Re: There's more to it than grammar

Subject: Re: There's more to it than grammar
From: Philomena Hoopes <PHILA -at- MAIL -dot- VIPS -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 11 Mar 1999 13:05:26 -0500

Scott brings up a good point, one that I'm working with, also:

<snip> At that point, the product I'm documenting is
irrelevant, it's the user's goals that I'm trying to figure out. For
example, right now I'm writing about billing customers, so I have to
consider things like what happens if a customer doesn't pay, pays late, pays
too much, pays too little, and so forth. Then I figure out how to use the
product to handle those situations. Then, I organize the docs around those
tasks. Then I start writing.

The basic procedural documentation for our data summary product is solidly
established. As the product evolves, the next release of the user
documentation will focus on high-level analytical methods such as those
Scott described, rather than interface procedures. With reports that can
potentially run into the millions of lines, the user needs to structure
queries carefully.

Without going into detail, the interface is complex, as is the metadata
structure beneath it. Expanding the documentation set to handle this new
level is posing a number of strategic questions.

What are Techwr-lers' perspectives on balancing basic procedures (press
this, click that) with high-level analysis?

Philomena Hoopes


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