tutorials -- establish a format.

Subject: tutorials -- establish a format.
From: Ron D Rhodes <Ron_D_Rhodes -at- MAIL -dot- BANKONE -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 9 Dec 1997 09:47:49 -0500

Damien Wrote:


<<<<<<<<<<<<<
Is there any recognised structure for tutorials? I've written
training material before but never specifically a tutorial (or at
least nothing that was called a tutorial!).
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>


Damien,

Some of the best tutorials I've read started as training manuals
(mainly because they remained focused on the user and the how-to
steps). So it sounds to me like you have a good start. A lot of
tech-whirlers will have some great ideas for you, and I have a few
myself, here they are.

1. Establish a format that has an easy-to-follow pattern.

2. "Front load" the procedures to the beginning of the chapters. I
can't stand digging through laborious prose for steps on how to do
things.

3. Make the procedures easy to find. Use eye-catching visual cues
that the reader can recognize right away.

3. Don't be afraid of giving too much information, so long as you
develop a consistent format for providing it. Tutorials, as opposed to
training manuals, give you more latitude for providing useful tips,
tricks, hints, etc. You will know what is relevant and what is not.

That's my opinion. I'm glad that someone actually recognizes that
there is a difference between training manuals and tutorials.

Good luck on your Master's degree. Let all of us on the list know
when your done. Congrats will be in order.

Ron Rhodes
rrhodes -at- ix -dot- netcom -dot- com

http://www.documentation.com/, or http://www.dejanews.com/



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