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Re: User interface elements as a section itself in manuals
Subject:Re: User interface elements as a section itself in manuals From:Mike Stockman <stockman -at- JAGUNET -dot- COM> Date:Wed, 4 Nov 1998 12:51:57 -0500
On 11/4/98 12:35 PM, Karen Field (KarenF -at- TRITECH -dot- COM) wrote:
>To me, this seems to overburden the user. When I open a software manual, I'm
>looking for a specific task, and I don't care what UI elements I encounter
>as long as Iknow what to do when I get there in the procedure itself.
My experience and various user surveying my employers have done over the
years suggests that novice users will appreciate the procedural section,
while experienced computer users will often turn straight to the UI
reference section. Given the choice and the budget, I almost always
include both sections in a printed manual, to suit both kinds of users. I
would also point out that creating a UI reference section is much, much
cheaper in my experience (in person-hours and production time) than
creating a procedural section, so adding it on is usually not twice the
work, as it might appear to be.
As the novice users become more experienced, they'll turn more to the
reference section (for "reminders," rather than instruction) and spend
less time in the procedures.
As an aside, I know one person who reads only the appendices of any
manual, because he says that's where the really fun stuff is... of
course, he's a complete computer geek, so that's far from the norm...
Hope this helps,
Internet: stockman -at- jagunet -dot- com