RE: Creating Task Lists

Subject: RE: Creating Task Lists
From: "Cascio, Justin" <Justin_Cascio -at- tvratings -dot- com>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 19 Nov 1999 10:56:45 -0500


Your friend's advice sounds very practical, I think. As she suggests, go
through every menu command and dialog box methodically, and consider what
tasks would be performed at each one. For instance, on your typical File
menu, tasks you would perform are:

Create a New File
Create a New Template
Save the File
Save the Template
Send the File Through Email
Save the File in Another Format
Delete a File
Move a File
Copy a File
Setting Up WidgetMaster to Print Documents
Preview a Print Job
Print a Document
Get File Properties
Close the Document
Close WidgetMaster

I generally use gerunds and plurals, as in Saving Files to Another Format.

Go through each menu, try to figure out under what conditions the menu
commands change (such as in a different view, when editing a different kind
of file) and document all of them. You'll have an excellent start, if not
practically complete documentation. An SME (subject matter expert, like the
programmer) will tell you what you've missed if you prod, compliment, and
provide chocolate.

How's that?

-----Original Message-----
From: claudette69 -at- mindspring -dot- com [mailto:claudette69 -at- mindspring -dot- com]
Sent: Friday, November 19, 1999 9:38 AM
Subject: Creating Task Lists

Hello All!

I am a junior writer in my first tech writing position (I'm a journalism
refugee). One of my first assignments is to review the current online help
documentation. My manager wants me to check for things like--tone,
holes/inaccuracies in the documenation, if any topic needs further
explanation, if glossary items should be added or deleted etc. A friend (who
also happens to be a writer) suggested I create a task list and go menu by
menu looking at all the commands, dialog boxes, fields, tabs etc. Then
compare the task lists against whats documented in the help. Does anyone
have a copy of a task list I can use or is there a site that has sample task
lists? Thanks for your help.

Kim Thornton

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