Re: Documenting enabled/disabled items

Subject: Re: Documenting enabled/disabled items
From: Christi Carew <christi -at- sageinst -dot- COM>
To: Christina Tolliver <christina_tolliver -at- hotmail -dot- com>, TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 13 Dec 1999 13:04:35 -0800

At 12:12 PM 12/13/1999 -0500, Christina Tolliver wrote:

>After procedure steps, do you document which fields are enabled and which
>are disabled? What are the advantages and disadvantages of doing so, or not?
>
>My question pertains particularly to software that is not consistent in
>appearance or behavior. In my company's software, fields with a white
>background are not always editable, and fields with a gray background are
>not always read-only.

My thoughts (for what they're worth)...

If there is anything that distinguishes editable vs. non-editable fields
consistently, then there is no need spell it out (except maybe the first
instance).

If there is nothing that distinguishes editable vs. non-editable fields
(consistently), then just saying

>2 Click the Add button.
> The non-editable fields are disabled.
> The editable fields are enabled.

seems silly because how are uses supposed to know which one are editable
and which ones aren't?
In this case (where there is nothing that distinguishes editable vs.
non-editable fields [consistently]), I would opt for the last approach.

>2 Click the Add button.
> The Host, Switch, and Equipment boxes are disabled.
> The Calling Feature box is enabled.

This makes it very clear.

Christi


Christi Carew
Technical Writer

christi -at- sageinst -dot- com
p. 831-761-6565
f. 831-761-2452

Sage Instruments
240 Airport Blvd.
Freedom, CA 95019
www.sageinst.com

You may be on the right track, but if you just sit there, you're bound to
get run over.




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