to numbered paragraph text.
Maybe not.

Probably the difference between where we end
the action and give the transition line is not overly
important, as long the user feels he is *dependably*
guided through the steps.

Peter, your "Way Out" addition is GOOD ADVICE:

Enter your password.
If accepted, the configuration menu comes up.
If not accepted ...
- repeat step 2-3 with the correct ID and password.
- or abort: click "Cancel".


Here is where the Information Mapping "IF - THEN"
table comes in real handy. I insert an IF - THEN
table *into* the cell of the Step -Action table. This is
not a simple task in Frame, but it can be done.
Once accomplished, it can be copy-pasted and

(I have no idea whether HTML and any HTML
browsers can handle the "table within a table".
I will find out all too soon, as I push this manual
monster, kicking and screaming, into HTML.)

Thanks for your response, Peter! Your book
looks like a good reference source!
Sig Step 1: Name and Insightful Statement about TW:

Dick Dimock Proceeding to my procedure
writing procedure, writing
procedure after procedure, in
a never-ending process of
procedure-izing that which
lacks proper procedures, @

Sig Step 2: Company Name and Piercingly
Insightful Statement about Company:

NCR Corp. Which in itself is one heck of a
huge procedure, rather heavily
documented, in

Sig Step 3: Location Name and Descriptive Essay:

El Segundo, CA, USA. On the shore of the Blue
Pacific, beneath the Blue
California Sky, and above the
Brown California Dirt that could
stand some watering.

Sig Step 4: Email Addresses In The Unlikely Event
That Anyone *Gives a Hoot* Enough to Lift a (Typing)
Finger In Reply:

red -at- elsegundoca -dot- ncr -dot- com
dickdimock -at- earthlink -dot- net

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