Re: Re[2]: Conventions, Intros, Overviews, Help, etc.

Subject: Re: Re[2]: Conventions, Intros, Overviews, Help, etc.
From: "Metzger, Lucinda" <cmetzger -at- DUKANE -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 29 May 1998 12:34:34 -0500

Nora stated:
>I am not currently doing any software user guides, but when I was
>doing them, I could assume a certain amount of knowledge on the part
>of my audience--a familiarity with computers and software, and with
>user guides--and I always simply wrote "Select File-->Exit" without
>explaining the convention ANYWHERE.
>I always included, at the beginning of the manual, a section that said
>something like "The conventions in this document assume a basic
>knowledge of Windows software, blah blah blah."
>If you have *really* basic users, you would have to spell it out for
>them everywhere anyway.

Unfortunately, we found with our audience that even when we explicitly
stated that they must have certain basic software knowledge, our support
guys still got calls from people who don't have this knowledge. Deciding
on a convention for presenting our software instructions, and
documenting those conventions in our manuals, has cut down on the number
of calls received. Don't know how much of that is due to our audience
slowly figuring out what we're doing (since our conventions are now
standardized across all our software products), and how much of it is
>due to our support group's gentle suggestions to RTF(antastic)M.

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