RE: Tracking off

Subject: RE: Tracking off
From: "Michele Marques" <mmarques -at- cms400 -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Date: Thu, 16 Dec 1999 10:07:37 -0500

Actually, repeating the explanation of this "feature" for every screen
that uses it is redundant, and may become annoying to users.
Instead, you could have a section of general UI information which
explains these principles.

Of course, this may depend on the size of your application and
how many times you are repeating the information. In a small
manual, a user may be happy to have that information for whichever
section he uses. I spend most of my time documenting an ERP
system with about 5,000 pages of documentation. Our users have
been much happier with the documentation now that the same
explanation of how to delete a record (and other repeated features)
is not repeated at every place where records can be deleted. (Yes,
I have heard actual feedback about how the documentation has

Subject: RE: Tracking off
From: salatas <salatas -at- micron -dot- com>
Date sent: Wed, 15 Dec 1999 09:57:53 -0700
Send reply to: salatas <salatas -at- micron -dot- com>

> John Garison wrote:
> <snip>
> Too much condescending information is annoying and will alienate your
> readers. Do you still tell them to "Press
> Enter" after every command?
> <snip>
> Salette Latas answers:
> I tell users to press Enter when they need to press Enter. I document many
> applications with screens that look like forms. Many users are accustomed to
> pressing Tab to move between fields in a form. If they press Tab on this
> particular system, the current field is cleared. Perhaps this is not a good
> UI, but my job is tell the users how to work with it anyway.
> Isn't it almost as condescending to assume that more experienced users of
> the system won't be able to read my instructions and skip the parts they
> already know?
> salatas -at- micron -dot- com

Michele Marques
Technical Writer, CMS Manufacturing Systems
mmarques -at- cms400 -dot- com
905-477-4499 x280

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