Writing Software Documentation A Task-Oriented Approach

ISBN-10: 0321103289

ISBN-13: 9780321103284

Edition: 2nd 2003 (Revised)

Authors: Thomas T. Barker
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Book details

List price: $139.40
Edition: 2nd
Copyright year: 2003
Publisher: Longman Publishing Group
Publication date: 10/1/2002
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 496
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.50" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.540
Language: English

Each chapter begins with "Examples," and "Guidelines," and concludes "Glossary," "Checklist," and "Practice/Problem Solving"
Understanding Task Orientation
Emphasize Problem-Solving
Provide Task-Oriented Organization
Encourage User Control of Information
Orient Pages Semantically
Facilitate Both Routine and Complex Tasks
Design for Users
Facilitate Communication Tasks
Conducting Usability Tests
Support Cognitive Processing
Discussion
The Principles of Software Documentation
A Definition of Task Orientation
The Theory Behind Task Orientation
Tutorial Documentation
Procedural Documentation
Reference Documentation
The Processes of Software Documentation
I. The Forms of Software Documentation
Writing to Teach—Tutorials
Identify User Actions You Need to Support
State Objectives as Real-World Performance
Choose the Right Type of Tutorial
Present Skills in a Logical, Cumulative Structure
Offer Highly Specific Instructions
Give Practice and Feedback at Each Skill Level
Test Your Tutorial.Discussion
Designing Tutorials
Tutorial Users Need Special Care
The Elaborative Approach
The Minimalist Approach
Writing to Guide—Procedures
Relate the Task to Meaningful Workplace Activities
Determine How Much Information Your User Needs
Choose the Appropriate Procedural Format
Follow a Rhythm of Exposition
Test All Procedures for Accuracy
Discussion
What Constitutes a Procedure? How Does a Procedure Work?
Writing to Support—Reference
Choose the Right Form of Reference
Decide What to Include
Establish Pattern
Organize the Reference Section
Show How to Use the Reference Information
Discussion
Understanding the Reference User
Understanding a Reference Entry. II
The Process of Software Documentation
Analyzing Your Users
Choose Users Carefully
Anticipate Transfer of Learning: Study Before and After Tasks
Research Professional Behaviors
Write User Cases
Plan Interviews Carefully
Involve Users in All Phases of the Project
Identify Document Goals
Tie the User Analysis to Documentation Features.Discussion What Does Use Mean? What You Want to Know About Users
Tasks the User Will Perform with the Program
The User's Informational Needs
The User's Work Motivations
Range of Computer Experience: Novice, Experienced, Expert
Extent of Knowledge of Subject Matter of the Program
The Workplace Environment: User Communities
Users' Learning Preferences
Usage Patterns: Regular, Casual, Intermittent
Planning and Writing Your Documents
Start the Project
Design the Documents
Perform the User Analysis
Plan the Documentation Project
Write the Alpha Draft
Conduct Reviews and Tests
Revise and Edit
Write a Final Draft
Conduct a Field Evaluation
Discussion
Team Structures
Kinds of Development Documents
Processes
The Documentation Plan
Reviewing the Documentation Plan
An Outline for a Documentation Plan
Getting Useful Reviews
Review the Document Objectives from the Documentation Plan
Determine the Type of Review Needed
Establish a Review Schedule
Plan the Reviews
Write a Cover Letter with Questions for Reviewers
Prepare Feedback Materials for Reviewers
Discussion
Reviewing Differs from Testing
Reviewing Differs from Editing
The Purpose of Reviews
Reviewing t
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