Re: complex conditional steps

Subject: Re: complex conditional steps
From: Barb Philbrick <caslonsvcs -at- IBM -dot- NET>
Date: Wed, 17 Mar 1999 01:36:28 GMT

I like the approaches others have suggested, but depending on the
program, I have some other ideas, too.

My first thought is to do something like this:

To select a patient using the Medical Record Selection box:
1. If nothing is displayed, press Tab.
2. If:
* The Patient Header screen is displayed, go to step 4.
* The Patient Enquiry screen is displayed, go to step 3.
3. Select a visit.
4. The Patient Header screen is displayed.

(I wouldn't list both Tab and Return unless you have to. I'd pick the
best option and prefer it throughout.)

* * * * * *
If it's just the first few conditions that vary, I'd do an
introduction that gives the three possible scenarios, then do three
separate procedures resulting from those scenarios.

Another approach might be to look at things from a task perspective
--- I assume there's some reason that selecting a patient can be done
three different ways. For example, if you see the Patient Header
screen right away if you entered the last name of the patient, you
might create a procedure like "Selecting Patient Data Using the
Patient's Last Name" (well, maybe it's not the title of the year, but
I hope you get the idea.)

Hope this helps,


On Thu, 11 Mar 1999 11:12:15 PST, you wrote:

>I am documenting a quick reference guide for our patient accounting,
>medical records, and patient registration system. The interface is
>clunky, and the procedures have many complex variables.
>For example, if the user wants to select a patient using the Medical
>Record Selection box, these things may happen:
> 1. The Patient Header screen may automatically appear.
> OR
> 2. The Patient Enquiry screen may automatically appear.
>(The user must then select a visit and the Patient Header
>screen appears).
> OR
> 3. Nothing happens. The user must press <Tab> or
> a. The Patient Header screen appears.
> OR
> b. The Patient Enquiry screen appears. (As above,
>the user must select a visit, and the Patient
>Header screen appears.)
>The user needs to get to the Patient Header screen to begin the
>Registration function.
>I've checked the archives, but the suggestion to put all of these
>variables into a bullet list doesn't work well for me because this
>information seems too dense for bullets. There also seems to be too many
>hierarchal conditions for a bullet list.

Barbara Philbrick, Caslon Services Inc.
Technical Writing. caslonsvcs -at- ibm -dot- net
Cleveland, OH

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